Ecumenism is a
phase in the battle between the Church and the Synagogue
of Satan (Apoc. 2:9). The plan revealed in 1884 by Elijah Benamozegh,
the cabalist rabbi from Livorno, Italy, was a new assault on the
Church–not to wipe Catholicism off the face of the earth, but to
"transform" it and bring it into accordance with the Noaic Law.1
the Second Vatican Council a step to implement this plan? The
importance of this article is understood by reading the address of
Bishop Joseph Doré to a Jewish lodge of B'nai B'rith,2
Church and the Synagogue" (see this issue of The Angelus, pp.
I will put
enmity between thee and the woman; between thy seed and her
seed. (Gen. 3:15)
On October 28,
1998, at the discerning of the prize Nostra
Aetate,3granted jointly by Samuel Pisar and the
Understanding Between Jews and Christians of Sacred Heart University of
Fairfield, Connecticut, at the Sutton Place Synagogue in New York,
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, Archbishop of Paris, made a declaration
whose title was full of promise Jews
and Christians, Tomorrow.4 This
declaration, whose importance was perfectly evident to contemporaries,
still merits our attention today. Before the leaders of the Jewish
world, the Cardinal presented an historical tableau of the relations
between Christians and Jews and went on to make an in-depth analysis of
the work of salvation of mankind. We might have hoped for a reminder of
the Catholic teaching on the history of salvation. A few citations from
the Cardinal will permit the reader to form an idea of the gravity of
the subject matter and will serve as introduction to the present study.
As we are nearing the third millennium of the Christian era,
a new age
has begun in the history of mankind....A page is being turned in the
history of humankind....In Christian-Jewish relationships, Christians
have opened their eyes and ears to the Jewish pain and wounds. They
accept to be held responsible and agree to bear that burden without
rejecting it on others.5
For what fault should Christians be bearing the burden? The Cardinal
takes it upon himself to respond in the chapter entitled "Election and
Jealousy," a chapter that would deserve to be cited in full, so twisted
is its presentation of the history of salvation. The election is that
of the unfaithful Jewish nation, an election that has never been
revoked, with the "setting aside of the elect" in "reserve." The
jealousy is that of Christians:
jealousy of Israel very quickly took the shape of a claim for
a legacy: just get rid of the other, who is so close and yet so
different!...The pagans who had become Christians gained access to the
Holy Scriptures and to the Jewish festivals. But human–only too
human–envy prompted them to marginalize or throw out the Jews [meaning
their Judaism, their practices, their rites, and their beliefs]6
....But [the Cardinal adds] the number and might of the pagans who had
entered the Church of the Messiah upset the inverted order of the
dispensation of salvation. This movement tended to deprive the Jewish
existence of its concrete, carnal, historical contents, and to consider
the life of the Church until recent history, as the final achievement
of Jewish hope and life.7 This was how the theory of
Cardinal Lustiger goes on to try to prove that the Jews were thus
despoiled by Christians of their role as the chosen people, the
priestly people who are to bring salvation to mankind:
Constantine granted the Christians a tolerance that was
tantamount to a recognition of Christianity in the life of the State
and eventually led to make it the religion of the Empire, the Jews were
brutally rejected. This was a simplistic and unrefined way of denying
redemption the time and childbirth labor that it requires....9
of the substitution of the Christian people for the
Jewish people fostered a secret, inextinguishable envy and legitimated
the captation [i.e., usurpation–Ed.] of Israel's legacy, of which
countless examples could be offered. (I will mention only one: the
French kings' claim to descend from David. This led their advisors to
have them crowned according to the ritual designed for the kings of
Israel, as reported in the Bible and as had already been done in
At the end of his historical tableau and his very particular theology
of history, the Cardinal reassures his audience. Times have changed:
the time of contempt has passed, giving way to the time of respect.12
The heritage will soon be rendered to its legitimate owner, the Jewish
people, the true Israel, once again become the priestly people13
will bring authentic salvation to the nations, peace to the Gentiles,
and the unity of which the world is so much in need. His discourse
concludes with this word of hope:
awareness was condensed for the Catholic Church in the Second
Vatican Council's Nostra Aetate Declaration. In the last 30 years it
has given way to many comments, especially on the initiatives of Pope
John Paul II. However, this new understanding still has to remodel in
depth the ideas of many peoples who belong to the Christian sphere but
whose hearts have not yet been purified by the Spirit of the Messiah.
Historical experience shows us that lasting "patience" and many
educational efforts are required to "appropriate one's soul" (Lk.
Notwithstanding, there is no steering away from the direction
In summary: The "appropriation" of the heritage by jealous Christians
who supplanted the Jews in their role as the people of God and
instrument of the salvation of the world. –The recognition and
confession of this fault in the 20th century after a new awareness that
came with Vatican II. –The heritage must come back to the dispossessed
Jews. –It will be necessary to do reparation for the fault committed
and to allow the necessary time for the Christian spirit to change.
–The march of history is irreversible.
More recently–in 2002–Cardinal Lustiger spoke before the European
Jewish Congress,15 before the World Jewish Congress16
and before the
American Jewish Committee17 to expose his "reflection on the
and the vocation of Israel and its relations with the nations." His
Judeo-Christian syncretism18seems to please the elites of
without the Catholic world's raising the least objection to the
heterodoxy of his thought.
How has a cardinal, at the end of the 20th century, managed to rewrite
the history of salvation to the point of denying the entire redemptive
work of Jesus Christ, continued by His Church? How was the spiritual
subversion of the 20th century carried off?
Was it at the Second Vatican Council, as Cardinal Lustiger would have
us believe? If the Church is no longer the verus Israel, what does she
become in this new theology of history? It is to these delicate
questions that this study will attempt to give a response.
to "Recover the Heritage"
Originally chosen by God for a magnificent mission–to give mankind the
Savior–the Jewish people were the hope and honor of humanity during the
two millennia before Jesus Christ. They preserved the divine promises,
bore witness to the true God in the midst of pagan idolatry, kept
intact here below the faith, the truth, and the pure and substantial
worship of the Father, as well as the expectation of the Savior of the
world. Until the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Jews were, in all
truth, "the people of God"; in choosing to be born of the race of
Abraham, Christ Jesus crowned and consecrated it with His own sanctity.
However, Calvary separated the chosen people in two: on the one hand,
the disciples, the Apostles, and the first Christians who recognized in
Jesus crucified the Messias come to accomplish the Law and the
Prophets, and who adhered fully to His message, His spirit, and His
Mystical Body: the Church. On the other hand fall those on whose head,
and by whose own desire, fell the blood of the Just,19placing
under a malediction that will endure as long as their rebellion.
"Their act of deicide dug an abyss between ancient and modern times,
which the divine mercy will fill up one day when justice will have done
its work," writes Monsignor Delassus.20
For two millennia, those who rejected the Law of Moses for the Talmud
have undertaken to thwart the work of Redemption. They have
participated in all of the rebellions of the human spirit against God
and against His Christ, whom they have not wished to recognize, and
against His Church, which they consider a "usurper." Even as she
protected herself against them, and even as she reminds the world of
the horror of deicide, the Church has never ceased to pursue them with
her charity, in order to lead them back to the fold, to the source of
grace: to Calvary where flowed the redeeming Blood. This charity even
pushed the Church to protect them, rejected as they often were by
Christian nations. The true converts among them have countless times
born witness to the charity of the Church in their regard.21
However, the workers of iniquity were little moved by this mildness on
the part of the Roman pontiffs. In each century, the attacks against
the Church and against Catholic civilization have redoubled. Joshua
Jehouda, author of a work entitled
Anti-Semitism: A Mirror of the
World22 describing those of the modern and
contemporary ages: "Three
attempts on the part of the Jewish world have aimed to purify the
Christian consciousness of its miasmas of hate; three breaches effected
in the out-dated fortress of Christian obscurantism; three steps in the
effort to destroy the Catholic dogmatic." These three steps were the
Renaissance, the Reformation, and the Revolution: "The Renaissance, the
Reformation and the Revolution constitute three attempts to rectify
Christian thought in bringing it into harmony with the progressive
development of reason and science." The author specifies: "In spite of
these three attempts to purify Christian dogma of its anti-Semitism,
Christian theology has not yet cast off its contempt." That is why
"[i]n the nineteenth century two new attempts were made to purify the
mentality of the Christian world, one by Marx and the other by
The Jewish thinker deplores the partial failure of these two new
attempts. The fortress of Catholicism continued to hold out strong.
Only with the post-World War II era would the most subtle and
destructive attack be launched against the Roman Catholic Church: to
change Catholic theology through the work of churchmen themselves. It
was "a revolution in tiara and cope," initiated in the 19th century by
the Carbonari, pursued by the modernists in the 20th century, and
finally triumphant at Vatican II.
Vatican II: The Open
After World War II, Jewish organizations sought to address the
Christian world on the necessity of revising the teaching of the Church
In 1946, the Oxford Conference, under the auspices of British and
American Jewish organizations, reunited Catholics and Protestants for a
debate concerning problems encountered since the war: a simple first
contact. A second international conference was organized at Seelisberg,
in Switzerland, primarily concerned with the problem of anti-Semitism.
