It cannot be denied that the subject of the Jewish people is both very
difficult and very fascinating.
Difficult, because the Jewish people is present in all history both
divine and human. There is no period of history about which one can
write without mentioning them. Says the Jewish author of Jesus Told by
the Wandering Jew (Editions Fleg, p.177):
"There are two
mysteries of history. Jesus is a mystery as Israel is a
mystery! And when you put these two mysteries together, do I have to
tell what results? —A third mystery, more mysterious by itself than the
And fascinating, because who can concern himself with the Jewish people
without a feeling of admiration or pity, or of both at the same time?
The Jewish people brought Christ into the world, yet before Pilate it
repudiated Him; the people without a nation of their own and yet unable
to live together among others.
The Jewish people is still more fascinating because of its many
strengths. It is to its credit as achievers that the Jewish people
holds positions in governments, in international and party politics, in
the direction of national economies, in the complex mechanisms of
money, in the media and leisure, and in the influence over lifestyle
and public opinion. For two thousand years it has applied itself with
And when one thinks of this people, who live in the midst of all the
nations, through the most varied changes of fortune but always and
everywhere intact and incorruptible —one reflects that this people’s
lineage is the greatest upon earth!
The Jewish people justly claims the greatest of lineages, because it
has six thousand years of indestructible history. The greatest of
lineages, because it was in it that Christ, the Son of the living God,
took flesh. This is a people which, though a minority, is here and
everywhere, as it has been for 20 centuries of Christian history. What
is its origin? How and why does it continue? What is its destiny in
history? What attitude should one adopt towards it? These are the
questions this article hopes to explain.
This article claims to be an explanation of the Jew —a theological
explanation— which in this case is the only possible one. Theology is
the science of the mysteries of God. These mysteries are the
inscrutable judgments of the Most High which are known to us when He
deigns to manifest them to us. Without these manifestations we would
have no inkling of them.
Catholic theology teaches that the Jewish people is the object of a
very special vocation from God. Only in the light of theology can one
explain the Jew. Neither merely psychology nor the biological sciences,
nor even purely historical studies can explain the Jewish people. This
people is a topic of universal and eternal scope which by its very
nature requires a universal and eternal explanation that is valid for
today, for yesterday and forever. The Jewish people must be considered
by an explanation which is eternal, like God; that is to say, a
What emerges from this explanation is not meant in any way to justify
either Semitic or anti-Semitic activity. These two terms tend to
trivialize a situation that is deeper and more universal. Catholic
theology, while throwing light on the mystery of the Jewish people,
will indicate the relations between Jews and Christians, who must live
apart until the mercy of God disposes their reconciliation.
The Jewish People
According to Catholic Theology
The Jewish people is not like the other peoples, who are born today and
fade tomorrow, creating admirable civilizations limited to a point in
time and space. We remember the great empires of Egyptians, the
Assyrians, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans: their glory was the
glory of a day.
The Jewish people, a tiny enclave at the crossroads of East and West,
was made tiny for its purpose of bearing the mystery of God through the
centuries. And to bear this mystery graven in its flesh it was not to
create a civilization, because that is a human thing. What was
necessary for it was the divine.
The Jewish people is the theological people which God created for
Himself. Moses tells us in Genesis how, two thousand years before Jesus
Christ, the Lord God called the patriarch Abraham, living at Ur of the
Chaldees, in Mesopotamia, and told him:
1. Go forth out
of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy
father’s house, and come into the land which I shall show thee.
2. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless
magnify thy name: and thou shalt be blessed.
3. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that
thee; and in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed (Gen.
So the Jewish people, the sons of Abraham, have their origin in God,
because it is He who has chosen them out of the rest of mankind and it
is He that promises His blessing in such a way that in them all the
kindred of the earth shall be blessed. Israel, then, is great with a
theological greatness. But does this greatness consist purely in its
bodily descent in the flesh from Abraham, the patriarch from whose body
it was formed, or does it rest on the faith Abraham had in God’s
Promise of a Redeemer?
