Saturday, February 23, 2008

Boy, Am I Going To Piss Off A Lot Of People With This Post
...won't be the first time, won't be the last

It's no big shocker to any of us that some very vocal folks of the Jewish persuasion are kinda pissed off at Pope Benedict. But what are we to make of it when a fairly prominent Catholic priest/educator saddles up with them against our own pope?

Here's some of the article from the New Jersey Jewish News; (emphasis and comments mine) ‘Prayer for Conversion’ reinstated by Pope
Jewish leaders fear a step backward in interfaith relations
by Robert Wiener
NJJN Staff Writer
February 21, 2008

Leaders of interfaith dialogue are expressing concern that a Good Friday prayer newly revised by Pope Benedict XVI could set back cordial relations between Catholics and Jews. The Latin-language “Prayer for Conversion of the Jews” urges Catholics to “pray for the Jews. May the Lord our God illuminate their hearts so that they may recognize Jesus Christ as savior of all men.” It also asks God to “kindly allow that, as all peoples enter into your Church, all of Israel may be saved.” (Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I find that prayer to be one of the kindest, most charitable things I've ever read)

The pontiff’s action on Feb. 5 reinstitutes a prayer that was dropped from Easter Week liturgy after the Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, which ended in 1965. Prior to Vatican II, the “conversion prayer” spoke in more controversial language about the “blindness” of the Jews and urged that they “be rescued from their darkness.” (ahhh yes... Vatican II. You know, that's when Catholicism started.)

To Allyson Gall, executive director of the American Jewish Committee’s Metro New Jersey Area, the prayer is “a step backward. This is something that was written in the pope’s own hand. It was not written by an aide. He made a conscious decision he wants the wording this way. That is regrettable.” (Waaaah. Kwitcherbitchen.)

But Gall noted that the prayer is recited only on Good Friday in commemoration of the crucifixion, and its recitation is limited to the small number of Catholic churches where the Mass is celebrated in Latin. “In terms of the actual impact on Catholics or other people, forget about it,” she said. “But the point is, why did the pope do it? Up until now, the impression has been that things have moved along well and there really was a recognition that ‘Jews are Jews. They keep their own covenant, they forever are Jews, and leave them alone. We are not going to try to convert them.’
(And who was the head cheerleader for this bullshit? Pope John Paul II, that's who. Something about "The Jews had their own path to redemption" WITHOUT Jesus Christ? So much for The Great Commission. So much for "no man goes to The Father but through Me.")

“Now you have this little bit of a slip. It is regrettable because it is a step backward, but on the other hand, it is going to impact very few people.”

This is not what we had hoped for,” said Father Lawrence Frizzell (right), director of the Institute of Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange. “There has been considerable discussion among those of us involved in Jewish-Christian relations,” said Frizzell, who has worked with Gall on interfaith projects. “I don’t know how to interpret this in terms of the larger picture. I would say in terms of people involved in Jewish-Christian relations, this is a disappointment. But I don’t want to say this is a harbinger of things to come.” (Interesting... a prayer that ALL may accept Christ as Lord and Savior is "not what we hoped for" and "a disappointment". I'll bet Jesus is thrilled to bits hearing this.)

However, Alan Brill, a Seton Hall colleague of Frizzell in Judeo-Christian studies and the Cooperman/Ross Endowed Professor in honor of Sister Rose Thering, said that although it may be “much ado about nothing,” he is concerned about the prayer’s future implications. “It does not say anything negative. It does not say the Jews have to convert. It does not imply any problem — just that the Jews should have their eyes enlightened.” (And once you're enlightened, a conversion of the heart takes place. Sheesh... could this guy spin it any harder?)
The professor said that the prayer’s inclusion marks “the end of the era of John Paul II, the era of reconciliation (Thank God. The pontificate of John Paul II propelled papal groveling to an art form). A lot of Catholics spent their lives on reconciliation with Jews in light of the Holocaust (What about The Holocaust? Surely he doesn't mean the nearly one million Jews that Pope Pius XII saved, does he?). This is sending everyone back to business as usual. It does not say the Jews are wrong and should convert now, but we lost the momentum of things getting better and better.” (By "better and better", I think he means a watered-down, more gutless Catholicism)From March of 2006, I posted some of the truths concerning the leadership (or lack thereof) during the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, and the rush to Canonization coupled with the current craze of everyone calling him John Paul The Great. Here's some of that particular post;
Yes, yes... everyone loved the former Holy Father. But as what? A strong Vicar of Christ... a guiding figure of moral absolutes in an uncertain world... a cuddly, if not somewhat confused but still very cuddly grandfather figure?

I say we pull in the reigns on this idiotic "Insta-Saint, Just Add Holy Water" fad. Are we talking Holy Canonization, or some type of ecclesiastical popularity contest? Sheesh... it took forty years to finally canonize the most recent pope to achieve Sainthood, Pope St. Pius X.