To a large degree, this was a gathering of experts.24 Among
the 60 or
so participants figured Fr.Journet.25 Jacques Maritain, for
was unable to participate at the conference; however, he sent a warm
message of encouragement.26 Jules Isaac became the "key
player" at this
gathering. The conference culminated in a manifesto entitled The Ten
Points of Seelisberg. Of these ten points, we can retain the following:
distorting or misrepresenting biblical or post-biblical
Judaism with the object of extolling Christianity.
6) Avoid using the word "Jews" in the exclusive sense of the
Jesus, and the words "the enemies of Jesus" to designate the whole
7) Avoid presenting the Passion in such a way as to bring the
the killing of Jesus upon all Jews or upon Jews alone...
8) Avoid promoting the superstitious notion that the Jewish
reprobate, accursed, reserved for a destiny of suffering.27
"The archives of Jules Isaac bear witness to the tireless activity of
our author." The words are of Andre Kaspi, who recently published a
biography outlining the personality of Jules Isaac.28 In it
a number of known facts and reveals a few others. One of the most
important contributions of Jules Isaac was his book Jesus and Israel,
which sought to prove that the Jewish people were neither deicide nor
cursed, but that Christianity was responsible for ambient anti-Semitism
by its theological anti-Judaism. This work went on to expose twenty-one
points, a veritable "manifesto" for a new theology of the
In 1948, Isaac founded "Judeo-Christian Friendship," whose aim was
clearly proclaimed: the "rectification of Christian teaching." Many
liberal Catholics participated in these gatherings whose bias was
evident. "The ten points of Seelisberg and the twenty-one points of
Jesus and Israel were passed out on all sides,"29 writes
Kaspi. At the
same time, Isaac was persuaded to meet with the head of the Catholic
Church. Pius XII received him briefly October 16, 1949, at Castel
Gandolfo. Jules Isaac exposed the ten points of Seelisberg to the
Sovereign Pontiff; the outcome of the meeting was of little
satisfaction to a writer of history manuals.
In October 1959, Cletta Mayer and Daniel Mayer–founders of CEPA (Centre
d'Etudes des Problemes Actuels, Center for the Study of Modern
Problems), in close collaboration with the Anti-Defamation League (an
association created in 1913 by the Masonic Lodge B'nai B'rith)–"met
with Jules Isaac in Paris at the Hotel Terminus and spoke with him of
an eventual proposition for John XXIII. Jules Isaac approved."30
The idea of convoking a council had been launched by John XXIII several
months earlier.31 A preparatory commission was established,
participated a number of theologians and eminent personalities.
However, in the shadows an anti-council was in preparation that was to
supplant the true one when the time came. Ralph Wiltgen has given
sufficient proof of the fact in The
Rhine Flows into the Tiber: A
History of Vatican II.32
In mid-June 1960, on the advice of Monsignor Julien, Isaac addressed
himself to Augustine Cardinal Bea, the German Jesuit. "I found in him a
powerful supporter." It is true that a certain gossip already suspected
Cardinal Bea of having "remained Jewish at heart."33 His
even more powerful than Isaac could have ever hoped. He obtained an
audience with Jean XXIII without difficulty, June 13, 1960. On this
occasion, Isaac handed the Pope a thesis entitled: On the Necessity of
a Reform of Christian Teaching Regarding Israel. "I asked if I
carry away with me some glimmer of hope," Isaac recounts. John XXIII
replied that he was entitled to more than a hope, but "that he was not
an absolute monarch." After Isaac had left, John XXIII made it quite
clear to the administrators of the Vatican Curia that he expected a
firm condemnation of Catholic "anti-Semitism" to come from the council
he had just convoked. Henceforth there were a number of exchanges
between the council offices at the Vatican and organizations of the
American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, as well as
those of B'nai B'rith. These Jewish associations knew how to make
themselves heard at Rome.34
Indeed, if Isaac worked relentlessly, he was not alone. Rabbi Abraham
J. Heschel of the Jewish Theological Seminary of New York, who had
heard of Bea for the first time 30 years before in Berlin, sought to
meet with the cardinal in Rome. On that occasion, the two men discussed
two files prepared by the American Jewish Committee, one on "The image
of the Jews in Catholic teaching," the other 20 pages concerning
"Anti-Jewish elements in the Catholic liturgy."
that he hoped the Council would expurgate from
Catholic teaching all suggestion that the Jews were a cursed race. At
the same time, Heschel added, the Council would in no way exhort the
Jews to become Christians.35
During the same time-frame, Dr. Goldmann, head of the World Conference
of Jewish Organizations, also confided his aspirations to John XXIII.
In addition, B'nai B'rith put pressure on Catholics to reform their
liturgy and suppress in their religious services any word that might
seem unfavorable to the Jews and that calls to mind the "deicide."
"Wise and long-mitred heads around the Curia warned that the bishops in
council should not touch this issue with ten-foot staffs. But still
there was John XXIII, who said they must."36
At Rome, therefore, various Fathers busied themselves with the drafting
of a text on Judaism, including Fr. Baum and Monsignor John
Osterreicher,37 members of Cardinal Bea's general staff. The
declaration, containing a clear refutation of the accusation of
deicide, was to be presented at the first session of the Council,
opening October 11, 1962. The World Jewish Congress was pleased with
the drafting of such a text; it made its satisfaction known, and
decided to send the Israeli Dr. Chaïm Y. Ward to the Council as an
The Vatican was
immediately besieged by protestations from Arab
countries, outraged by the preferential treatment accorded to the Jews.
As a result, in June 1962, the Secretary of State, in accord with
Cardinal Bea, withdrew from the agenda the discussion of the planned
declaration De Judaeis, prepared by the Secretariat for Promoting
An agency–close enough to the Curia to have access to the private
addresses of 2,200 cardinals and bishops temporarily residing in
Rome–sent simultaneously to each of them a 900-page book entitled The
Plot Against the Church and signed with a pseudonym, Maurice Pinay. The
thesis of the book–based on numerous facts and multiple citations–was
that the Jews had constantly sought to infiltrate the Church and
subvert her teaching and that they were on the point of succeeding.
Such documentary evidence should have warned the Council Fathers of a
subversive movement within the Council. The utmost prudence was called
The withdrawal of the project for a declaration on the Jews at the
first session of the Council was a veritable defeat for Bea, who
nonetheless refused to be discouraged. March 31, 1963, at the Hotel
Plana in New York, he had a secret meeting with the authorities of the
American Jewish Committee,39 who insisted that the united
change the theology of the Church concerning the history of salvation.
"Globally," he said, "the Jews are accused of being guilty of deicide,
and a curse supposedly weighs upon them." He refuted these two
accusations and reassured the rabbis. Those present in the room wanted
to know if the declaration would admit publicly that deicide, the
curse, and the rejection of the Jewish people by God, were errors in
Christian teaching. Bea replied evasively and this high-society
gathering drew to a close over a glass of sherry!
A short time later Rolf Hochhuth's play The Deputy premiered,
calumniating Pius XII on his attitude during the war. This way of
putting pressure was not terribly subtle, but it could have an
influence on the conciliar assembly...
Over the course of the second session of the Council, in the fall of
1963, the declaration on the Jews was put in the hands of the bishops.
From then on it became the fourth chapter of a declaration on
ecumenism, which apparently allowed it to pass more discreetly. M.
Schuster, the European director of the Jewish-American Committee,
considered the distribution of the project to the Council Fathers as
"one of the greatest moments in History." The text was discussed at
length40 and then strangely withdrawn from the vote at the
end of the
session. The defenders of Catholic orthodoxy had just distributed a
number of works on The Jews in the Light of Scripture and Tradition,41
which should also have alerted the Council
Fathers to the enemy's game.
Apparently, the warning was again heeded. "Something happened in the
wings," commented the National Catholic Welfare Conference.
Without going into the details of a long story, let us just say that
two other projects would be proposed and discussed at length during the
third and fourth sessions. Over the course of 1964 and 1965, Jewish
interventions before Paul VI were to multiply. The personalities with
the most influence over the Pope were Joseph Lichten of the
Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, Zachariah Schuster and Leonard
Sperry of the American Jewish Committee, the American Cardinal
Spellman, Arthur J. Goldberg, American Supreme Court judge, and Rabbi
Roddy makes the following revelation:
In Rome [before
the third session], six members of the American Jewish
Committee had an audience with the Pope....The Pope told his callers he
agreed with all Cardinal Spellman had said about Jewish guilt.
