E. Michael Jones' Annual Review Letter


**E. Michael Jones' Annual Review Letter to Subscribers of Culture Wars

January 2010

culturewars.com/letter.pdf **

Dear Friend,

In early November Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Harrisburg was appointed the new ordinary of the diocese of
Fort Wayne-South Bend. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because you read about him in Culture Wars.
Kevin Rhoades was the bishop who told Robert Sungenis he wasn’t allowed to talk about the Jews. During
their meeting with Bishop Rhoades’ representatives, Bob Sungenis and the late Tom Herron listened as
Father Massa, the bishops’ Catholic-Jewish dialogue guy, explained, “no one believes in supercessionism
anymore.” Father Massa had to eat his words when the bishops, his employers, removed the statement
about the Mosaic covenant being “eternally valid” from their catechism, as Bob Sungenis had

My first thought on hearing the news was that I was next. Bishop Rhoades had been sent to South Bend to
silence me. When he started talking about dialogue, in the context of Notre Dame, of course, I was all but
certain that his first act upon taking office in Fort Wayne-South Bend, would be to burn me at the stake.
That’s because, after almost 50 years of having the word dinned into my head, I have come to a working
definition of the term. Dialogue is another word for doing the bidding of rich and powerful actors outside of
the Catholic Church. Over the past 40 years a double standard has emerged: the Church engages in
dialogue with the rich and powerful, who often happen to be the Church’s traditional enemies. When the
lowly, a category which includes the overwhelming majority of the world’s Catholics, bring up some abuse
or ask for a hearing, they are ignored, or blacklisted, or threatened with anathemas.

If Bishop Rhoades is interested in how dialogue really works in his new diocese he should look into the
Forever Learning Institute, based at Little Flower Parish in South Bend, Indiana. The Forever Learning
Institute asked me to teach a course on the revolutionary Jew, but then revoked the invitation after the
course description appeared in the local paper and the local rabbis hit the ceiling. On Wednesday, January
24, 2007, I received a call from Joan Loranger, FLI’s director, who told me that “every rabbi in town and
the Jewish Federation” had called demanding that my course be canceled.

In lieu of my course, Forever Learning approved a course on Jesus to be team taught by a local rabbi and a
local Notre Dame grad with a Master’s Degree in Theology. The text for the course is The Misunderstood
Jew by Amy Jill Levine. On page one of that book, Levine tells us that the Catholic Church taught that all
Jews at all times were responsible for the death of Christ. This caused Bill Fairlie, course attendee and
Culture Wars reader to go to a number of Catholics, including members of the theology department at
Notre Dame and ask them if they had ever heard of such a teaching. No one ever had. When he brought this
up in class he received an e-mail from the Catholic instructor of the course informing him that some pope
or council (the instructor couldn’t remember which) had affirmed Levine’s claim. The instructor then
asked Fairlie him not to ask long questions in class. When a Protestant in the course brought up the attempt
to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem under Julian the Apostate, the rabbi told him that no Jew was involved.
When the Protestant disagreed, the rabbi told him, “Don’t you ever wag your finger at me.” During the
current semester, one of the Catholics attending the course was told that Catholics had an obligation to
dialogue with the Jews. This Catholic, not surprisingly, has stopped going to Mass.

As another example of the fruits of Catholic-Jewish dialogue, the Jerusalem Post cited Rabbi David Rosen
of the American Jewish Committee, who claimed he would be "very surprised" if the Society of St. Pius X
were readmitted to the Catholic Church. Rabbi Rosen is now claiming veto power for the Jews in
determining who is and who is not a Catholic in good standing. Rosen, who is director of the AJC's
Department for Interreligious Affairs, told the Jerusalem Post “In the past they may have been able to slip
under the 'door,' but after his [Williamson's] comments, it won't be so easy to slip in.”

Following Rabbi Rosen’s lead, The American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their
Descendants told the pope in no uncertain terms that “The crisis in Jewish-Catholic relations sparked by the
Vatican's earlier overtures to the Holocaust denier Richard Williamson must not be repeated.” This is the
case because “the problematic nature of Society of Saint Pius X goes beyond Bishop Williamson and
centers on the tenuous state of Catholic-Jewish relations before Vatican II.” In telling the pope who should
and who should not be considered a Catholic in good standing, the American Gathering claims to speak not
only for “For Jews” but also for “the vast majority of Catholics,” when they claim that Bishop Williamson
there “must ‘absolutely and unequivocally’ distance himself from his Holocaust remarks if he ever wants to
again be a prelate in the church.”

*Continue here: culturewars.com/letter.pdf *


In Bishop Rhoades defense:

(1) Do you believe that the Jewish people have their own independent salvific covenant with God, apart from Jesus Christ, so that there are two independent saving covenants in effect today, one for Jews and one for Gentiles?

Bishop Rhoades: I have always believed and taught that Christ established a new and eternal covenant through his own death and resurrection. I have always believed and taught that this is the definitive covenant which will never pass away. I do not believe that the Jewish people have their own independent salvific covenant with God, apart from Jesus Christ. It is not correct to speak of two independent saving covenants in effect today, one for Jews and one for Gentiles, since Jesus is the only Savior, who continues His saving work in the Church and by means of the Church, His Body. There is only one salvific economy. As Pope John Paul II taught in the encyclical Redemptoris Missio, “No one, therefore, can enter into communion with God except through Christ, by the working of the Holy Spirit.” I have always affirmed the unicity and universality of the salvific mystery of Jesus Christ. The salvation possible for our Jewish brothers and sisters, indeed for any person, is only through the grace of Christ.

(2) Do you believe that anyone reaches heaven without the mediation of Jesus Christ?

Bishop Rhoades: I think your second question is answered above, but I will repeat that I do not believe anyone can reach heaven without the mediation of Jesus Christ. As Saint Paul wrote to Timothy: “[God] desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tim. 2:4-6).

(3) Do you understand anything on page 131 of the U.S. Catechism for Adults to mean that the Jewish people (or any group) have their own, independent saving path to God, outside of Jesus Christ?

Bishop Rhoades: I do not interpret anything on page 131 of the U.S. Catechism for Adults to mean that the Jewish people (or any group) have their own independent saving path to God, outside of Jesus Christ. I can see how the one statement that “the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them” might be misunderstood. I would interpret it to mean that the Jewish people retain a special relationship to God because of the Old Covenant, but I would not interpret it to mean that the Jewish people can be saved through the Old Covenant apart from Christ.



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