Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Theology Of Quid Pro Quo
This for that, tit-for-tat

Cardinal George of Chicago couldn't get this more wrong. From a news story from The Telegraph (Great Britain), we have the headline and a bit of the article, proper --

Call for Jews to stop calling Jesus a bastard

The controversial comments, by Cardinal Francis George of the Archdiocese of Chicago, concern a prayer said during Easter celebrations by the small number of parishes or priests who celebrate a particular form of Good Friday mass.


Those version of Good Friday prayers calls for the congregation to pray for Jews to be converted to Christianity. But Cardinal George said this prayer should be amended to ensure it did not offend Jews.

"I suspect (the amendment) probably will be (made), because the intention is to be sure that our prayers are not offensive to the Jewish people who are our ancestors in the faith," Cardinal George said in an interview with the National Catholic Reporter.

"It does work both ways. Maybe this is an opening to say, 'Would you care to look at some of the Talmudic literature's description of Jesus as a bastard, and so on, and maybe make a few changes in some of that?'"

OK, Cardinal George did get it right when he pointed out that in a certain Talmudic text, Jesus is referred to as "a bastard" ("Jesus was a bastard born of adultery." Yebamoth 49b, p.324). But His Eminence got it wrong with his "if you get rid of this, we'll get rid of that" proposition.

Now if certain Jews (Hassidic, Orthodox, Reformed, whatever...) so desire to refer to Jesus as such, that's their call. We all have God given free-will. If anyone so chooses to reject Jesus, I say again, that's their call. For the past two years that this blog's been up and running, I've made that abundantly clear. And with that said, we as Catholics have the duty to personally put into action The Great Commission. What better display of real Christian Charity? That's what we're suppose to do!

But Cardinal George is more worried about hurt feelings than he is salvation. Personally, I would love to see the Jews abandon such texts as the Talmud. Not because I'm overly sensitive about "my hurt feelings". But more so because the acceptance of Christ far outweighs how any of us "feel". Can you understand that, Cardinal George?

For those Jews (or anyone else) in a state of Invincible Ignorance, salvation most certainly is possible. But to water-down Catholicism as so not "to offend"... well, we all know what Jesus said about what was lukewarm in our mouths.

24 Comments:

Blogger Karin said...

Why does the Church think it needs to be P.C.?
Just stick to the truth, plain and simple!
I am sick, jut sick, of the Church trying to be PC to make some religious group happy or to not offend them!

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!

5:53 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

The Talmud says THAT! I had no idea. At the risk of being called anti-semitic by liberals -which is the pot calling the kettle "black"-aside from their being rude, pushy, and playing the victim card, their pharisaical book calls Jesus THAT! Wow. Muslims have more respect for Jesus than that.

Well I guess I shouldn't be surprised considering this is coming from the religion of those specific individuals (the Pharisees) who had the Romans crucify him, but I am. This still doesn't justify pogroms, but dang.

Well they're certainly entitled to their opinion, and it doesn't justify pogroms and especially the Holocost. But at least they haven't been trying to take over the world by military force like Muslims have since the day that murdering pedophile listened to some Nestorian heretics and started to conquer the Middle East.

But dang, I'm just beside myself.

11:06 AM  
Blogger paramedicgirl said...

The Talmud says much more than just that. We should all play the Jewish game and scream "religious discrimination!" and see how they like it. Nah, we'll just keep praying for the faithless Jews.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

OK.... even though I have some very serious disagreements with Judaism, the real problem here is Cdl George.

Say what we will about Jews, but at least they stick by their beliefs (as much as we disagree with them). Can the same be said by the esteemed Cardinal from Chicago?

4:43 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Orthodoxae said...

No Sarge it can't. A "Bishop" should know better. The religious Jews stick to their beliefs; the atheist ones start the ACLU and the bolshevik revolutions. It's the Trotsky's that start them but it's the Bronsteins that pay for them.

In the Byzantine rite we always pray for the conversion of the Jews, and in the hours challenge them to find the body!

I just told Mrs. Odox Caveman what the Talmud calls our Lord. She too was beside herself.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

VSO,
Don't get me wrong... what the Talmud said about Christ was vile, to say the least. But my main gripe is with Cdl George.

