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The Waning of the Faith

A Rabbi Who Rejects Christ Lectures
the Church of Christ

Julio Alvear, Spain

The most serious news of the present hour is not about international finances and the speculations they entail. Of much greater concern to me are the events that are taking place in Rome. The spiritual has such a great supremacy over the economic that we deceive ourselves if we pay attention only to the destabilizing metamorphoses of the wild capitalism.

Rabbi Cohen

Rabbi Cohen lectures the Synod on how to interpret Scripture
To what religious news do I refer? Benedict XVI invited the chief rabbi of Haifa, She’ar Yishuv Cohen, to speak at the Synod that is presently gathering together the highest representatives of the Catholic Church. Cohen, a member of the Commission for Jewish-Catholic Dialogue, spoke on the second day of the Synod, October 6, to the Pontiff, 52 Cardinals and more than 200 Bishops. His intervention has been widely reported by the press.

The rabbi was invited to speak on the importance of the Old Testament and the Jewish people. Vatican press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, affirmed that it was a “natural and logical” topic for him to address, considering that the Synod is dedicated to the Bible, and the Old Testament is the part of Scriptures shared by both religions…

Rabbi Cohen, for his part, told Catholic News Service that he saw the invitation as a "sign of hope bringing a message of love, coexistence and peace.” Further, he affirmed: “I see in the invitation a kind of declaration that the Church intends to continue with the policy and doctrine established by Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II” with respect to the Jewish people.

Notwithstanding, taking advantage of this invitation, the rabbi defamed the memory of the last pre-conciliar Pope. Cohen manifested his opposition to the eventual beatification of Pope Pius XII, accusing him of not having raised his voice in favor of the Jews, adding that “we cannot forget or forgive it.”

The whole incident is perplexing to me. Let me explain the reasons for my confusion.

A new interpretation of the Scriptures denying Christ as Messiah

an ancient copy of the Holy Bible

Catholic Scripture, above, and the Talmud below. Christ makes them irreconcilable.

A page from the Talmud
1. First, we all know that a Synod of Bishops is not an academic conference. According to the Code of Canon Law (can. 342), its mission is to assist the Supreme Pontiff to fulfill his task of governing the Universal Church. We have to suppose, therefore, that the presence of a chief rabbi at a Catholic Synod has some more transcendent significance than that of instructing the attendants on the Hebrew interpretation of Scriptures.

I believe that the assistance of the rabbi at that assembly was completely superfluous. Every Synod member certainly knows the importance of the Old Testament. Catholics have always recognized its significance, and for a century now, since the foundation of the Pontifical Biblical Institute by St. Pius X, there have been specialized studies on this theme.

Perhaps the real reason for Cohen’s presence at the Synod was given by rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Inter-Religious Affairs for the American Jewish Committee. Indeed, he affirmed that Cohen’s participation at that assembly was to reformulate the Church's position on how to present the Old Testament to Catholics.

If this is true, as it seems to be, we are facing the monstrosity of having the Old Testament interpreted according to the Jews and not understood as the promise and pre-figure of Jesus Christ, the Messiah, Man-God and our Redeemer.

2. The Church authorities cannot be unaware that the Jewish religion reads the Old Testament in the light of the Talmud, which is fundamentally opposed to the Catholic interpretation. Our faith teaches us – and nothing can change this – that until the Jews turn their hearts to Jesus Christ, (2 Cor 3:15), the one true Savior, their interpretations of the Scriptures are false. Therefore, this interpretation of the Old Testament taught by a rabbi to accommodate the Jewish creed constitutes an affront to Our Lord and a denial of the identity of Catholicism. For, as Christ tells us: "I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to my Father except through Me.” (14:6)

The Church - not the synagogue – has the mandate to interpret Scripture

The all seeing Church against the blindness of Judaism

The Church sees everything in the light of the Risen Christ, while the Synagogue is blind to interpret the Scripture it holds - Cathedral of Strasbourg
3. Delving deeper into the matter, we must ask with all frankness: How can an interpretation of Holy Scriptures be given by someone who denies Christ as Messiah and does not believe that His Church is the custodian of the Scriptures?