A few lines later, he again underlines:
American Jewish Committee's Shuster beside him, Heschel talked
hard about deicide42 and guilt, and asked the Pontiff to
press for a
declaration in which Catholics would be forbidden to proselytize
On November 20, 1964, during the third session, bishops and cardinals
united voted by a large majority in favor of the provisional schema
concerning the Church's attitude toward Judaism.44Leon de
hastened to draft an opuscule entitled The Jewish Problem Before the
Council, which was distributed to all the Fathers before the fourth and
last session. It was the final warning. In his introduction, the author
observes "a profound misconception of the essence of Judaism on the
part of the Council Fathers."45 The brochure did a certain
good, permitting the "front of refusal"46to sharpen its
front managed to eliminate certain expressions from the first version
such as: "Although a large part of the chosen people remain temporarily
far from Christ, it would be an injustice to call them a people under a
curse...or deicide." It had them replaced by those that figure in the
final version of Nostra Aetate adopted October 28, 1965, by 2221
voices, against only 88, during the fourth session: "The Jews should
not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God, as though such a
conclusion followed from Scripture."
After these troubled years of an unprecedented doctrinal war; after
these struggles for influence among the Curia and the Council Fathers;
after the diffusion of numerous texts defending the theology of
salvation as taught by the Church for two millennia, a compromise was
reached over a new text. On the whole, the Jews were disappointed by
the document's content. They had hoped for more. Yet a door had been
opened...one it would be difficult to close. Indeed, for the first time
with Nostra Aetate, the bishops of the Catholic Church had given a
positive and bold presentation of unbelieving Jews. André Chouraqui
underlines the fact, together with its ramifications:
All of a sudden,
the Church, struck by near-total amnesia for almost
two millennia, remembers the spiritual bond uniting it to Israel, the
race of Abraham, restored to the privileged situation of elder brother
in the family of the people of God. This fundamental theological
recognition is heavy with consequences that will be revealed for
centuries to come....We had to wait twenty centuries before the Church
came to a new awareness of her Jewish roots....What is more, the Church
categorically rejects all form of proselytism in their regard. She
forbids what she once taught.47
John Halperin, of the Office of the World Jewish Conference in Geneva,
confirmed Chouraqui's statements on the occasion of a colloquium at
We need to
emphasize the fact that the 1965 declaration Nostra Aetate
truly opened the way toward an entirely new dialogue and inaugurated in
the Church a new way of looking48 at the Jews and Judaism by
the Church's openness to substituting a doctrine of respect for one of
Menahem Macina50 corroborates this judgment:
We must not
forget the immense progress that the declaration Nostra
Aetate represents in comparison with the previous situation. A single
observation will allow us to appreciate the distance that has been
covered. The reader may know that popes and councils, when they
promulgate documents destined to all of Christendom, customarily seek
out citations in the writings of their predecessors to support the
teaching they intend to promote by their new documents, in order to
illustrate the continuity of Church doctrine and tradition. However,
unlike the Council's text on Islam, there is not a single reference in
the declaration on the Jews to any positive precedent, be it in the
works of the Fathers, or of ecclesiastical writers, or of the popes.51
Numerous testimonies could be cited to confirm this analysis. We will
end with this statement by Paul Giniewski in his fundamental work, Christian
Anti-Judaism: The Mutation: "The schema on the Jews, which
might have been considered as an end, proved on the contrary and very
rapidly to be the inauguration of a new phase in the positive evolution
of Judeo-Christian relations."52
The door had been opened....53 The men of the Church
admitted that the
Jews were no longer "a people under a curse." No longer cursed, nor
reprobate. "Henceforth," Chouraqui continues, "the Church recognized
the permanence of Judaism in the plan of God, and the irreversible
character of the principles defined by Nostra Aetate, thus refusing any
restriction or ambiguity in the dialogue with the Jews." The seeds had
been sown; they had only to grow... "From then on, it was necessary to
keep going forward on the road to mutual recognition between Jews and
Christians. But it was impossible to dismiss as profit and loss two
thousand years of bloody struggle."54
The purification of the Christian sphere55 could now begin.
From Purification to
the Introduction of the Noaic Religion
Purifying the Christian Sphere
Christians first said, "We, too, are Israel." Then they said, "We, too,
are the true Israel." And finally: "We alone are the true Israel."56
The debates subsequent to Vatican II's "new awareness" have little by
little prepared the Christian world for a new theology of the relations
between the Church and Judaism.57 To change our mentality by
educational efforts" aimed at those of the "Christian sphere": such was
the object of the directives issued by the Vatican58 and by
episcopacies for nearly 40 years. This effort tends toward:
the permanence of the first Covenant;
2) Teaching respect for the (unbelieving) Jewish people, "a
3) Renouncing all attempt to convert the Jews;
4) Constantly advancing dialogue and cooperation with
5) Preparing the way toward a Noaic religion.
Influential members of the Vatican have encouraged the various
episcopacies to publish declarations whose theological content is
visibly opposed to the Church's magisterium.
The New "Theology of
the Covenant" Introduced by the Episcopacy
Two examples will serve to illustrate our thesis: the text of the
French Episcopal Committee for Jewish Relations (Easter, 1973) and the
American Episcopacy's Reflections on Covenant and Mission (August 12,
2002). According to the Jews, these two declarations go far beyond the
affirmations of the Council. The heterodox expressions are obvious:
should regard Judaism not only as a social and historical
reality, but as one that is above all religious; not as an outdated
relic of a venerable past, but as a living, evolving reality. The
principle indicators of this vitality of the Jewish people are: the
testimony of its collective fidelity to one God; its fervor in
examining the Scriptures to discover the meaning of human life in the
light of Revelation; its search for an identity among other men; its
constant effort to gather together into a reunited community. These
signs pose to us, Christians, a question that touches the heart of our
faith: What is the mission proper to the Jewish people in the plan of
An election that endures: the first Covenant was not passing. Contrary
to an exegesis that is ancient but difficult to defend, it does not
follow from the New Testament that the Jewish people were despoiled of
their election. On the contrary, the whole of Scripture moves us to
recognize the sign of God's fidelity to His people in the Jewish
people's constant effort to remain faithful to the Law and the
Covenant. Indeed, the New Covenant did not render the first one
obsolete. The Jewish people are conscious of having received a
universal mission to the Nations, by way of their unique vocation.59
What is this mission? We will examine that in a paragraph below. The
second declaration, more recent, is that of the American bishops. It is
Catholic reflections describe the growing respect for the
Jewish tradition that has unfolded since the Second Vatican Council. A
deepening Catholic appreciation of the eternal covenant between God and
the Jewish people, together with a recognition of a divinely-given
mission to Jews to witness to God's faithful love, lead to the
conclusion that campaigns that target Jews for conversion to
Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic
Theology" of the Theologians
The testimonies of theologians on the permanence of the first Covenant
are abundant and we could produce a litany of citations. Here are a few
should go to the heart of the issue and consider the
dethronement of the mother-religion by the daughter-religion under a
new perspective. The idea of the New Covenant taking up where the Old
left off is at the origin of the Judeo-Christian split with all of its
consequences. In one of his great theological studies, significantly
entitled The Covenant Never Abolished, Professor Norbert Lohfink, a
Jesuit and professor of Biblical research at the Papal University of
Rome, affirms peremptorily: "The popular Christian concept of the New
Covenant promotes anti-Judaism."61
We believe that Christ established a New Covenant. Did He render the
Old Covenant obsolete in so doing? We long thought so. There are surely
Christians who still think so today.62
Alan Marchandour does not hesitate to write, on the occasion of a
colloquium entitled "The Trial of
Jesus: The Trial of the Jews?":
For a long time,
Christians only saw Israel as a sort of remnant of the
past, representing a reality that had been essentially swallowed up by
Christianity, the new Israel. Such a language is untenable: Israel
exists independently, with its own history, its own institutions, and
its own texts. Judaism did not disappear with the appearance of
Christianity....It remains the people of the Covenant.63
of the Catholic Institute of Paris, expresses a similar
way of thinking:
If the Church substitutes itself for Israel–if she replaces
that not to say by the very fact that she eliminates it, by absorption
or worse? Yet such language is dangerous. Can it still be admissible in
"Revision of History" by the Elite
The Church has to "revise" its history as much as its theology. To this
end, the Vatican multiplies the various gatherings of experts. Thus in
Rome or in other European cities there are numerous colloquies on the
history of the Church concerning its attitude toward Judaism. One of
them was recently held at Rome (October 30–November 1, 1997) on The
Roots of Christian Anti-Judaism. Historians from around the
to listen to experts on Judeo-Christian relations. Claude-Francois
Jullian reported the object of these debates in The New Observer.
All of the
experts reaffirmed the Jewish origins of Christianity and
qualified as aberrant the theology of substitution, namely that the New
Covenant in Christ would annul the Old Covenant. In opening the
symposium, Cardinal Etchegaray (president of the Jubilee organizational
committee)65 explained in his gravelly voice, straight from
of the Pyrenees: "It is question of examining the relations between
Christians and Jews, too often reversed." The same discourse was taken
up by the animator of the encounter, the Swiss Dominican Georges
Cottier, the Pope's private theologian (and the president of the
Jubilee's theological-historical committee), who reminded his audience:
"Our reflection bears on the divine plan of salvation and on the role
of the Jewish people within it–the chosen people; the people of the
Covenant and of the promises."
