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.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Persecution of Catholic Jews

Among the millions of Jews who were murdered in the Shoah were St Edith Stein and 1000 other Catholic Jews who were killed with her at the same time. Again today we see the rise of anti-semitism against the Jewish people including those within the Catholic Church. Recently a leader of a Hebrew Catholic Latin American group has received intense persecution led by a chancellor of his diocese in South America. This anti-semite has decided that the Hebrew Catholic leader has incurred an automatic excommunication based on the anti-Jewish canons of one of the early Councils of the Church. This anti-semite has then contacted the parishes and informed them that this Hebrew Catholic is excommunicated and thus sought to destroy the work of this group of Hebrew Catholics. Apparently he has even stopped the Hebrew Catholic from getting to the Bishop. It seems this is very irregular and one wonders why the Bishops and the Vatican haven't intervened. Are they unaware of what is happening or they just don't care or is a darker force at work? To state that the pastoral regulations given in a early Council is relevant today is ludicrous.

This persecution of Hebrew Catholics is occurring both from the left and right in the Church. The more liberal element find Hebrew Catholics extremely embarassing and annoying as it may interfer with their dialogue with the Jewish community. The traditionalists and others don't mind so much that a Jew becomes a Catholic as long as he or she shuts up and sits at the back of the bus. They will tolerate no continuing Jewish identity or practice- assimilation is the only way. Even some asimilationist Catholics of Jewish background attack those Hebrew Catholics who seek to be true to Jewish identity and Torah observance. Recently one Hebrew Catholic candidate for a religious community was expelled on the excuse that he couldn't make up his mind if he was Jewish or Catholic.

When even the most mild of Hebrew Catholics are attacked by fellow Catholics as part of an international Jewish conspiracy to Judaise the Church it is of great concern. Fortunately there are certain lay and clerical Catholics who are supporters and defenders of the Hebrew Catholics. However many Hebrew Catholics feel intimidated and there is a real fear of openly practicing any Jewish observances. It would seem that many Catholic Jews will return to quietly keeping their traditions within the privacy of their homes and families. Others will feel pressured to stop all Jewish practices and be as Gentile Catholics. Is this the new Inquisition? Will this just confirm to Jews that entering the Church is for the Jewish people a form of genocide by assimilation?

No doubt even some Jews will be pleased at this persecution of Catholics Jews just as some were when the Spanish Inquisition targeted the Marranos (conversos)of the 15th and 16th centuries. However this seems to be just part of a new wave of anti-semitism that is springing up and seeking to destroy the Jewish people once again. We have recently seen the Pope welcome Anglicans into the Church in a way in which they can preserve their Anglican traditions and structures in the form of ordinariates. Let us hope that the true Catholic way will triumph and that the Church will create some similiar structure for the Jews in the Church who believe that the collective vocation of the Jewish people is still valid and necessary in the Church.

We Hebrew Catholics can take hope in the words of St. Josemaria Escriva: "Do not deviate from the way, even though you have to live with people full of prejudices. Do not abandon the task as if you thought the basis of arguments or the meaning of words were fixed by their behaviour or by their assertions. Do try to get them to understand you, but if you don't manage it, carry on anyway."


Anonymous said...

Why is it always the Catholics who seem to do the devils work so well? I had no idea that this persecution is so prevelant in todays world. Just as I thought how wonderful it is that the Anglicans are joining us, how can we not welcome and love our fellow Christians who are Hebrew? Was not Jesus a Jew and Mary and Paul? I find this rubbish ridiculous and can only say Satan is alive and well!! Thank God we have some courageous and outstanding men willing to fight for righteousness. Thank you for this. Blessings, Antonia.

Aharon Yosef said...

Thank you Antonia for your comment. Of course their are many wonderful Catholics lay, priests and Bishops who support the Hebrew Catholics. I guess when we read the history of most new movements in the Church they are tested by those Catholics who oppose any new work.We surrender to the Divine Will and say fiat.