This is an extremely important question. If the blessings of God are
for Abraham’s bodily descendants only, then the Jewish people would be
chosen and blessed among all the nations of the earth only for the fact
of being sons of Abraham. But if the blessings are reserved to faith in
the divine Promise, then simple descent by lineage is valueless. It is
necessary to be a descendant of Abraham by faith in the Promise, that
is to say, a spiritual descent based on faith.
Ishmael and Isaac
What, then, is the basis of Israel’s greatness in the light of God’s
plan? To make it clear, God gave Abraham two sons. The one called
Ishmael was by his slave-woman, Hagar, and his birth was in the
ordinary course of nature. The other was given him, against all hope,
by his wife Sarah in her old age, in accordance with the Promise of
God. He was called Isaac.
It was to Isaac and his descendants that God confirmed the Pact made
with Abraham. He also bestowed a blessing on Ishmael, but a purely
material one, promising to make him the head of a great people. From
Ishmael descend the present Arabs, who are in such bitter opposition of
the entry of Jews into Palestine. That is because Abraham was persuaded
by Sarah and commanded by God to show Hagar and Ishmael the door (Gen.
What is signified by these two sons of Abraham? St. Paul, the great
apostle of the divine mysteries, tells that two nations are prefigured
in Ishmael and Isaac (Gal. 4).
Ishmael, the first to be born and the natural offspring of the slave,
Hagar, represents the Synagogue of the Jews, which glories in its
descent from the flesh of Abraham. But Isaac, born miraculously of the
sterile Sarah according to a Promise of God, represents the Church
which, like Isaac, is born by faith in the Promise of Christ.
So it is not lineal descent from Abraham which brings salvation, but
spiritual union with Christ through faith. The Jewish people which
began with Abraham will be able to attain to its salvation not by the
fact of its material descent from Abraham, but in believing in Christ
and assimilating itself to Him in faith.
All who are united in Christ form the blessed inheritance of Abraham
and the patriarchs, and are the object of God’s Promises. The Catholic
Church is Sarah made fruitful by the divine power. It is the spirit
that gives life, while the flesh, on the other hand, is worth nothing,
as Jesus Christ was to say:
"It is the
spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The
words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life." (Jn. 6:64)
Could it happen that this people, or a part of it —united to Abraham by
bodily descent— should believe that this same genealogical link alone
is what gives justification and salvation? Yes, it could happen, and it
did. St. Paul comments that, to show it in advance, God so disposed
two sons; the one by the bondwoman and the other by the
free woman. But he who was of the bondwoman, was born according to the
flesh: but he of the free woman was by Promise." (Gal. 4:22,23)
All this was said by way of allegory in order to signify that the
simple fact of fleshly union with Abraham is represented by Ishmael,
the slave’s son; and the imitation of Abraham, by faith in Jesus
Christ, is represented by Isaac, the son of the Promise.
And one must also make a distinction between those who are true
Israelites because they imitate Abraham’s faith in God by believing in
Jesus Christ (those represented by Isaac), and the Israelites who
descend from Abraham in the flesh without imitating his faith (who are
prefigured by Ishmael).
Ishmael persecuted Isaac. St. Paul, commenting on this, adds:
But as then he
that was born according to the flesh persecuted him that
was after the spirit: so also it is now (Gal. 4:29).
Here we see expressed the theological necessity by which Ishmael
persecuted Isaac, the Synagogue persecutes the Catholic Church, and the
Jews who are united to Abraham by only a union of the flesh persecute
the Christians who are the true Israelites, united to Christ by faith.
The same mystery is revealed to us by the two sons granted by the Lord
for the patriarch Isaac —Esau and Jacob. Let us turn to Genesis (ch.
v.21: And Isaac
besought the Lord for his wife, because she was barren;
and He heard him, and made Rebecca to conceive.
v.22: But the children struggled in her womb: and she said:
If it were
to be so with me, what need was there to conceive? And she went to
consult the Lord.
v.23: And He answering said: Two nations are in thy womb, and
peoples shall be divided out of thy womb, and one people shall overcome
the other, and the elder shall serve the younger.
v.24: And when her time was come to be delivered, behold
found in her womb.
v.25: He that came forth first was red, and hairy like a
skin: and his
name was called Esau. Immediately the other coming forth, held his
brother’s foot in his hand, and therefore he was called Jacob.