"That the theology of substitution is an aberration remains
essential point, admitted since Vatican II but difficult to spread
among the people," remarked a participant.66
And the journalist of the daily poses the question: "Why would Rome
call together experts from the five continents in order to verify
something that would seem today to be a truth of the faith?"
Another colloquium was held at the University of Fribourg from March 16
to 20, 1998, under the theme of Judaism, Anti-Judaism and Christianity.
Editions Saint Augustin published the acts of the colloquium in the
year 2000. All the speeches delivered are of the greatest interest.
The European Encounters Between Jews and Catholics were held even more
recently, organized by the European Jewish Congress, January 28-29,
2002, in Paris, on the theme: After
Vatican II and Nostra Aetate: The
Deepening of Relations Between Jews and Catholics in Europe under the
Pontificate of John Paul II.67 Several European
in the dialogue between Jews and Catholics received honorific awards.
An evening party organized in the conference rooms of the Paris city
hall, Monday, January 28, reunited some 700 people, Catholics and Jews.
At the speaker's table were seated Master Henri Hajdenberg, president
of the gathering; Cardinal Lustiger; the chief rabbi of Moscow, Pinchas
Goldschmidt; the chief rabbi Rene Samuel Sirat; Dr. Michel Friedman,
vice-president of the European Jewish Congress; and Walter Cardinal
Kasper, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations
with Judaism. In their discourses, all of the speakers underlined the
importance of the progress made since Nostra Aetate:
Much was said
that evening about the present relations between Jews and
Catholics: a new spirit passed over us, truly translating into action
the gestures and the words of Catholics, above all those of John Paul
II. "A new page; a new step;" such is the sentiment, moreover, that
would continue to be confirmed during the course of the next day. After
the exposes of the different speakers, the projection of the film Pope
John Paul II in the Holy Land imposed an impressive silence over the
vast conference room. Over the course of the following day, January 29,
before a more limited public, in the presence of several cardinals,
bishops and Jewish personalities, as well as a few delegations of
people from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and Poland,
in a frank and positive atmosphere, speakers discussed The Evolution of
Judeo-Catholic Relations: From the Theory of Substitution to Mutual
Respect, and The Necessary Transmission of the Memory of Shoah, in the
context of today.
Over the course of the afternoon, various speakers exposed The
Challenges of Assimilation and Secularization, and The Evolution of
Judeo-Catholic Relations with the State of Israel and Jerusalem.
common declaration between Jews and Catholics brought the day to a
We could multiply the accounts of the various reunions, congresses,
colloquia, days of encounter, etc., that spring up every year.
Changing the Content
of Predication and Catechesis
The Roman Notes from June 24, 1985, should be read and meditated in the
light of what has just been said: Notes
on the Correct Way to Present
the Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic
Changing the Popular
Mind-Set by Dramatic Gestures
The gesture of John Paul II at the synagogue of Rome, April 13, 1986,
is an illustration of this method. His visit was highly symbolic: "The
Church of Christ, in the person of John Paul II, comes forward to the
synagogue and discovers its link with Judaism by contemplating its own
mystery." John Paul II said on this occasion:
religion is not "extrinsic" to us, but in a certain way is
"intrinsic" to our own religion. With Judaism therefore we have a
relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our
dearest brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are
our elder brothers.70
Christians Ought to
Respect the Jewish Right to the Land of Israel,
Physical Center of the Covenant
The most important event for Jews since the Holocaust has been the
re-establishment of a Jewish state in the Promised Land. As members of
a biblically-based religion, Christians appreciate that Israel was
promised–and given–to Jews as the physical center of the covenant
between them and God.71
Christians have no other choice than to be thrilled about the presence
of the Jews in the Holy Land.
Paul Giniewski analyzes the teaching of the last 40 years in the light
of Jewish thought.72 He distinguishes three phases:
● the "vidouy,"
that is to say, the sincere recognition of the fault
committed and of one's errors;
● the "techouva," which signifies conversion to the contrary
● finally, and most importantly, the "tikkun" or the
The Jewish writer asks himself which phase we have reached. "The
techouva" he replies, without hesitation. This phase will not be
achieved until the day
teaching of respect will be formulated in didactic texts and
their propagation will have raised up numerous vocations of students
and teachers of the new doctrine. The objective is ambitious: to cause
a teaching to be heard and accepted that is contrary to the one that
was previously taught....Thus the crucifixion of the Jews will come to
Finally, the Church will have to make reparation. Certain authors have
already described what the "tikkun" will be.
Then the Jews will once again assume their role before the nations, a
role that is clarified in a number of works including a brochure
destined to popularize the theme, The
Mission of Israel: A Priestly
People,73 by Patrick Petit-Ohayon, which contains an
The Repentance of
the Year 2000, or the Vidouy
March 12, 2000, at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, John Paul II, in the
name of the Catholic Church, read a mea culpa74 for the
Christians over the course of history. This gesture can only be
understood in the context of a new consciousness of the Church's
persecution "by the Inquisition"75 (a system of violence and
constraint) of the people of the Covenant, long despoiled and
persecuted. Thus Christians have accomplished their "vidouy."
Furthermore, so that these actions would be sufficiently clear to both
parties, namely to Christians as well as to Jews, the text of
repentance was slipped by John Paul II himself into a crack in the
Wailing Wall,76 part of the ruins of the Temple of the Old
wall that awaits only to be reconstructed in the religious capital of
the renewed Covenant: Jerusalem dethroning Rome, the usurper.77
Toward a Noaic
If the Church is no longer the verus Israel, what does she become in
the new theology of salvation?
This study is already lengthy, and is not the place to present all the
aspects of the Noaic religion. This religion, introduced with Vatican
II, is destined to supplant Catholicism.78 The subject is so
a colloquium could easily be consecrated to it. We will give a few
historical markers and point out various aspects of this new
After the French Revolution, which emancipated the Jews and permitted
them to enter civil societies, the rabbis and Jewish thinkers
considered the religious aspect of the world they were bringing into
being. It would also be necessary to resolve the religious problem that
would most certainly arise. What was at stake in these theological
debates between the rabbis of the 19th century can be summarized as
follows: "When we will have recovered our role as a people called to
bring salvation to the Gentiles, what will be the religion of
Christians, who imagined themselves to be the new Israel?"
Elijah Benamozegh, the rabbi of Livorno, the Plato of Italian Judaism
and "one of the masters of contemporary Jewish thought,"79
solution that he published in 1884 in his master-work Israel and
Humanity.80 The sub-title is evocative: A Study on the Problem of a
Universal Religion, and Its Solution. Benamozegh's solution,
which would rally little by little the supporters of Judaism, can be
summarized as follows:
The Catholic Church should reform her teaching on three points. She
● change her way
of looking at the Jews, rehabilitating them as the
elder people, a priestly people "who was able to maintain the primitive
religion in its original purity." It is a people neither deicide nor
rejected by God. No curse weighs upon it. On the contrary, it is
destined to proposed happiness and unity to all of humanity. "To
recognize its function," writes Gerard Haddad,81 citing
"which Paul82 thought he could eliminate."
● "Renounce the belief in the divinity of Jesus, the Son of
Man, as He
called Himself." Jesus was a simple rabbi, and so He remained. Preach
Jesus Christ, but a human Jesus Christ, come to bring a certain moral
code for the happiness of all men.
● Accept a reinterpretation–not a suppression–of the mystery
On these three conditions, "the Catholic Church is the Church of true
Catholicism," a true Catholicism that Benamozegh names Noachism, the
religion for all those who belong to the "Christian sphere," as
Lustiger calls it. This Noachism83 possesses a morality that
is called to reveal to the peoples of the earth. The American
Judeo-Episcopal Declaration of August 12, 2002, refers to it
that all people are obligated to observe a universal
law. That law, spoken of as the Seven Noahide Commandments, is
applicable to all human beings. These laws are: 1) the establishment of
a court of justice so that law will rule in society; and the
prohibitions of 2) blasphemy, 3) idolatry, 4) incest, 5) bloodshed, 6)
robbery, and 7) of eating the flesh of a living animal.
The new end of the Church will be the evangelization of the nations to
this Noaic humanitarianism, as well as their unification.84
of Rome will be redefined to facilitate the unity of Christians.
Noachism will be "the religion of natural morality"! For in no way must
the non-Jew seek to convert to Judaism or Talmudic Mosaism, a religion
that is reserved for the Chosen People. Benamozegh's solution, long
neglected, is now being adopted by the authorities of the Jewish world.