You're right, A "Bishop" should know better.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Wait a minute here...I used to be a seminarian at the Chicago seminary, and Cardinal George would often come and speak there. I had and still have a lot of respect for him as a very serious, orthodox bishop. He always kept a clear and sober head about the need for the Church to stick to its guns and he never watered down the faith for today's society. This was a man who wasn't afraid to tell reporters in news conferences that they should be concerned about whether or not they were going to hell. How many public religious leaders discuss hell in front of the media these days? Don't be so quick to judge the man.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

By the way, I'm signed into my Google account, I don't know why it posts me as anonymous. My name is Michael.

6:25 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Michael,
Are you denying that Cdl George said any of what I posted? Let's be honest here... he most certainly did.

I find damn little of what he said to be "serious" or "orthodox". If anything, it's simple-minded, at best... or a complete sell-out, at worse.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

Thanks for the response...to my response! Anyway, I do agree with you on this, and believe me, I am not one who thinks we should definitively not criticize the bishops. I guess I just thought that Cdl George's history and character should be taken into account when evaluating this decision. He is not one to pander to the media or to the culture. He may be wrong, but at the very least, I would say he was erring on the side of not wanting to scare people away from Catholicism. I'm not necessarily saying that one should water down the faith out of fear of offending people, but can I at least say that our main desire is to evangelize, right?. Before becoming Catholic, I was a very dyed in the wool liberal (funny how you hear that line a lot), and I thank God that I found the Church, because there are so many people who look for faith but ignore the Church because of negative, if mistaken perceptions of it. DO NOT GET ME WRONG! I don't think we should water down the faith to mollify the culture, but it bears noting that sometimes the Church's bishops could be a little better at PR (this goes back to an ax I liked to grind when I was a seminarian), and if George was thinking in terms of not giving people stumbling blocks to the faith...well then disagree with him, but give him the benefit of the doubt.
Michael aka anonymous

8:38 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Michael,
I understand where you're coming from. I disagree, but I understand.

I'm of the opinion that when push comes to shove, Cdl George will fold like a card table.

Examples:

1. http://catholic-caveman.blogspot.com/2007/06/were-going-to-find-you-and-snuff-you.html
2. http://catholic-caveman.blogspot.com/2007/05/speaking-of-gutless-leaders-paul-just.html

8:49 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

George's response to whether or not he would give Giuliani communion at the cathedral in Chicago:

"I don’t think he’s married in the church, so that’s an easy one. We wouldn’t even get to the question of his position on abortion."

Michael...I still need to look at your posts about him...doing that right now.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100% concerning Fr. Pfleger and St. Sabina...I remember that mess from my days in Chicago. I agree with you also about the Queer studies program at DePaul...but before I pass judgment I would want to know a little more about the situation...I'm looking for more examples of the opposite from Cdl George...he's not your typical liberal-coddling bishop.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Colleen said...

13 comments and everyone just takes your word for it that the Talmud at Yevamot 49b states, "Jesus was a bastard born of adultery"?! I'm looking at the Hebrew on this page:
http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud/jesus.html

and I see that the literal reading is "The man Plony is a bastard by the wife of a man," (meaning by adultery). The line might be about Jesus, but you know that the sentence doesn't say "Jesus." Gil Student, ordained as an Orthodox rabbi but not practicing as one, who examines the passage at the above website, doesn't think it's about Jesus, nor does the subsequent explication in the Gemara about about Plony make it any more obvious that Jesus is being spoken of.

Student is correct in saying that "Plony" is like saying "John Doe," or more like saying "So-and-so." (The book of Ruth uses the term, for instance, to refer to the nameless fellow who turns down levirate marriage with Ruth.)

Please, extend a correction.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

And we're all suppose to oohh and aahh because you found one differing POV from a non-practicing rabbi?

BTW, No one is suppose to "take my word" for it. That's why I give references. If people don't want to believe me (like yourself), fine.

But unlike you, Colleen, my references are many, unlike the solitary one you gave.

Please consider the correction to you extended.

5:29 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

VSC, thank you for the correction, but, er, allow me to make myself a little clearer on one point, if I may. I am not simply going by the translation of "the non-practicing rabbi" (whose halachic blog is much esteemed in the Orthodox world, btw). I am letting you know that I myself am reading the Hebrew, and the Hebrew simply does not read "Jesus is a bastard." The name "Jesus" (Yeshu) is not in "Ish Ploni mamzer m'eshet ish." "Ploni mamzer" is "Plony is a bastard."