Sorry, Pope John Paul ain't no Pope St. Pius X.

But I digress, I'm dead set against this break-neck speed race for JP 2's canonization. For many reasons, actually. Here are just a couple;

1. What great happened under his pontificate? Other than empty seminaries, empty convents, empty pews, sodomite-rapist "priests", rapist protecting bishops, a Lavender Mafia, Catholic schools closing by the truckload, a majority of Catholics that don't even believe in The Real Presence, etc, etc... gee, I can't think of anything "great" that happened under his watch.

2. John Paul II did produce some utterly brilliant writings. Unfortunately, he was promptly ignored. And to make matters worse, he did absolutely nothing about it. What good is a shepherd who is unwilling (or afraid) to use his crozier?
So here's the bottom line of this particular posting: certain Jews (and wimpy Catholic Fifth Columnists) are uber-pissed over Pope Benedict re-writing of the Prayer for Conversion during Good Friday Mass. Oh well... let 'em be uber-pissed. If they want to be obstinate to Christ, that's their call.

But what I find disconcerting, is the one they point to as their champion of "The Salvific Power of Christ Pertains to Everyone but The Jews" is none other than our very own Pope John Paul II. And the fact that they even point to him as their compass point is very, very telling, indeed.

And I'm sure that many will argue that none of this is what Pope JP intended. Know what? That's irrelevant. His actions (or more correctly, inactions) are what caused this turd bloom to blossom and produce bitter fruit in the first place. He's responsible for all this... period.

I'm not trying to slam Pope John Paul, but I find damn little that's Great about any of this. A lot of very bad things happened under his watch, and we Catholics need to quit looking at him and his pontificate through rose colored glasses. We need to face the hard, ugly truth... Pope John Paul II was a very ineffective and even weaker pope who allowed abuse upon abuse to be heaped upon The Bride of Christ.

Sorry... but this had to be said.


Blogger Coffee Catholic said...

I don't have a whole lot of time for "interfaith relations" or anything that is "ecumenical." Why? Because every single time we Catholics get sucked into these things WE are the ones that are expected to make all sorts of compromises and to water down our Faith so no one is offended! No thank you. I am Catholic and I am not going to stroke any Jewish, Muslim or Protestant egos in order to fit in and make them feel good about themselves! This is MY Faith and if YOU don't like it, TOO BAD. Just like I wouldn't expect a Jew, Muslim, or Protestant to compromise on their faith, I refuse to do the same thing with mine. THERE ARE NO GREY AREAS. You either are, or you aren't and unless a person is *converting* I have NO respect for anyone that gets wishy-washy about their faith in order not to offend others!! GET A SPINE! I have a spine about my Catholic Faith and I will never put it aside for ANYONE.

I refuse to be a partial Catholic in order to make other people feel all warm and fuzzy about themselves.

If Muslims, Jews, and Protestants are allowed to believe that THEY have the real faith and everyone else is either totally wrong or missing important details, why are we Catholics not allowed to do the same exact thing?? What a bunch of hypocrites! "They" can call us unbelievers but if we do the same we are baaaaad Catholics. WHATEVER.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

I have a couple of observations.

First, very generally, I think one of the things I like to do in my blogging is to connect apparently different ideas or events for which others may not have seen the connections.

I love doing that, and I believe you've done that here, starting with "Jews don't like Pope Benedict's new Latin prayer" and concluding with, "we shouldn't be in such a rush to canonize Pope John Paul."

I'm not sure I agree with the connection, but hey, it's your blog.

The first point I certainly agree with. When Pope Benedict was writing the prayer, I'm reasonably confident that his motivation was to consider what would be most pleasing to Our Blessed Lord in the sacred liturgy, and not what would be the reaction of the executive director of the American Jewish Committee’s Metro New Jersey Area. One could make an argument that he shouldn't have made the change, because it was easily predictable that virtually no one would be satisfied. But as I say, I believing he was trying to serve the Lord first.

As to Pope John Paul, as you may recall, my two-year-old son is named John Paul in honor of the late Holy Father. I think he was one of the greatest men of the 20th century.

Did he do everything I would have had him do? Nope.

Does Pope Benedict do everything I would have him do? Nope.

It's worth remembering that the Pope isn't accountable to me.

But John Paul did things no one could have imagined, in 1978, that the Pope could ever do.

John Paul and Ronald Reagan, together, defeated European communism almost by themselves. Many millions who lived under cruel oppression were made free, and it was done without warfare.

You note his writings, and then claim they were ignored. This is not true. Many, many people are educated and inspired by his many writing, particularly including his theology of the Body, and his writings on the role of women.

Certainly discipline in the Church was not his long suit. The Holy Father who confronted the armies of communist Poland and the Soviet Union was unwilling or unable to confront heretical bishops in his own Church, and seemed disinterested in doing much to reform abuses of the liturgy.