The chief rabbi Rene Samuel Sirat, for example alluded to the status of
non-Jews at the funeral of a young Frenchman of 24, victim of a
terrorist attack against the cafeteria of the Hebraic University of
Jerusalem, July 31, 2002:
David, my dear
David, you had chosen to draw near to our Jewish
community spiritually and culturally, and to claim for yourself the
beautiful title of guer toshav, denoting one who is at once stranger
and citizen to Judaism, such as was praised in the Bible and
marvelously rendered explicit in the last century by the rabbi Elijah
Benamozegh, in his book Israel and
Humanity. It is a question of a free
decision to draw close to the tradition of Israel, and to observe the
seven laws–called the Noaic laws–of natural morality revealed long ago
to Noah, father of all the living....For is it necessary to repeat that
one is not obliged to convert to Judaism in order to merit eternal
The new religion that came from Vatican II ought to be understood in
the light of the struggle–ancient, but always new–between Jesus (Mary)
and Satan; the Church and the Synagogue. In the 20th century, Satan
seems to have found his Trojan horse (Vatican II) full of Achaeans bent
on subversive theology.
At the heart of this movement [of conversion]–and this has been taught
explicitly by Christian theologians such as Louis Bouyer, Yves Congar
and Henri de Lubac...86–lies the rediscovery of
faith....This is the
task which the Catholic Church and many Christians want to carry out
Such is the conclusion drawn by Cardinal Lustiger in his second speech
at the New York synagogue.87
No, your Eminence. We are Roman Catholics, and our faith is in Jesus
Christ, true God and true man, born of the most pure womb of the Virgin
Mary through the operation of the Holy Spirit; our faith is in Jesus
Christ, Savior of man, crucified under Pontius Pilate and raised from
the dead, come to fulfill the Law and the Prophets in founding the
Church of Rome–Catholic and Apostolic–the new and eternal Covenant.
This is not the Covenant that you are preaching. With the help of God,
and with the help of the magisterium of the Church and her Tradition of
2000 years, we will not die Noaic.
This fidelity may obtain for the Jews to accept the precious graces of
the Redemption–graces that the Virgin Mary is able to bestow in
abundance–just as Drach, Libermann, Ratisbonne, Lemann, Zolli, and so
many others have already accepted them: true converts, true sons of the
Roman Church, and true sons of Mary.
God of goodness,
Father of mercy, we beg You by the Immaculate Heart of
Mary, through the intercession of the patriarchs and the holy Apostles,
to cast Your eyes with compassion on the remains of Israel in order
that they might come to know our only Savior, Jesus Christ, and that
they might participate in the precious graces of the Redemption. Lord,
forgive them, for they know not what they do. (Prayer indulgenced by
Leo XIII and St. Pius X)
Translated exclusively by Angelus Press. For as many footnotes as
possible, Angelus Press has located authorized English sources and
translations, which are very important to this article. Originally
published in Le Sel de la Terre. Autumn 2003, No.46. Michel Laurigan is
the pseudonym of a history professor in France specializing in modern
Church history. He assists at the Latin Mass.
1. Noaic (or Noahide) Law: The law given by Noah after the Flood. The
plan in question, revealed by Elijah Benamozegh in his work Israel and
Humanity (1884), will be elaborated in the present article. Allow us
simply to cite here what Jacob Kaplan, the great Parisian rabbi,
declared on the subject in 1966: "According to our doctrine, the Jewish
religion is not the only one that assures salvation. Non-Jews are also
saved if they believe in a supreme God and have a moral code, thus
obeying the so-called Noaic Laws, those that the Creator handed down to
Noah....Consequently, our rabbis teach that the just of every nation
have the right to eternal salvation. It is uniquely for the Jews that,
in addition to the Noaic Laws, there exist the precepts of the Torah
and the Law of Moses, which have their reason for being in the divine
project of forming a people destined for religious action in the world.
The hope of Israel is not therefore the conversion of the human race to
Judaism but to monotheism. As for Biblical religions, they are,
according to our greatest theologians, creeds whose role is to prepare
alongside Israel the coming of the Messianic Age announced by the
prophets. Thus we desire most ardently to work in common with them
toward the realization of this essentially Biblical ideal... .In this
way we may hasten the coming of the Messianic Era, which will be one of
love, justice and peace." Jacob Kaplan, Dialogue avec le père Danielou,
S.J., le 10 fevrier 1966 au theatre des ambassadeurs à Paris
[Conversation with Fr. Danielou, S.J., Feb. 10, 1966, at the Ambassador
Theater in Paris] (Paris: 1966). Translator's note: Information on
Jacob Kaplan as well as photographs are available at:
2. Translator's note: "B'nai B'rith: A fraternal Jewish organization
founded in the United States in 1843. In Hebrew, B'nai B'rith means
'the sons of the Covenant.' The goal of this association is to maintain
Jewish tradition and culture and to fight against anti-Semitism... .The
members call themselves 'Brothers'; they receive an initiation and
reunite in lodges." Dictionnaire Universel de la maçonnerie [Universal
Dictionary of Free-Masonry] (Evry: Presse Universitaire de France,
3. This prize rewards the individual who has worked the most
efficaciously throughout the year for the reconciliation of Christians
4. See the entire text of the declaration in Nouvelle Revue
Theologique, vol. 120, no. 4, Oct./Nov. 1998, pp. 529-543. The Cardinal
introduces his subject as follows: "How moving it is for me to be made
to feel welcome in this famous and venerable synagogue, already over a
century old!" The cardinal has just published a synthesis of his
thought, which is a sort of Judeo-Christian syncretism, in a work
entitled La Promesse, [The Promise] (Paris: Parole & Silence,
2002). Claude Vigee gives the following review of the cardinal's book:
"Jean-Marie Lustiger shows that we cannot reject the election of
Israel, under pain of destroying the very heart of Christianity. This
is the key to his book. He needed great courage to write these lines,
given his social and spiritual status. Christians will find it
difficult to forgive him for reminding them that, without the election
of Israel, there is no Christian election possible....Do you realize
that if he had written the same lines during the time of the
Inquisition.. .he would doubtless have been thrown to the fire!" France
Catholique, no. 2857, Nov. 2002, p. 10. Translator's note: See
http://www.nostreradici.it/lustiger.htm for the full text of the
Cardinal's speech. For a review in English of La Promesse (not yet
translated), see http://www.upi.com/
5. "Jews and Christians, Tomorrow," Nouvelle Revue Theologique, op.
cit., p. 532.
6. This clarification is not found in the original text.
7. In his most recent book, Cardinal Lustiger distinguishes two
Churches, that of Jerusalem, "the Church that is, in the Catholic
Church, the permanence of the promise made to Israel...and which only
survived, at the very latest, until the 6th century, destroyed by the
influence of Byzantium. That is one of the major losses suffered by the
Christian consciousness. The memory of the grace granted to it was thus
practically repressed–I would not say by the Church as the Spouse of
Christ, but rather by Christians" (p. 17). Secondly, the Church of the
pagano-Christians of the 6th century until Vatican II: "The sin into
which fell the pagano-Christians–be they churchmen or princes or
peoples–was to appropriate Christ to themselves in disfiguring Him,
then to make their god of this disfigurement....Their misunderstanding
of Israel is the proof of their misunderstanding of Christ, whom they
claim to serve." La Promesse (Paris: Editions Parole et Silence, 2002),
p. 81. Is Cardinal Lustiger still Catholic?
8. Nouvelle Revue Theologique, p. 535.
9. Reading these lines, it would seem that Cardinal Lustiger condemns
the benefits of the Edict of Milan of the year 313. Better yet,
Constantine supposedly "denied redemption the time...required" by
casting aside the Jews. An odd reading of Church history!
10. For the Cardinal of Paris, the substitution of the Christian people
for the people of the Old Covenant is quite simply a myth! "I am
pleased to see that in your book The Promise, you reject the theology
of substitution." Rabbi Josy Eisenberg to J. M. Lustiger, Le Nouvel
Observateur, no. 1988, from Dec. 12-18, 2002, p. 116.
11. In the text, the information given here in parentheses is a
footnote in which the author cites the Marquis de la Franquerie,
Ascendances Davidiques des Rois de France [Davidic Origins of the Kings
of France] (Villegenon: Editions Sainte Jeanne d'Arc, 1984), p. 79.
12. Here Lustiger adopts the expression dear to Jules Isaac.
13. See Patrick Petit-Ohayon, La Mission d'Israel, un people de pretres
[The Mission of Israel: A Priestly People] (Paris: Editions Biblieurope
& F.S.J.U, 2002), p .83.
14. Translator's note: The Cardinal concludes as follows: "This is part
of the movement through which humankind is being united, even at the
cost of confrontations. This orientation testifies to the Catholic
Church's determination to carry out her mission in the service of this
world, to do the will of the Creator of Israel and Redeemer of
15. Paris, January 28-29, 2002. The speech is entitled: "De Jules Isaac
à Jean-Paul II: questions pour l' avenir" [From Jules Isaac to John
Paul II: Questions for the Future]. See the text of the speech in The
Promise, pp. 185-188 or in the work Rencontres europeens entre juifs et
catholiques organises par le Congresjuif europeen [European Encounters
Between Jews and Catholics, organized by the European Jewish Congress],
Jan. 28-29, 2002 (Ecole Cathedrale: Editions Parole et Silence, 2002).
Translator's note: For an account of the meetings, see
www.jcrelations.net, "News." This site is sponsored by the
International Council of Christians and Jews, "with 38 Christian-Jewish
and interreligious member organizations in 32 countries."