The response is found in those same Scriptures: The authentic interpretation of these texts (1) was charged to the Catholic Church and not to those who do not believe in Christ. Such texts have been always interpreted in the same sense for centuries by Popes and Doctors of the Church. Our Lord lamented the rejection of His Divine Person by the great part of the religious heads of the Jewish people through the course of history with these moving words:

"Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen does gather her chickens under her wings, and thou refused?
"Behold, your house shall be left to you, desolate.
"For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you say: Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord." (Mt. 23:37-39)

And the Apostle St. John, the beloved disciple, warns:

“Who is a liar, but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, who denies the Father and the Son. Whosoever denies the Son, the same has not the Father. He that confesses the Son has the Father also.” (I Jn 2:22-23)

Conciliar ecumenism has gone too far…

4. Whoever loves the treasure of the Catholic Faith cannot pretend to embrace all the religions, treating the Faith as a subjective matter. We are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, not disciples of esoteric philosophies like that of Spinoza or Locke, defenders of the idea that “all religions are equal.” This thesis was condemned by the papal Magisterium as religious indifferentism.

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Ecumenism gone mad at the Bible Synod...
I know that the practice of this liberal philosophy, and its religious offspring, ecumenism, has been undermining Catholicism since Vatican Council II. Its fruits are clear even if its paternity is not acknowledged.

In fact, at this present Synod on the Bible, after the rabbi delivered his lecture, the general secretary of the assembly, Cardinal Marc Ouellet criticized the quality of the homilies in the present day Masses, noting that it was a factor causing the faithful in diverse parts of the world to abandon the Catholic Church. Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop de Lyon, added that important parts of Scriptures are being left out of the readings so as not to enter into conflict with the dominant ambience inside the Church.

Dialogue with the Jewish religion cannot justify that one of its representatives should appear at a Synod of the Church founded by Christ Himself to give lectures on the Scriptures to Catholics. The post-conciliar ecumenist mania has gone too far, invading even the sacrosanct walls of our Church. We must love our Catholic Faith more than life itself as the Gospel says. Yet we see that the Catholic Faith is constantly receiving blows and being diminished.

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No middle ground in confessing Our Lord as the Son of God
No, rabbi Cohen. Know that even though you were invited to a Synod of our Church by its highest authorities, there are still Catholics who affirm in a clear and categorical language: There is no middle road in confessing that Jesus is the Son of God, who died on the Cross for our sins and before whose Name all knees should bend. Indeed, He warned us clearly: “For he that shall be ashamed of me and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation: the Son of man also will be ashamed of him, when he shall come in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (Mk 8:38)

We lament that, despite some laudable anti-relativist statements of the present day Pontiff, in practice he has forgotten the words of Leo XIII, who, in the Encyclical Immortale Dei, stated the social duty of rendering God the worship of the true religion. (2) Also forgotten are the words of Pius XI, who in Quas Primas proclaimed the kingship of Christ over creation, in particular over human societies. (3) I say, “in practice,” because without doubt today’s Church is being demolished not only by her external enemies, but also and principally by the action of so many of her own Shepherds.
1. In the Gospels, see the following passages: Mt 8:12, 21:33-46; Lk 2:34; 21:24; Jn 8:21-24, 33-59; 10:24-33; 11:48-50; 12:37-50; in the Acts of the Apostles, see Act 13:44-52; in the letters of St. Paul, see Rom 2, 3, 9 and 11; Eph 2:1; Thes 2: 15-16; Gal 3:26, 4:28; and in the Apocalypse, see 2:8-10.
2. ASS 18, 1885-2886, nos. 3, 17, pp.163-164. 174
3. AAS 17. 1925, nos. 8, 20, pp. 601, 609

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Posted October 17, 2008

Julio Alvear first published this article on his blog
La Reaccion Catolica
An analytical and uncompromising site for readers of the Spanish language

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