In his Epistle to the Romans, in which he reveals the mystery of the
Jewish people, St. Paul shows how Esau, the elder according to the
flesh, is the Jewish people united to Abraham by a simple blood-tie,
while the younger brother Jacob is the Catholic Church (formed of Jews
and Gentiles) which, because it is united by faith to Christ, is
preferred above Esau. In this way were fulfilled the words of Scripture
(when God reproached the Jews for their ingratitude and lack of pure
sacrifice, and called the Gentiles to offer up to Him in every place an
"I have loved
you, saith the Lord: and you have said: Wherein hast thou
loved us? Was not Esau brother to Jacob, saith the Lord, and I have
loved Jacob, but have hated Esau? and I have made his mountains a
wilderness, and given his inheritance to the dragons of the desert."
As it is written: "Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated." (Rom.
So it is that the Church overcomes the Synagogue, although the
Synagogue, like Esau...
Jacob...and he said in his heart...I will kill my
brother Jacob." (Gen. 27:41)
The Greatness of the
We have referred to these figures from among the Patriarchs as
interpreted by the Catholic Church to show that at the very origins of
the Jewish people there is foreshadowed both its greatness and
The Jewish people has a theological lineage, chosen, consecrated, and
sanctified for the purpose of identifying and bringing to us the bodily
reality of our Divine Lord Jesus Christ who had to come, and whom the
Gentiles expected. This is what is awe-inspiring in the Jewish people:
its flesh is sanctified and marked to bring us Him "Who is the Way, the
Truth and the Life."
But precisely why is this flesh holy? Why is it of Abraham’s lineage?
Why must it bring to us the Christ? In other words, is it Christ who
sanctifies the Jewish lineage, or the Jewish lineage that sanctifies
The fact is that Christ, as Isaiah had foretold (Rom. 9:32) had been
placed as a stumbling block, a stone of scandal among his people. If,
with the humility of Abraham, this people believed in Christ as
sanctifying their lineage, then it was called to be the root and the
stem of that flourishing Olive Tree which was to be the Church of Jesus
Christ, the Catholic Church. On the other hand, if it was to reject
Christ, confident in its pride of race, then it destined itself to be
the root and stock of a wild vine which would produce bitter fruits.
In the former case, this people will be Isaac, Jacob, and Abel; in the
latter, it is called to play the part of Ishmael, Esau, and Cain.
But this chosen line will always take precedence over all the other
races of men. If it accepts Christ, it will be the principal and best
part of the Catholic Church, the root and trunk of that Olive Tree that
produces fruit for eternal life, as the Apostle Paul teaches. If it
rejects Christ, it will be chief in the kingdom of iniquity. The great
Apostle, St. Paul, who was proud to know himself an Israelite,
emphasizes the Jewish pre-eminence for good or ill when he says:
"Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh
the Jew first, and also of the Greek…" (Rom. 2:9)
What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of
circumcision? Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God
were committed to them (Rom. 3:1,2).
The Jew then is first in the order of goodness, in the mystery of
grace. The trunk of the tree that is the Catholic Church is Jewish. The
Patriarchs are Jews; the Prophets are Jewish, John the Baptist is
Jewish; St. Joseph is Jewish; the Mother of God is Jewish; and our
Blessed Saviour in whom all nations of the earth are blessed is Jewish.
The Apostles are Jewish; the Evangelists are Jewish; and the first of
the Martyrs, St. Stephen, is Jewish.