16. Brussels, April 22-23, 2002. "Juifs et Chretiens. Que doivent-ils
esperer de leur rencontre? [What Can Jews and Christians Hope for When
They Meet?]" Speech published in The Promise, pp. 189-202. See the
paragraph smacking of heresy entitled: "La liberté religieuse, cle de
la democratic. [Religious Liberty: The Key to Democracy.]"
Translator's note: This text and the following are available on the
site www.jcrelations.net, under "Observations, Experience."
17. Washington, May 8, 2002. "Que signifie, dans le choc des cultures,
la rencontre des chretiens et des juifs? [What Do Christian-Jewish
Encounters Mean as Civilizations Clash?]" in The Promise, pp. 203-218.
18. Lustiger believes in Jesus Christ, the Messias, but as a Jewish
Messias. Reread the very pertinent article "Dieu est-il anti-semite,
1'infiltration judaique dans 1'Eglise conciliaire" [Is God
Anti-Semitic? The Jewish Infiltration in the Conciliar Church] by
Hubert le Caron, Fideliter, 1987. The author studies the "attempt to
Judaize the Roman Church" and the cardinal's interview with France
Soir, Feb. 3,1981: "I am Jewish. For me, the two religions are one and
I have not betrayed that of my ancestors," pp. 83-115. However, not all
Jews belong to this Judeo-Christianity. See the article entitled: "Non,
Monsieur le cardinal [No, Your Eminence]" by Rabbi Josy Eisenberg, Le
Nouvel Observateur, no. 1988, p. 116. [Available on-line, in French.]
The cardinal's near silence concerning the Virgin Mary is eloquent.
True converts, such as the Frs. Lemann, have preached magnificently on
19. The unfaithful Jews became the instruments of Satan in his battle
against the Church and the Mother of God. In the Gospel according to
St. John, 8:24, 39, 41-42, 44, we read: Jesus said: '"If you do not
believe that I am He [the Messias], you will die in your sin....If you
are the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham ....But you do the
works of your father.' They therefore said to Him, 'We have not been
born of fornication; we have one Father, God.' Jesus therefore said to
them, 'If God were your Father, you would surely love Me. For from God
I came forth and have come... .The father from whom you are is the
devil, and the desires of your father it is your will to do.'"
20. Monsignor Delassus, La conjuration anti-chretienne [The
Anti-Christian Conspiracy] (Bruges: Desclee de Brouwer, 1910), III,
21. See in particular the small work by Theodore Ratisbonne, La
Question juive [The Jewish Question] (Paris: Editions Dentu, 1856),
p.31. The French text is available on the internet at
22. Josue Jehouda, L 'Antisemitisme, miroir du monde, preface by
Jacques Soustelle (Geneva: Editions Synthesis, 1958), 283pp. Jehouda
figures himself as the successor of the rabbi of Livorno, Elijah
Benamozegh. His other books are of greater interest: La Terre promise
[The Promised Land] (Paris: Rieder, 1925), 122pp.; Les Cinq etapes du
juddisme emancipe [The Five Stages of Emancipated Judaism] (Geneva:
Editions Synthesis, 1946), 132 pp. (extract from the Jewish review of
Geneva, 1936-1937); La Vocation d'Israel [The Vocation of Israel]
(Paris: Zeluck, 1947), 240pp.; Le Monotheisme, doctrine de l'unite
[Monotheism: Doctrine of Unity] (Geneva: Editions Synthesis, 1952),
175pp.; Institut pour l'etude du monotheisme [Institute for the Study
of Monotheism], Cahiers (I.E.M.), vol.1, March 1952; Sionisme et
messianisme [Zionism and Messianism] (Geneva: Editions Synthesis,
1954), 318pp.; Cahiers (I.E.M.), vol. 3, October 1954; Israel et la
Chretiente. La Lecon de l'histoire [Israel and Christianity: The Lesson
of History] (Geneva: Editions Synthesis, 1956), 263pp.; Israel et le
monde (synthese de la pensee juive) [Israel and the World: A Synthesis
of Jewish Thought] (Paris: Editeur Scientifique, undated); Le Marxisme
face au monotheisme etau christianisme [Marxism before Monotheism and
Christianity] (Geneva: Editions Synthesis, 1962), 71pp.; Joshua Jehouda
also wrote the preface to one of the works of Elijah Benamozegh, Morale
juive et morale chretienne [Jewish Morality and Christian Morality],
revised and corrected edition (Baconniere, 1946), 272pp.
Translator's note: The works of Jehouda do not seem to have been
translated into English, if not in citation, as in the following
example: "The dogmatic exclusiveness professed by Christianity must
finally end....It is the obstinate Christian claim to be the sole heir
to Israel which propagates anti-Semitism. This scandal must terminate
sooner or later; the sooner it goes, the sooner the world will be rid
of the tissue of lies in which anti-Semitism shrouds itself." (Joshua
Jehouda, L'Antisemitisme Miroir du Monde, pp. 135-136; Vicomte Léon de
Poncins, Judaism and the Vatican: An Attempt at Spiritual Subversion
[London: Britons Publishing Company, 1967], pp. 30-31)
23. Josue Jehouda, L'Antisemitisme, miroir du monde, pp. 161-162, cited
in the Leon de Poncin's brochure, Le Probleme juif face au Concile [The
Jewish Problem before the Council], p. 27. This brochure was
distributed to all the Fathers of the Council in 1965 before the fourth
session. See below the historical circumstances of this diffusion.
24. The review Unite des Chretiens, no. 109 (p. 34) published a
photograph of all of the participants.
25. See: Mes souvenirs de la Conference de Seelisberg et de I'abbe
Journet [My Memories of the Seelisberg Conference and of Fr. Journet]
by Rabbi A. Safran as well as "La Charte de Seelisberg et la
participation du cardinal Journet" [The Chart of Seelisberg and the
Participation of Cardinal Journet] by Monsignor P. Mamie, at the
Colloquium of the University of Fribourg, March 16-20,1998, whose theme
was "Judaism, Anti-Judaism and Christianity," published as Juddisme,
anti-juddisme et christianisme, Benedict Viviano (Saint Maurice:
Editions Saint Augustin, 2000), pp. 13-35. Fr. Journet was invited to
the conference by the Reverend Fr. de Menasce, O.P., a converted
Egyptian Jew. As for Jacques Maritain, he was invited by the pastor of
Geneva, Pierre Visseur.
26. The whole of the text was published by the review Nova et Vetera,
1946-47, pp. 312-317. It was entitled "Contre 1'anti-semitisme"
[Against Anti-Semitism]. We read there: "Christians will also
understand that they must attentively revise and purify their own
language, where routine–not always innocent, and in any case singularly
careless of rigor and exactitude–has allowed absurd expressions to slip
into usage, such as that of 'deicide race,' or a way of reciting the
history of the Passion that is more racist than Christian, and
encourages Christian children to a hatred of their Jewish companions."
27. Translator's note: The text containing these points and an account
of the conference can be found at: www.jcrelations.net.
28. Andre Kaspi, Jules Isaac, historien, acteur du rapprochement
judeo-chretien (Paris: Plon, 2002), p.215. Translator's note: Kaspi is
a professor of history at the Sorbonne. Jules Isaac: Historian and
Actor in the Judeo-Christian Reconciliation has not yet been translated
into English; the following site contains excerpts in French, with a
photograph of Jules Isaac: http://
29. Ibid., p. 2l6.
30. Ibid., p.232.
31. John XXIII's famous inspiration at St. Paul Without the Walls
remains troubling. It would be interesting to know if Jules Isaac or
the various Jewish organizations played a role in the decision taken by
John XXIII. We know that in 1923 the cardinals advised Pius XI against
such a convocation. Cardinal Billot even had the clairvoyance to tell
the Pope: "Ought we not fear to see the council 'hi-jacked' by the
worst enemies of the Church, the modernists, who, according to clear
indications, are already preparing to take advantage of an
Estates-General of the Church in order to launch their revolution, a
new 1789?" Cited by Bishop Tissierde Mallerais in Marcel Lefebvre
(Etampes: Clovis, 2002), p. 289.
32. (Devon: Augustine Publishing Company, 1978).
33. Egyptian newspapers were the ones to publish the rumors. See
Augustine Cardinal Bea's work: L'Eglise et les Juifs (Paris: Cerf,
1967), [Published in English as The Church and the Jewish People (New
York: Harper and Row, 1966)] and the article by J. Cardinal
Willebrands, "La contribution du cardinal Bea au mouvement oecumenique,
à la liberté religieuse et a l'instauration de relations nouvelles avec
le people juif" [Cardinal Bea's Contribution to the Ecumenical
Movement, to Religious Liberty, and to the Establishment of New
Relations with the Jewish People], Documentation Catholique no. 79,
1982, pp. 199-207.