To maintain that the line literally contains the name of Jesus would be analogous to deliberately misquoting a passage in the New Testament in order to slander a party whose name is not mentioned.

Now, you state that you give references, but I have to say, reluctantly, that even in this point matters are little screwy. When you reference "Yebamoth 49b, p. 324," understand that sounds just as weird as giving "John 13:2, p. 324" as a citation. "Page 324"? Yevamot 49b IS the citation. The appended "p. 324" only makes sense if you were specifying a particular edition, like the Artscroll or Steinsaltz, where an English translation/commentary prevents the folios from lining up one to a page.

On the net, there are all manner of spurious claims about the Talmud promulgated by virulently antisemitic websites, and I've noticed that these claims, more often than not, are cited in ways that are strange enough to be tip-offs in and of themselves that all is not kosher. Those who take the claims at face value risk erring.

However, if you do know of an edition that says "Jesus is a bastard" at folio 49b of Yevamot, then please let me know as I am building a file. I really would like to know if there is a version out there that makes reference to Jesus instead of Plony.

12:59 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Colleen,
First off, we both know what "bastard" means. Only recently (the past hundred years or so) has it been meant as an insult. As I stated, we both know that it correctly ref's to someone who is of illegitimate birth.

And seeing that the Jews don't look upon Jesus as God the Son, it simply makes sense that He would be looked upon as a "bastard son".

With that said, I agree that there are more than a few crack-pot web sites out there that make claims that would make the mullahs of Iran blush. And as far as me posting "Page 324" as a reference... you're right. That was sloppy research on my part.

But Colleen, I've tried many a time to get the entire Palestinian/Jerusalem Talmud pulled up off the net, but for whatever bizzare reason, the talmud isn't posted... anywhere. I find that odd. If you know of a site that has the talmud in it's entirety, please notify me.

But in the meantime, I've had to resort to culling through the propaganda on both sides to find something that was even plausibly the truth.

Now I'm not going to resort to Jew-bashing. That's not my style. As I've stated many a time on this blog, we all have God-given free will to accept or reject Christ. In the meantime, I pray for the conversion of all non-Catholics.... but that's a different post for a different day.

Anyhow, I've come to the conclusion that the Jerusalem talmud has made less than glowing references to Jesus, His mother, and Christianity as a whole.

And besides, the entire reason for this post wasn't to go after the Jews, it was to go after Cardinal Water-Down... oops, I mean Cardinal George.

Before I forget, even though I consider Cdl George to be somewhat of a sell-out, I do believe that his researchers/theological historians are correct in pointing out that the talmud refs to Jesus as an illegitimate son (bastard).

1:29 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

VSC, thank you for your candor. I might be able to assist you in your requests.I would ask a favor in return, however, and that is that you do spend some time with Gil Student's website on the Talmud, because the Talmud is quite difficult to interpret on one's own (or at least, I have difficulty, despite some years of yeshivah training). It's quite different from the Bible. It's a bit like reading college lecture notes from 1700 years ago, but with language that incorporates vivid metaphor and archetypes.
http://www.angelfire.com/mt/talmud

I can't say I agree with Student on everything, but he has a handle on the Talmud that is far and away beyond anything you'll find on the quirky antisemitic sites.

>>>First off, we both know what "bastard" means. Only recently (the past hundred years or so) has it been meant as an insult.

That's true outside of Judaism. Yet, from reading your readers' comments, it's clear that in taking your citation at face value they are taking offense. Your intention may not be to cast Jews and their texts in a poor light, but this might be where some of your readers are headed. Now, for the record, "mamzer" (bastard) is a fairly serious charge within Judaism. Legally, a mamzer may not marry another Jew (and you'll find that in the Old Testament).

>>>But Colleen, I've tried many a time to get the entire Palestinian/Jerusalem Talmud pulled up off the net, but for whatever bizzare reason, the talmud isn't posted... anywhere.

The Jerusalem Talmud isn't really the one that is studied, but you can find it here (original language):
http://kodesh.snunit.k12.il/b/r/r0.htm

>>>I find that odd. If you know of a site that has the talmud in it's entirety, please notify me.

Perhaps it's the Babylonian Talmud that you're after? It looks to me as if it's in its entirety here:
http://kodesh.snunit.k12.il/b/l/l0.htm

The Jerusalem Talmud is an incomplete work. It's the Babylonian one that is studied and, as far as I know, has seen just a few translations into English. The other reason that it's hard to find on the net in English in its entirety may be due to the fact that it's a huge work, several times longer than the Bible!

