I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Are Jews in the Church Elect? A Hebrew Catholic Response

Some recent anti-Judaic Catholics have accused Hebrew Catholics of being involved in a Jewish conspiracy to make themselves the elect in the Church and to create a Jewish ghetto that practices Jewish customs in order to exclude Gentiles. Such thinking totally mispresents what Hebrew Catholics believe and do. Are Jews the Elect of God ? Are they the chosen people and do they have a vocation and role to play in the Church? The answer is Yes. However these people totally misunderstand the use of the word Election - the Jewish people have the election of Israel which means they have a special vocation to play in salvation History. This is what they are chosen for, as a witness to God's Revelation to man through Scripture and his Covenants given to Israel. This does not mean that other groups in the Church do not have special roles and missions. Of course they do. To say that Hebrew Catholics are separating themselves by observing their heritage is the same as accusing the Ukrainian Catholics of the same thing or the Maronites because they observe different customs and forms of spirituality than the Latin rite. I might add that the Carmelites or Trappists separate themselves by their spirituality from most other Catholics in living out their special calling in Church yet nobody has any problem with this.

It is also incorrect to state that Gentiles are excluded from the Hebrew Catholics journey in fact many Gentiles are involved with the Hebrew Catholics in the Hebrew Catholic movement just as there are many lay supporters of the Carmelites or Latin -rite Catholics who support the Byzantine-rite Catholics. If any one practices exclusionary policies it is certain traditionalist Latin Mass only Catholics and other more 'orthodox' than the Pope groups or intolerant Modernists who are hostile to most other Catholics who see things differently to them. If Hebrew Catholics saw their way as the only Catholic way then they would rightly be condemned, just as any Catholic group would be if they rejected all other forms of expressing the faith within the Universal Church. Most Hebrew Catholics I know are involved with numerous apostolates in the Church and are not segregating themselves into a 'holy huddle', in fact a number of Hebrew Catholics are traditionalist Latin Mass attenders and most Hebrew Catholics consider themselves orthodox Catholics as opposed to Modernists. In fact when I was first a Catholic I attended quite regularly the Tridentine Latin Mass and still do on occasion. One of the reasons I ceased regular attendence was the narrowness of some and the anti-semitism among some people involved in the Latin Mass. Many others were not like this but one wishes to attend Mass where one can focus on Jesus in the Eucharist not people filled with some kind of irrational hatred of Jews.

Irish Catholics and Polish Catholics observe Catholicism in Irish and Polish ways, so why is it that some believe that it is only Jews that cannot observe Catholicism in their way. What way should they observe? The Irish way or other ethnic ways? All Catholics live out their Catholicism within a particular culture. How Hebrew or Jewish Catholics do this is a question which every individual Hebrew Catholic has a different opinion. To argue with anti-semites is often a waste of breathe however I do pray for them as I was once both anti-Judaism and anti-Catholic before God filled me with his Spirit and changed my heart. Coming from a family of Jewish ancestry who had become Christians I had a built in prejudice against religious Judaism and the Talmud. As my family embraced the Church of England and were right-wing politically it was an easy step to imbibe the Jewish conspiracy theories prevalent in many right wing groups. Looking back I now see that the League of Rights to which some in my family were attached was actually Neo-Nazi, though at the time we considered ourselves anti-Nazi and pro-family, God, Queen and Commonwealth. Strangely enough my family were also religious Zionists but anti-political Zionist. Not that we particularly liked Arabs for they were 'wogs' too just like those Eastern European Jews who spoke Yiddish (our ancestors were the refined aristocratic Sephardic Anglo- Jews as we conveniently overlooked our Ashkenazi lines). In fact I was a racist against any one who was not a WASA - a white Anglo-Saxon Anglican.

That I was Anglo-Jewish in ancestry seemed to give me a fascination with everything Jewish which due to the circles I mixed in and the books available to me was to focus on the negative. I believed in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that was out to destroy White Anglo-Saxon culture and beliefs and of course the Vatican, Catholics and the Jesuits were all part of this evil conspiracy. Eventually I encountered the holocaust denial literature and as my family had been safe in Australia I had no personal knowledge of it and was easily convinced, I am very sad to say. After God touched my heart at age 18 I was convicted of my prejudices and I began a journey into true Judaism not the evil one the anti-semites had placed in my mind. This Jewish journey strangely, or maybe not so strangely, led me to Catholicism. When I was an anti-semite and anti-catholic no arguments would have convinced me but individual people did such as John Paul II and Mother Teresa.

Do I still hold prejudiced and racist thinking? Yes I do but the difference now is I know it is wrong and I continually repent of such thoughts whereas before I thought it was right and true to be a bigotted racist. So please pray for these people as many of them are sincere and lovely people but they have an irrational blind spot that the Devil uses to his purposes. I realise now the Judaism and the Catholicism I hated were not the real ones but ones created by others over many years as a caricature. Now I love Judaism and Catholicism so God has a sense of humour.

Am I still right-wing? Certainly but now this means for me a love of God, Queen, country and family (without the extreme elements added by fanatics) which were my first passion before I was led down a narrow intolerant path. Now I try to love all people, even those who have different political, social, religious and cultural views to me. In fact I love people who look for truth and have a passion for it. Some of the people I was associated with in my young years are now in prison for violent racist crimes - I pray for them because that could have so easily been me if God had not intervened in my life.

For further understanding of the Hebrew Catholic vocation click here

Note: My parents views were never to the extremes which I as a young passionate boy came to. My father always disliked the League of Rights and considered them neo-Nazi. He also would not hear of criticism of the Pope or nuns who he considered were holy people of God even if misinformed. Also my former racist views were not approved by or encouraged by the Anglican Church.