Translator's note: Documentation Catholique offers a French version of
texts and news releases issued by the Vatican; in general, the same
texts can be found in the corresponding edition of L'Osservatore
Romano. For an interesting appreciation of the role of Cardinals Bea
and Willebrands, see the speech delivered at Boston College, Nov. 6,
2002, by Walter Cardinal Kasper, "Commission for Religious Relations
with the Jews: A Crucial Endeavor of the Catholic Church," available
at: http://www.bigbrother.net/ ~ mugwump/ FAITH/. This site also
contains links to a number of resources on Jewish-Christian relations.
34. See the article "How the Jews Changed Catholic Thought," by senior
editor Joseph Roddy, in the review Look, Jan. 20, 1966, vol.30,
No.2–translated and published in full in Le Sel de la Terre, no. 34,
Autumn 2000, pp. 196-215. These few lines rely heavily on this article.
Translator's note: The entire text of this famous article has been
35. Léon de Poncins, Le Judaisme et le Vatican, une tentative de
subversion spirituelle (Paris: Editions Saint Remi, 2001), p. 204. [For
the English edition of this work, see note 21.] The similarity of
expression in the American Judeo-Episcopal declaration of Aug. 12,
2002, is absolutely staggering: "Ought Christians to invite Jews to
baptism? This is a complex question not only in terms of Christian
theological self-definition, but also because of the history of
Christians forcibly baptizing Jews. In a remarkable and still most
pertinent study paper presented at the sixth meeting of the
International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee in Venice twenty-five
years ago, Prof. Tommaso Federici examined the missiological
implications of Nostra Aetate. He argued on historical and theological
grounds that there should be in the Church no organizations of any kind
dedicated to the conversion of Jews." "Reflections on Covenant and
Mission, Issued by the Bishops' Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs
Committee and the National Council of Synagogues, Says Targeting Jews
for Conversion not Acceptable," Washington, August 13, 2002.
36. Joseph Roddy, p. 201.
37. The two men had officially converted from Judaism.
38. Histoire du concile Vatican II, under the direction of G. Alberigo
(Paris: Cerf/Peeters, 1997), I, 440-441.
39. Joseph Roddy writes: "Bea wanted neither the Holy See nor the Arab
League to know he was there to take questions the Jews wanted to hear
answered." Op. cit., p. 202.
40. "Chapters IV and V on the Jews and on religious liberty were to
raise the most heated debate between innovators and traditionalists.
What is at stake is none other than the Church's renouncement of its
monopoly over a unique truth." Henri Tincq, L'Etoile et la Croix.
Jean-Paul II-Israel: L'explication [The Star and the Cross: John Paul
II-Israel: The Explanation] (Paris: J.C. Lattes, 1993), p. 30. The
Eastern patriarchs were to be among the most courageous in defending
the theology of the Church, notably Cardinal Tappouni, the Syrian
Patriarch of Antioch; Maximos IV, the Melchite Patriarch of Damascus;
Stephen I Sidarous, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.
41. In addition, they distributed Les Hebreux et le Concile [The
Hebrews and the Council] by a certain Bernardus. See Rene Laurentin,
L'Eglise et les juifs à Vatican II [The Church and the Jews at Vatican
II] (Casterman, 1967).
42. A subject for study: "Deicide and the Council." In fact, the
debates on the subject were extremely lively and impassioned. Thus
Cardinal Bea: "Granting that the Sanhedrin of Jerusalem represented the
Jewish people, had it fully understood the divinity of Christ? If the
response is no, then there was no formal deicide"; or Cardinal Ruffini,
Archbishop of Palermo, who took the floor to exclaim: "We cannot say
that the Jews are deicide for the one good reason that you can't kill
God." See Henri Tincq, op. cit., p. 36, and R. Braun "Le people juif
est-il deicide?" [Are the Jewish People Deicide?] an article published
in the review Rencontres chretiens et juifs, no. 10, supplement, 1975,
pp. 54-71. The subject remains a burning question, with the polemic
surrounding Mel Gibson's film The Passion, scheduled for release over
Easter of 2004.
43. These meetings, kept officially secret, worried the good bishops.
Roddy confides: "It was undercover summit conferences of that sort that
led conservatives to claim that American Jews were the new powers
behind the Church." Ibid., p. 206.
44. Henri Fesquet made the following commentary on the preparatory
schema: "Ninety-nine Fathers voted no, 1,650 voted yes, and 242 voted
yes with reservations. The Eastern bishops intervened as a group to
declare their opposition to any declaration on the Jews by the Council.
However, the final vote will take place at the end of the fourth
session, in 1965." Le Monde, November 27, 1964.
45. Leon de Poncins, Le Probleme juif face au Concile, p. 7.
46. Monsignor Luigi Carli, faithful friend of Archbishop Lefebvre at
the Coetus Internationalis Patrum, published in his diocesan review of
February 1965 that "the Jews of Christ's era and their descendants
until this day were collectively guilty of the death of Christ."
[Translator's note: Coetus Internationalis Patrum was an association
founded by Archbishop Lefebvre reuniting 450 bishops at the Council for
the defense of orthodoxy.]
47. Andre Chouraqui, La Reconnaissance. Le Saint-Siege, les juifs et
Israel [Recognition: The Holy See, the Jews, and Israel] (Paris: Robert
Laffont, 1992), p. 200. Translator's note: Although a number of
Chouraqui's works have been translated, this title does not seem to
exist in English.
48. Italicized in the original.
49. Colloquium at the University of Fribourg, March 16-20, 1998, whose
theme was Judaism, Anti-Judaism and Christianity, op. cit., p. 129.
50. Creator of the site: www.chretiens-et-juifs.org.
51. Le Dialogue avec I'Eglise est-il bon pour les Juifs? [Do Jews
Benefit from Dialogue with the Church?] (Brussels: September 1997).
52.Paul Giniewski, L'Anti-judaisme chretien: la mutation (Paris:
Salvator, 1993 [new edition in 2000]), p. 506. This book is a must-read
for anyone who would like to understand events in the light of the
struggle between the Church and the Synagogue.
53. Cardinal Lustiger, during his speech before the European Jewish
Conference in Paris in 2002, was able to resume the history of
Judeo-Christian relations between 1945 and 1965: "The signers of
Seelisberg were hopeful. Jules Isaac knocked on the door. Vatican II
opened it by the declaration Nostra Aetate." It would be difficult to
formulate a better synthesis. La Promesse, p. 187.
55. The expression is also Lustiger's, taken from his speech at the New
York synagogue (see above). "This new awareness was condensed for the
Catholic Church in the Second Vatican Council's Nostra Aetate
Declaration. In the last 30 years it has given way to many comments,
especially on the initiatives of Pope John Paul II. However, this new
understanding still has to remodel in depth the ideas of many peoples
who belong to the Christian sphere but whose hearts have not yet been
purified by the Spirit of the Messias." What precisely is "the Spirit
of the Messias"?
56. F. Lovsky, Le Royaume divise: juifs et Chretiens [The Kingdom
Divided: Jews and Christians] (Editions Saint Paul, 1987).
57. The reviews Istina and Sens have reproduced a large part of these
debates and the new theological principles. See among others: "Essai de
programme pour une theologie apres Auschwitz," by Franz Mussner,
Istina, no. 36, 1991, pp. 346-351. Translator's note: "Theology after
Auschwitz: A Provisional Program." Available in English at
www.jcrelations.net, under "Scholarly Contributions."
58. See "Catholiques et Juifs: un nouveau regard. Notes de la
Commission du Saint-Siege pour les relations avec le judaisme"
[Catholics and Jews: A New Consideration. Reflections of the Pontifical
Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism], Documentation
Catholique, no. 82, 1985, pp.733-738. See also the "Discours de
Jean-Paul II aux delegues des conferences episcopales pour les
relations avec le judaisme" [Discourse of John Paul II to the Delegates
of Episcopal Conferences for Relations with Judaism], Documentation
Catholique, no. 1827, April 4, 1982, pp. 339-340.
59. See the site of the S.I.D.I.C.: Service International de
Documentation Judeo-Chretiens. The home page presents the site as
follows: "What is the S.I.D.I.C.? It is a Catholic organism animated by
the Sisters of Sion. Its objective? To bring into the lives of
Christians the directives of Vatican II concerning the relations
between the Church and the Jewish people. Who is concerned by this?
Every Christian who wishes to delve into his faith even to its Jewish
roots, to struggle against anti-Semitism, and to know and recognize his
Jewish brothers." What has happened to the Catholic spirit of the
Ratisbonne brothers, who wanted to lead the Jews to Christ, the
Redeemer? Translator's note: The International Service of
Jewish-Christian Documentation is available in English at:
http://www.sidic.org/english/aboutus.htm, with a link to Reflections on
Covenant and Mission.
60. "Reflections on Covenant and Mission, Issued by the Bishops'
Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs Committee and the National
Council of Synagogues, Says Targeting Jews for Conversion not
Acceptable," Washington, Aug. 12, 2002, op. cit.
61. Paul Giniewski, L'Anti-Judaisme chretien, la mutation, p. 391. The
following citations are extracts from this book.