What a people, this theological people that is the trunk of the tree of
the Church! In the presence of this Olive Tree, what worth have the
Gentile peoples who are only poor wild olives? What worth has the
learning of the Greeks or the power of pagan Rome? Mere foolishness,
says St. Paul, because these nations did nothing to bring salvation
such as the Jewish nation did. If the Gentile nations–starting with the
Greeks–wish to enter the way of salvation they must do so by charity,
profiting by the general rejection of Jewish people in order to be
grafted in. That is why St. Paul says the fall of a part of the Jewish
people has become the opportunity of salvation for the Gentiles:
"And if some of
the branches be broken, and thou, being a wild olive,
art ingrafted in them, and art made partaker of the root, and of the
fatness of the olive tree, boast not against the branches. But if thou
boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee." (Rom. 11:17,18)
But Israel’s greatness, which was predestined to be in Christ, needs to
be matched by a corresponding fidelity to Christ. What unhappy
consequences visit this people if it repudiates the One Who is its
salvation! Judas Iscariot, Annas, and Caiphas were Jewish. It was the
Jewish chief priests who persuaded the people to call for the
crucifixion of the Saviour and who cried out, "His blood be upon us and
our children!" (Mt. 27:25) Jews stoned St. Stephen; Jews martyred St.
James and laid traps for the apostles. The greatest crime of all time
—the death of the God-Man— was perpetrated by this forlorn people.
What is the root of the errors of the Jews? —It is that "a part of this
people" believed that the promises given to the Jewish people on
account of Christ (who was due to be born from among them) were made to
His flesh, to His lineage. However, the Jewish people, instead of
acknowledging that it was the chosen people because of Christ, rather
believed that it was Christ who had something to boast about on account
of His genealogical lineage.
Thus, it was not Christ, but the flesh of Abraham, that was the source
of glory. And the Pharisees, the veritable incarnation of this spirit
of iniquity, declared proudly as a reason for not accepting Christ: "We
have Abraham for our father."
So their sin consisted in making carnal (i.e., material) the promises
of God. In that way they attributed substantial value to what was only
a foreshadowing. They expected salvation from what was only a sign of
As for the Messiah, the One awaited, who was to bring grace and truth
to the world, they made of Him a political, earthly ruler, who would
assure and perpetuate the greatness of Israel over all the nations.
The Carnalization of
the Jewish People
It will be instructive to distinguish the different stages in the
process of the carnalization of the Jews. We have coined this word
—carnalization—by which we mean to indicate the Jewish people’s
The Sacred Scriptures record that the Israelite people had always a
nature dominated by great pride and avarice. Moses himself distinctly
warned the Israelites:
that the Lord thy God giveth thee not possession of
this excellent land for thy justices [righteousness], for thou art a
very stiff-necked [stubborn] people…" (Deut. 9:6)
"And again the Lord said to me: I see that this people is
Let me alone that I may destroy them, and abolish their name from under
heaven, and set thee over a nation, that is greater and stronger than
this." (Deut. 9:13.14)
In the period of the Kings, the people’s dishonesty and materialism
became particularly evident. They abandoned themselves to a thousand
perversities and idolatries to such a degree that they were the first
to be broken up and led into captivity in Babylon by King
Nebuchadnezzar, six centuries before Christ. This hard captivity lasted
seventy years. At the end of it the Jewish people, returning to
Palestine, reformed themselves on new and firm foundations given by
Ezra, whom the Jews considered as great a lawgiver as Moses. In fact,
Judaism, as it was at the time of Christ and as it has remained until
the present day, springs from the reorganization of the people under
To generalize, it must be said that the Jews are a people bound to a
book, the book above all others, the Law —the Torah. In reality, the
Torah is composed of the first five books of the Sacred Scriptures [the
Pentateuch], written by Moses as inspired by the Holy Ghost. But the
Jews only accept as the Word of God (superior to that of Moses himself)
the Torah together with the interpretations the rabbis have handed down
by oral tradition. These interpretations have been collected and in
some way petrified in a voluminous book called the Talmud. The Talmud
is the civil and religious code of the Jewish people.
The Jews are a people created by the mentality of the rabbis,
especially of the Pharisee rabbis. The Pharisee vividly displays the
carnality of the Jews. We are not using the word carnal with the
meaning that they have a special leaning to sins of impurity, but with
the meaning Jesus Christ gave this word when He anathematized the
tendency to give a literal, inferior, earthly interpretation to what in
the mind of God has a superior and heavenly meaning.