The best I can give you in English is here:
http://www.sacred-texts.com/jud/talmud.htm
And this link gives a great rundown on the structure of the Talmud.

When it comes to the Talmud in print with English translation and commentary, I love the Steinsaltz edition. Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz is an elegant writer.

>>>Now I'm not going to resort to Jew-bashing.

Good ... praise God.

>>>Anyhow, I've come to the conclusion that the Jerusalem talmud has made less than glowing references to Jesus, His mother, and Christianity as a whole.

My question is, with all due respect, how can you come to a conclusion about something you're still hazy about?

>>>Before I forget, even though I consider Cdl George to be somewhat of a sell-out, I do believe that his researchers/theological historians are correct in pointing out that the talmud refs to Jesus as an illegitimate son (bastard).

Well, I'll tell you, I was blindsided by the Cardinal's comment. My initial gut response was, what skinhead website has he been taking notes from? Seriously. Again, this is why I ask that you spend a little time with Gil's site. I tend to think that there are some references to Jesus in the Talmud, but I will also say that virtually none of these are clear-cut, much less a slam-dunk.

Also, keep in mind, as you go through certain passages, that there may have been several "messiahs" figuring in the Talmudic discussions. We don't have all the historic details on hand about who the personages are. Even someone referred to as Yeshu might not be the same Jesus whose reputation has survived to this day. Remember the Talpiot Tomb controversy from earlier this year that rested its bogus case on the coincidence of names? The same rule applies here. Yeshua was a common name, both at the time of Jesus and during the time of the Talmudic rabbis. (Now that I think of it, I think there's a Talmudic rabbi named Yeshua bar Yosef.

3:50 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Colleen,
Try as I might, I still cannot find a site that has a "chapter and verse" display of the talmud, Babylonian nor Palestinian.

I want to see for myself if the accusations brought up on the KKK-Lite sites (and the rebuttals by Studebt, et al) are found in the talmud or not.

Example, both the Jew-haters and Student discuss Gittin 57a. Which says Jesus is in hell, being boiled in "hot excrement."

OK... both Reverend Billy-Bob and Gil Student discuss this particular passage. But I want to see it for myself, not just as a reference on someone elses site. I want to see Gittin in it's totality, and in English. If you can point me to it, it would be much appriciated.

But back to the question at hand, you asked "My question is, with all due respect, how can you come to a conclusion about something you're still hazy about?"

I ask you to look at this objectivly (as I've tried to do with your perspective);

1. Cdl George is no dummy. As much as I'm let-down by his recent statement, someone such as him who is knee-deep in "ecumenical outreach" isn't going to make a statement like he did without making sure his facts are straight.

2. I believe it's a reasonable assumption that, at a minimum, there were Jewish writers centuries ago (during the advent of Christianity) who did everything in their power to squash (as they saw it) the "cult of the blasphemer Jesus". Some might even equate them to Jewish versions of the modern-day skin-head propagandists. That sword cuts both ways. Could some of those writings crept into the talmud? I'll never know unless I can actually read the talmud as I've stated in the 1st paragraph.

3. If the "Jesus is a bastard" claim by Cdl George is wrong, where's the clamor from Jews everywhere demanding his retraction/apology? Sure, there may have been one or two calling for such... but for the most part, deafening silence from Judaism world-wide.

Hope to yak with you soon,
Kevin

10:00 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Sorry, Kevin, to delay in getting back to you. Some housekeeping: I see that I left off a link in my previous comment. I meant to follow, "And this link gives a great rundown on the structure of the Talmud," with:
http://www.acs.ucalgary.ca/~elsegal/TalmudPage.html
I also stumbled upon this fantastic discussion about the Talmud which does a perfect job of demonstrating how English translators wind up, by necessity, expanding upon the original language since Talmud text is maddeningly terse. DO read it:
http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=3559

>>>Try as I might, I still cannot find a site that has a "chapter and verse" display of the talmud, Babylonian nor Palestinian... Example, both the Jew-haters and Student discuss Gittin 57a...But I want to see it for myself, not just as a reference on someone elses site. I want to see Gittin in it's totality, and in English. If you can point me to it, it would be much appriciated.