62. Rev. Fr. John Dujardin, in a speech delivered on the occasion of a
"youth gathering," March 1998, published in the review Sens, no. 12, p.
63. Alan Marchadour, study paper at the Colloquium Proces de Jesus,
proces des juifs? Nov. 1996 (Paris: Cerf, 1998), p. 11.
64. Charles Perrot: "La situation religieuse d'Israel selon Paul," in
Proces de Jesus, proces des juifs?, pp. 134-136.
65. Translator's note: See Roger Cardinal Etchegaray's article "Why the
Christian Faith Needs Judaism" in the Vatican magazine Jubilee or
Jubilaeum AD 2000, no. 5, Nov., 1997, part of the colloquium's
"Dossier: The Roots of Anti-Judaism in the Christian Environment,"
available on-line at: http://www.vatican.va/ jubilee_2000/index.htm.
66. Le Nouvel Observateur, Feb. 22-28, 1998, p. 110.
67. See note 14.
68. Account of the day found on the site of the Sisters of Our Lady of
Sion. A second day of encounters between Jews and Catholics took place
in Paris, March 11-12, 2003.
69. Documentation Catholique, no. 1985, pp. 733-738. Translator's note:
L'Osservatore Romano, July 1, 1985. The entire text of the declaration
can be found at:
Religious_Relations_With_the Jews.html, or the website of the Center
for Catholic-Jewish Studies.
70. Allocution of John Paul II at the synagogue of Rome, in Juifs et
Chretiens (Paris: Cerf, 1986), pp. 54-55. See Documentation Catholique,
no. 1986, pp. 433-439. The serious problem that this text poses is the
esteem it expresses for the unbelieving Jews, who have not recognized
Jesus Christ as the Messias, nor the Catholic Church as the sole ark of
Translator's note: See L'Osservatore Romano, April 13, 1986, or find a
link to the entire text, as well as other Church documents on
Jewish-Christian relations since Vatican II, at:
www.ccju.org/ccju_official_docs.htm, the website of the International
Council of Christians and Jews.
71. Dabru Emet–A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity, from
the National Jewish Scholars Project, Sept. 2000. See the site
www.chretiens-et-juifs.org. [For the English text, see the site
mentioned in note 14, www.jcrelations.net.] Andre Paul, Biblical
scholar and theologian, seems to reproach Cardinal Lustiger for his
"Zionism" (La Promesse): "To the disjointed stream of exegesis,
dripping with pathos, in which the cliches are spread around freely
like some Judeo-Christian secret code, succeed the perfectly legitimate
calls to a 'mutual understanding' (p. 189) between Jews and
Christians–but it is only in order to affirm, this time in no uncertain
terms, that the political sionism put in place in 1948 is something
'necessary' (p. 182); better yet, it is a gift of God." L'Express, no.
2683, Dec. 5-11, 2002, p. 96. For the Jews, their presence in the Holy
Land is evidently a theological issue. Furthermore, the project for the
restoration of the Temple is well underway.
72. Paul Giniewski, L'Anti-judaisme chretien: la mutation.
73. La Mission d'Israel, un people de pretres. If the Jewish people are
a people of "priests," what becomes of the Catholic priest, that other
Christ, in the new theology? Shouldn't he disappear? Or should he
change in nature? We know that Satan has always detested the Holy
Sacrifice of the Mass and that he seeks by every means to eradicate the
priest and the sacrifice of the New Covenant. The year 1988 was
therefore a defeat for Satan: Archbishop Lefebvre saved the episcopacy
and the priesthood by the consecration of true Catholic bishops, who
alone can "create" true Catholic priests. The redemptive sacrifice can
be perpetuated, and can continue to save souls.
74. See what Andre Chouraqui asked for eight years earlier (1992) in a
chapter entitled: "Pour un grand pardon universel [For a Great
Universal Pardon]": "Certain Christians would like the Catholic Church
to organize a solemn ceremony of expiation to ask forgiveness for the
crimes, the injuries, and the damages inflicted directly or indirectly
on the Jews by Christians," op. cit., p. 214. See also: Brother Johann,
Juifs et Chretiens, d'hier à demain [Jews and Christians: From
Yesterday to Tomorrow] (Paris: Cerf, 1990), p. 56: "The total damage
caused by the attitude of Christians toward the Jews throughout History
is unfortunately quite overwhelming. There is a serious and urgent need
for the Catholic Church to express publicly and officially its profound
sorrow before all the evil for which Christian teaching has been the
principal cause." Chouraqui reveals: "Such a request for forgiveness
had been suggested as early as 1945 by various influential voices,
notably that of Jacques Maritain, Paul Claudel, and more recently
Cardinal Etchegaray," op. cit., p. 214.
75. See the study by Michel Feretti, L'Eglise est ses Inquisitions [The
Church and Her Inquisitions] (Editions Saint Remi, 2001), 77 pp. "The
myths and black legends about the Inquisition are no longer taken
seriously by historians. From Bennassar to Testas, the University has
produced a number of serious studies on the subject. But this
historical truth is far from being known or admitted by the media
universe and the mainstream systems of communication (including school
manuals). Hence the utility of Michel Feretti's work, which offers a
clear, well documented synthesis. Michel Feretti sheds new light on
ill-accepted truths and eliminates certain 'myths' once and for all."
Yves Chiron, Present, Dec. 29, 2001.
76. The photo is pictured on the front page of a number of works,
including Cardinal Lustiger's book. Authors and editors were quick to
grasp all the symbolism of the gesture.
77. For those who would like to investigate more deeply: Abraham Livni,
Le Retour d'Israel et l'Esperance du Monde [The Return of Israel and
the Hope of the World] (Editions du Rocher, Hatsour collection, 1984);
Paul Giniewski, Les Complices de Dieu, definition et mission d'lsrael
[God's Accomplices: The Definition and the Mission of Israel]
(Neuchatel: Editions de la Baconniere, 1963), 22pp.
78. "The world only functions well when it is Noaic." Gerard Haddad,
during the program Judaica, Sept. 21, 1996.
79. Page 4 of a study published on the Internet entitled Le Noachisme
et les sectes occultes [Noachism and Occult Sects], Biblio-Koranic
studies on the site www.le-carrefour-de-lislame.com. The author is not
given. See also: The acts of the International Colloquium held in the
year 2000, September 10-11, at Livorno, for the centenary of the death
of Elijah Benamozegh, under the patronage of the President of the
Italian Republic. The colloquium was presented by Alessandro Guetta.
80. See Elijah Benamozegh, Israel et l'Humanité: Etude sur le probleme
de la religion universelle et sa solution (Paris: Albin Michel, 1961).
Unfortunately, the edition has been expurgated. A recently created site
on Benamozegh and his work, http://www.benamozegh.info/ Benamozegh.html
gives free access to the original text of Israel et l'Humanité,
re-edited in 1914 (714pp.). The preface by Hyacinthe Loyson is most
Translator's note: Israel and Humanity is available in English in more
than one edition: (New York: Mahwa, 1995), translated from the French
1961-1977 abridged edition, translated and with an introduction by
Mazwell Luria, and including an appendix on "Kabbalah in Elijah
Benamozegh's Thought." The above site is in English and in French, but
the facsimile of the French 1914 edition is only available in French;
all other language versions only contain about two-fifths of the
original. See also www.hebraisme.com.
81. Gerard Haddad, "Aimé Pallière et la 'vraie religion'" [Aimé
Pallière and the True Religion'] in the review Histoire, no. 3, Nov.
82. For many Jewish authors, St. Paul is the great traitor who rejected
the Judaizers to "invent" Christianity, scornfully called "Paulinism."
See Shmuel Trigano, L'E(XC)LU, entre juifs et chretiens [Christians and
Jews: Elect or Excluded?] (Paris: Denoel, 2003), ch. 4, §2: "Le
paulinisme, obstacle au dialogue judeo-chretien" [Paulinism: An
Obstacle to Judeo-Christian Dialogue]" (p. 157).
83. Noachism does not seem to be reserved to "the Christian sphere."
The Moslems examine with interest this mutation of the Catholic
religion. We can read a study of it (27pp.) that they edited for the
internet, entitled Le Noachisme et les sectes occultes, see note 78.
84. "Notwithstanding, there is no steering away from the direction we
are now following [in Judeo-Christian dialogue]. This is part of the
movement through which humankind is being united, even at the cost of
confrontations." Lustiger, "Jews and Christians, Tomorrow," Nouvelle
Revue Theologique, op. cit., p. 542.
85. L'Arche, French monthly of Judaism, no. 538, Dec. 2002, p. 107.
86. Hans Kung could also be named. See his extremely important book,
Judaisme (Paris: Seuil, 1995), 952pp. [In English, Judaism: Between
Yesterday and Tomorrow (New York: Continuum Publishing, 1995); Teilhard
de Chardin as well. See also the work of Fr. Julio Meinvielle, De la
Cabale au progressisme [From Cabalism to Progressivism] (French
translation from 1998). (Note of the author.)
87. Nouvelle Revue Theologique, op. cit., p. 542.