By contrast, I don't expect that Pope Benedict will be changing the map of Europe anytime soon. But he is certainly taking an interest in the reform of liturgical abuses, and appears to have a long-term comprehensive approach planned out and is working it. I have high hopes that this will eventually include discipline for unfaithful bishops like Niederauer in San Francisco (although, we haven't seen it yet, and yes I recall that Niederauer was appointed by Benedict).

Was Pope John Paul II perfect? Nope; you know as well as I do the limits of the charism of infallibility. Is Pope John Paul II a saint? I humbly await the teaching of the Church on that question, which is far above my pay grade to answer.

9:02 AM  
Blogger Vir Speluncae Catholicus said...

There are more than a few points in which I disagree with you, Paul. But nonetheless, you've raised valid points of discussion. But I won't bother writing a point by point reaction. I think we both know where the other stands on the subject.

One thing I will say, though... this "Good Friday prayer" debacle lands squarly in Pope John Paul's lap. He created this monster, now Pope Benedict gets to clean it up.

All that aside, as usual, I not only welcome, but value your opinions. Thanks for posting, Paul.

9:46 AM  
Blogger PreVat2 said...

Would someone, anyone, please tell me if the One, True Church (that would be the Catholic Church) is still in the business of converting others to the Faith? Do we still wants Jews, Muslims, et al to accept Jesus Christ?

Secondly, John Paul "the Great?" Right! And I have some swamp land you may want to buy!

10:24 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Paul said, "John Paul and Ronald Reagan, together, defeated European communism almost by themselves."

ALMOST being the operative word. I doubt JPII could have made his triumphal return to Poland if Lech Walesa and the Solidaity movement of the Gdansk shipyard hadn't already stood up to the might of the Commie regime.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

ALMOST being the operative word. I doubt JPII could have made his triumphal return to Poland if Lech Walesa and the Solidaity movement of the Gdansk shipyard hadn't already stood up to the might of the Commie regime.

Undeniable. Nor could it have been achieved without the readiness exhibited by the American and allied military forces.

But those workers were there before John Paul was elected, and the military and NATO were there before Reagan was elected.

Without the concerted leadership of those two men, I believe we'd still have a Soviet Union.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is completely to the side but I went to where Fr. Frizzell works and teaches. I heard a brief lecture by him about Judeo-Christian relations on Ash Wednesday a few years ago. I have seen him at Mass... This is just too weird. Does it help at all to mention that in most areas, the priest community at SHU is really good and true to the Church?

9:14 PM  
Blogger David said...

I think you're right to speak critically of this "insta-canonization" business. Canonization before the corpse was cold was also a hallmark of JPII's pontificate. If JPII liked you, and you were a half-way obedient practising Catholic, you could pretty much get a beatification before the lid was nailed on the coffin, and a canonization before they sang "in paradisum...".

And, as a convert (from protestantism), all the kissing of heretic butts used to piss me off no end. Sucking up to the followers of false religions does them no good whatsoever, and only confirms them in their errors. We should be burning Korans, and the works of Luther, et al, not kissing them. When Mohamedans and Baptists start praying the Holy Rosary, I'll consider that Ecumenism has something to offer, not before.

BUT...I thank God for small mercies. Imagine what we could have had... Imagine if we got another Paul VI liberal, or someone even further left who tore up humanae vitae, ordained "wimmin", soft-pedalled on abortion and fudge-packing, and whatever else. We would be like the US Episcopalians, with Bishops marrying each other, and dancing the night away to the tune of "I Will Survive" (wearing purple leather arse-less pants, of course). In 1978 that was a real possibility, I think. We really dodged a bullet, and have JPII to thank.

For all his imperfections, JPII had an enormous job to do to try and stop the worst of the rot that set in in the Vatican II era. I just hope an pray that, with BXVI and Summorum Pontificum, we can, brick by brick, rebuild the Church. I thank God that now, on a Sunday morning, there are more and more places every week where Mass begins "Introibo ad altare Dai..."

3:17 AM  
Blogger C said...

There certainly were issues with the JPII Papacy, but overall I think you should give him some more credit. I once spoke with Lech Walesa, and he said that without the Pope, the Soviet Union, that great enemy of all that is good, would probably still be around. Also, don't forget that JP stemmed the tide of Liberation Theology in Latin America, and that many dissident theologians were silenced. While I would have liked him to be more up on the Latin Mass, do recall that he instituted the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei, and provided the indult, which unfortunatly many bishops hindered (therefore the need for the motu propio). Also, hetrodox Catholics and the liberals hated him, so you know he was doing something right! Where I agree with you wholeheartedly though is that internal church matters were not JPII's speciality. I think this was especially true when he became older. Finally, we can thank JPII for elevating our current Holy Father to the Congregation of Doctrine. Without that, we may have never had Josef Ratzinger as our Pontiff!

12:27 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home