Consequences of Vatican II
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Jewish ‘Miracles’ and Curses from Heaven

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

Benedict XVI will visit the synagogue of Rome on Sunday, January 17, 2010, a day set aside for dialogue between Catholics and Jews. He will be present to commemorate the Jewish feast of “Mo’ed di Piombo”, which coincides with that date.

A Vatican release explained that “Mo’ed di Piombo” commemorates a “miraculous event” of 1793 when the Jews of Rome supposedly escaped an attack by the populace of the city, thanks to a sudden storm that doused the fire set at the gates of the Jewish quarters (Zenit, October 14, 2009).

John Paul II & Elio Toaff

JPII's at the Rome synagogue shocked the world in 1986. Benedict's visit to the Park East synagogue in 2008 hardly raised eyebrows among Catholics...

Benedict visits a New York synagogue
Calling the storm “a miracle” to save the Jews is something shocking to Catholic ears. It implies that God, Who worked miracles for the Jewish People in the Old Testament, continues to do so. The inference is unmistakable for progressivist and conservative Catholics: God continues to work miracles for the Jewish people, even though they have rejected the Messiah and manifest hatred for the Catholic Faith, the one true Religion.

The dates of Benedict’s visit to the Rome Synagogue almost coincides with the commemoration of a truly great Catholic miracle that shook all Europe in the 19th century, the vision and conversion of a Jew, Alphonse Ratisbonne. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the 28-year-old French Jew on January 20, 1842 while he was waiting for a friend in Sant’Andrea delle Fratte Church in Rome. Moved by grace, he converted to Catholicism, became a priest, and started an order with his brother Theodore Ratisbonne that was dedicated to the conversion of Jews. But the Vatican made no mention of this great Catholic miracle.

The commemoration of Ratisbonne’s conversion used to be a very popular Catholic feast in Rome preceded by a week of prayers, until John Paul II turned that authentic jubilance into a “week for Catholic-Jewish unity.”

Now, to please the Jews, Benedict has chosen to go to the synagogue in Rome during that very week - thus contradicting that centenary pious tradition. He goes to commemorate a “miracle” that would show that God is with the Jews. What is the message he is sending? I believe it is that the conversion of Ratisbonne was meaningless. Indeed, what sense does the conversion of a Jew to the Catholic Faith have, if the Jewish religion is as good as the Catholic one?

Is this all? Unfortunately not. We have a Pope, the Vicar of Christ, telling us that Judaism continues to be the same predilect religion before God that it was before the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. So, at depth, the message is that the great mistake was made by Our Lord Himself and His Apostles who founded and spread a new religion, when it was not necessary…

The Sion Order - changed after Vatican II

For some years, I was friends with several Sisters of the Daughters of Sion, the teaching order the Ratisbonne brothers founded to educate girls and convert Jews. The Sion school in Kansas City was renowned for its excellence in academics and courtesy. The young ladies who boarded or attended classes with the Daughters of Sion were from the best homes in the city. Many Protestants and Jews converted to Catholicism, thanks in part to the shining example of the Sisters.

Some 20 years ago, one of the Sisters, who had translated many of the Founders’ works from French into English, told me that after Vatican II, the Sion convents had been instructed to destroy the old translations. They were replaced by new ones, which left out any “negative” things Fr. Alphonse and Fr. Theodore had said about the Jewish religion that might pose obstacles to ecumenism. Also to be deleted from the new translations were any of the Founders’ words that referred to the need for Jews to convert to Catholicism. According to her – and she was one of the new translators – there was much to be left out…

“You know,” she said in passing, “that since Vatican II, we don’t talk about converting the Jews anymore. We have a new way of looking at them - they are our elder brothers in the Faith.”

It was the first time I had heard the term “elder brothers,” and I was shocked. That happened 20 years ago. Today the word – which gives the idea there is nothing serious that divides the Catholics and the Jews except some past misunderstandings and prejudices that are being overcome – is commonly used and accepted.

That Sister, one of the few in the convent who still wore a modified habit, also was lamenting the lack of vocations. She was the youngest sister in the U.S. Order at the time, and she was 63. Today, she is dead. The Kansas City school of Sion was sold to Protestants - although it retains the prestigious Catholic name – and caters primarily to the poor and minorities. Everything has been turned on its head.

Alphonse Ratisbonne

Alphonse Ratisbonne promised to destroy his order from Heaven if it stopped converting Jews
During her lamentation, she noted somewhat sardonically, “Perhaps we should not be surprised if this convent closes, like so many of the others. One of our founders, Fr. Alphonse Ratisbonne, once said that if his Order ever deviated from its spirit, he would curse it and destroy it from Heaven."

That quote of Fr. Ratisbonne may some day in a better future be recognized for its prophetic quality. At present, it also has been deleted from the records as a “negative” remark.

It seems, however, that Fr. Ratisbonne is fulfilling his promise from Heaven. The Sion Order, which - following the spirit of Vatican II - no longer emphasizes the conversion of the Jews, is disappearing. Its purpose for existence gone, it no longer attracts vocations.

I have a picture in my mind of its Founder Saint in Heaven - his penetrating gaze fierce and furious, his long thick beard flowing - turning his back on the Order he had founded and loved because it no longer reflects his spirit – the spirit of a converted Jew who recognized the perfidy of the Jewish religion and the crime of Deicide.

I am sure the severe gaze of the Ratisbonne brothers would also fall on the present-day Vatican with its talk about “Jewish miracles” and the present-day Pope and his visits to synagogues, the false temples that they rejected and combated.

Posted October 23, 2009

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