The Pharisees, instead of following in the steps of prophets like
Isaiah and Ezekiel who had preached a worship of God in spirit,
compunction of heart, a reform of conduct, and charity to all men,
worked to train the people in a literal following of petty observances
and a feeling of pride in the fact of lineal descent from the patriarch
Abraham. "They answered Him: We are the seed of Abraham..." (Jn. 8:33)
as if it was the flesh of Abraham itself that brought justification.
The Pharisees had drawn up a host of rules on purification, ablutions,
washing and immersion of hands, of the body, of cups and cloths, so as
to preserve the purity of the people. They obliged any of their
faithful who had touched a non-Jew in the street or in the market to
wash himself. They considered the violation of these ritual
prescriptions a grave sin.
Nothing shows better the carnalized Judaic mentality than the terrible
"Woes" declared by the Jew, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the last days of
His life on earth, when He denounced the hypocritical religion, purity,
and piety of the Pharisees (Mt. 23). Against religious hypocrisy, He
v.13: Woe to you
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because you shut
the kingdom of heaven against men, for you yourselves do not enter it;
and those that are going in, you suffer not to enter.
v.15: Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because
round about the sea and the land to make one proselyte; and when he is
made, you make him a child of hell twofold more than yourselves.
v.16: Woe to you blind guides....
v.23: Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because
mint, and anise, and cummin, and have left the weightier things of the
law; judgment, and mercy, and faith....
v.24: Blind guides, who strain out a gnat, and swallow a
v.27: Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; because
like to whited sepulchers, which outwardly appear to men beautiful, but
within are full of dead men’s bones, and of all filthiness.
He denounced simulated worship and piety towards ancestors
vv.29-32: Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; that
sepulchers of the prophets, and adorn the monuments of the just, and
say: If we had been in the days of our Fathers, we would not have been
partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore you are
witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed
the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
vv.33-35: You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you
the judgment of hell? Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise
men, and scribes: and some of them you will put to death and crucify,
and some you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city
to city: that upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed
upon the earth, from the blood of Abel the just, even unto the blood of
Zacharias the son of Barachias, whom you killed between the temple and
No one in all the course of history has pronounced more terrible
anathemas than those of the Son of God against the perfidious carnality
of His own people.
The Sin of the Jews
On the 14th of the month of Nisan in the year 33, the Jewish people,
assembled before the praetorium of Pilate the Governor, and urged by
the priests demanded the death of the Promised One:
"When the chief
priests and the officers saw him, they cried out
saying, Crucify Him, crucify Him. Pilate saith to them: Take Him you,
and crucify Him: for I find no cause in Him. The Jews answered him: We
have a law; and according to the law He ought to die, because He made
Himself the Son of God." (Jn. 19:6,7)
The rabbis had said beforehand in a secret council against Jesus:
"If we let Him
alone so, all will believe in Him; and the Romans will
come, and take away our place and nation. But one of them, named
Caiphas, being the high priest that year, said to them: You know
nothing. Neither do you consider that it is expedient for you that one
man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not."
Then these Jews, in the name of their Law, their Torah, and
the material interests of their nation and race, demanded the blood of
Him who had been promised them as their blessing. They stirred up the
Gentiles against Jesus. Using them to carry out their plans, they
crucified the One who was to be raised up as a "sign of contradiction".
God will not exterminate the carnalized Judaism. When the Jews turn
toward the Lord, and say to him as did Cain...:
is greater than that I may deserve pardon. Behold thou
dost cast me out this day from the face of the earth, and I shall be
hidden from thy face, and I shall be a vagabond and a fugitive on the
earth: every one, therefore that findeth me, shall kill me." (Gen.