In English, hmm ... because the Hebrew/Aramaic link I sent you does let you look up Gittin 57a by its folio # of 57a (which is how most Jews will cite something in the Talmud). As I look, I agree that I'm not finding a site, apart from a deeply antisemitic site, that posts an English translation. Forgive my unwillingness to link you to the antisemitic site in as much as I would not give a forum to an anti-Catholic site in a Jewish setting. Even so, the translation (Epstein's of the Soncino Babylonian Talmud) used is from the earlier part of the 20th century and does sound a bit stilted. Nor does Epstein provide what makes the Steinsaltz and Schottenstein versions so delightful to read; the latter bold words representing literal translations and leave in normal type filled-in words. Your local university might have an English translation of Gittin available. I have used the Steinsaltz volumes at a local Catholic university. Or if $ is no object, order the desired volume. A good Jewish bookstore should have Schottenstein on hand. Both Steinsaltz and Schottenstein give fascinating commentaries and insights. I promise you (for as much as strangers can promise anything)--you would not be disappointed in possessing a volume.

>>>Cdl George is no dummy. As much as I'm let-down by his recent statement, someone such as him who is knee-deep in "ecumenical outreach" isn't going to make a statement like he did without making sure his facts are straight.

This is why I describe myself as being "blindsided" by his remarks. He IS knee-deep in interreligious dialogue, and here he is, about to be head of the US bishops, and he makes a very strange remark. The Talmud of all things is such a sensitive area with Jews, given the history of Church-instigated Talmud bonfires and enforced censorship. I'm at a loss to explain the Cardinal's remarks.

>>>I believe it's a reasonable assumption that, at a minimum, there were Jewish writers centuries ago (during the advent of Christianity) who did everything in their power to squash (as they saw it) the "cult of the blasphemer Jesus". Some might even equate them to Jewish versions of the modern-day skin-head propagandists. That sword cuts both ways.

Yes and no. Figuratively, the sword cuts both ways in that one can find in Christian writings violently anti-Jewish sentiment (with John Chrystostom as a notable example). But literally, the sword has cut primarily in one direction. After the first couple centuries of Jewish persecution of early Christians, the tables were turned, and Jews paid dearly. Moreover, the Talmud bonfires paved the way for extensive massacres.

>>>Could some of those writings crept into the talmud? I'll never know unless I can actually read the talmud as I've stated in the 1st paragraph.

Ironically, Kevin, you may still not know even if you purchase a text. Part of what makes the Cardinal's comment sound so downright odd is that some of the editions available today are already censored due to this long history of coming up against Church-sanctioned persecution. For example, if you manage to find the Epstein/Soncino edition on the web, you'll see that Gittin 57a has "the sinners of Israel" in lieu of the name of Jesus. A footnote in the Soncino edition lets the reader know that the Munich manuscript of the Babylonian has the name "Jesus" in that spot. Even the Israeli link I gave you features "the sinners of Israel" in the normal Aramaic text. Go here if you'd like to read more about this history of censorship: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=32&letter=T

"unless I can actually read the talmud"--let me make this observation. I wouldn't want a Jew who is unfamiliar with the New Testament to read the part of Revelation that speaks of "synagogue of Satan" or read in the Synoptics "brood of vipers" or read the 66 references to "the Jews" in John without availing himself of the opportunity to understand the context of these expressions with an informed Christian commentator. Without such assistance, an unknowing reader might simply come to the dead-wrong conclusion that this is hate literature. The situation is even more critical, imo, with the Talmud, because it is a significantly different genre of literature than what we encounter in the modern day. I've stated that it's highly figurative. For instance, with this Gittin passage, what is the text trying to convey to the reader in relating a dream had by Emperor Titus' nephew--while yet a non-Jew--of Titus, Balaam, and Jesus (assuming that "Yeshu" was the originally intended reading)?

>>>If the "Jesus is a bastard" claim by Cdl George is wrong, where's the clamor from Jews everywhere demanding his retraction/apology? Sure, there may have been one or two calling for such... but for the most part, deafening silence from Judaism world-wide.

Well, there was a private clamor. John Allen's 10/19 report on the matter attests to this. I know of one major organization that was, given that it came from an American cardinal, dumbfounded by the remark. In the end, the decision was made to approach the situation differently than the norm, especially in light of the times. However, the Cardinal's latest response still sounds ... uninformed? ... strange? ... I don't know what to say... he still confounds. Yes, I agree that the Cardinal is in a position to know better, all of which adds to the consternation.

1:07 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Kevin, I found a website, looks to be Evangelical, that has the Epstein translation of the Soncino edition of the Talmud:
http://juchre.org/talmud/tcontents.html

It's a mirror site of the antisemitic website that I had earlier declined to provide a link for. I still recommend that you avail yourself of one of the more recent translations, Steinsaltz or Schottenstein, because their presentation lends itself to a FAR richer understanding of the text.

And I continue to underscore the advantage of approaching the text with a rabbi's assistance. As blog author, do you have access to my email address? I can give you a name if you email me.

11:36 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Colleen,
I honestly do thank you for the refs you've sent me, but I think we're both somewhat losing sight of the initial intent of the posting. Specifically, how Cdl George and his "we'll get rid of this if you get rid of that" quid pro quo mentality. I'm sure you could tell that I was more going "after" Cdl George than Judaism.

As far as the site refs you've sent, I most certainly am going to research them, but I have to be honest, Colleen... I'm quite convinced that there are more than a few passages in the talmud that are less than complimentary of Jesus and His mother. As I've stated before, as much as I abhor Cdl George's statement, I'm sure he at least did his research before he opened his mouth.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Colleen said...

Thank you for your willingness to look at the references.

Again, I appreciate your candor. Kevin, you said,

>>>I'm quite convinced that there are more than a few passages in the talmud that are less than complimentary of Jesus and His mother.

More than a few passages? Quite convinced?

Gil Student is convinced that none of the passages speak of the Jesus of the Christian faith. I tend to disagree with him in regard to some of the passages he examines. However, I know that he knows very much more than I do, so I have to qualify my opinion in this regard.

But if it turned out that Gil were dead wrong, that is, that every passage he confronts were truly about Jesus, the number of words he examines doesn't even approach 1000. The Talmud, both Mishna and Gemara, contains about 2.5 million Aramaic/Hebrew words, making it about 18 times longer than the New Testament in Greek.

If you could manage to find 1000 words that are less than complimentary, that are genuinely about Jesus and the Virgin Mary, you're still dealing with ... whipping out my calculator ... no more than four one-hundredths of one percent of the Talmud.

Imo, that's a very small amount. Extapolated to a text the length of the New Testament, that would be about 55 words--fewer if Gil is not wrong on every count.

Again, this is why the Cardinal's single remark confounds. By the way, since I last wrote, I read the unedited version of Allen's interview (available as a pdf at NCR). It looks to me as if someone edited the Cardinal's words to allow the Talmud question to have its full torpedo effect (and whoever did that should, for penance, be made to sit through a week-long Jewish-Catholic Women's Dialogue event). Otherwise, the sentiment in the passage is very reasonable. Consequently I think better of the Cardinal in reading it. Still, the Talmud remark stands out in a quirky way. I am sorry, Kevin. This is where you and I disagree. That single remark still comes across as having emanated from a place of deep ignorance, again, as if all those antisemitic screeds that haunt the internet finally had their influence, either on him or on one of his advisors.

I do understand that you are decrying the Cardinal's sense of relativism in interfaith dialogue. I once read an OUTSTANDING essay by the Chief Rabbi of Rome that gave sound warning over "quid pro quo" interfaith dialogue (qpqid), from which I came away thinking it defines my take. And of course, Rabbi Soloveichik's position on interfaith dialogue is the one embraced by Orthodox Jews.

However, I encounter on the internet an attitude that uses a rejection of pqpid to support a fallacy, ie, "We Catholics shouldn't have to modify our prayers because we don't ask Jews to modify their Talmud which is WAY more offensive," the fallacy being "way more offensive." Whether I'm addressing the preceding attitude or the Cardinal's relativism, my concern is that they are both predicated, each to its own extent, upon a mischaracterization of the Talmud.

Thank you giving me a generous forum to express my thoughts.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

Thank you giving me a generous forum to express my thoughts.

Sometimes it really does come down to 'we simply have to agree to disagree', doesn't it?

But it's a damn sight more palatable when we can discuss things in a civil manner, 'eh?

It truly has been a pleasure discussing this particular topic with you, Colleen. Please don't make this your last visit to The Lair.

Yours in Christ,
Kev

3:44 PM  

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