...Then the Lord will say to them, as He did to Cain:
"And the Lord
said to him: No, it shall not be so: but whosoever shall
kill Cain, shall be punished sevenfold. And the Lord set a mark upon
Cain, that whosoever found him should not kill him." (Gen. 4:15)
And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any one who came upon him should
kill him. And ever since, this people marked by God’s seal must wander
through the world. And, what will they be doing? —Bearing in their
flesh witness to Christ in the mystery of iniquity. Jesus Christ chose
the flesh of His own race to, willingly or unwillingly, proclaim that
it is He who is blessed for ever and ever. Jewish flesh proclaims it
because Christ comes from that genealogy. One cannot remember Christ
without remembering the Jews, and one cannot remember them without
The Jewish people, once a mystery of goodness, is now changed into a
mystery of iniquity. It is no longer Isaac, but Ishmael. No longer
Jacob, but Esau. No longer Abel, but Cain.
Others have won from it the birthright. To others have been granted the
blessings of the Promise. Those others are all of us who make up the
Church of Jesus Christ–converted Jews at first and later the Gentile
The Church of Christ is the true Isaac, the true Jacob, the true Abel.
Christ has sanctified Jews and Gentiles to form a new creation, the
Catholic Church, which adores the Father in spirit and in truth (Jn.
Faced with the Church, which is Isaac, Jacob and Abel, what will the
Synagogue do? —It will play the part of Ishmael, of Esau, and of Cain.
What did Ishmael do to Isaac? He mocked him and persecuted him (Gen.
21:9). What did Esau do against Jacob? Genesis tells us:
always hated Jacob for the blessing wherewith his
father had blessed him: and he said in his heart: The days will come of
the mourning of my father and I will kill my brother Jacob." (Gen.
That is the part that now falls to the Synagogue, to the Jew who will
not recognize Christ as He revealed Himself and convert: he will set
out to persecute the Church, as the Apostle Paul observes. In this way,
just as in the kingdom of goodness the Jewish people had and still has
the first place (for history is all present together in God’s eyes), so
also the first place in the kingdom of evil must go to it. The other
peoples, if wishing to do the work of evil, follow the example of the
carnalized, unrepentant Jewish people. If the Gentiles want to be
carnal, they must judaize. Thus it was with perfect theological
precision that the Fathers of the Church gave the name of Judaizers to
Gentiles who taught heresy.
There is a theological opposition —that is to say, one arranged by God—
which exists throughout Christian history between the Synagogue and the
Church, between Christians and Jews, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau.
What is indispensable at this point is to put down the theological
conclusions in the light of which history must be interpreted.
First Conclusion: The
Jewish people, whose destiny was to bring Christ
to us, found Christ a stumbling block. A part of them believed in Him,
and built on Him to form the roots and the trunk of that Olive Tree
which is the Catholic Church. The other part fell, denying Him and
invoking their carnal pride of race and nation. That part of Israel was
rejected, and called upon itself the blood of Christ as a curse. It is
this part that forms Judaism proper, which is the heir and the
continuation of the rabbis who rejected Christ.
Judaism is inimical to all nations in general, and
in a special manner to Christian nations. It plays the part of Ishmael
who persecuted Isaac, of Esau who sought to kill Jacob, and of Cain who
put Abel to death. St. Paul, the converted Jew, says:
brethren, are become followers of the churches of God which
are in Judea, in Christ Jesus: for you also have suffered the same
things from your own countrymen, even as they have from the Jews, who
both killed the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us,
and please not God, and are adversaries to all men." (I Thess. 2:14,15)
Take note of St. Paul’s terrible and very important fact, written under
inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That is to say, the adversarial
relationship of the Jewish people is not a local enmity, or one based
on blood, or on conflicting interests. It is an enmity disposed by God.
The Jewish people, if it has not converted to Christianity, will, even
if it does not wish to, seek to ruin Christianity, as Jesus Christ said
when speaking to the Pharisees:
"You are of your
father the devil, and the desire of your father you
will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the
truth; because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh
of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof." (Jn. 8:44)
If the unrepentant Jewish people are disposed by God
to be a theological enemy, the status of this opposition must be
universal, inevitable, and terrible.
Universal, because it must extend to all nations. Wherever Christendom
extends, the Jewish people goes, too. There is no way of avoiding this,
because it is theological.
Christendom and Jewry are destined inevitably to meet everywhere
without reconciliation or mixing. It represents in history the eternal
struggle of Lucifer against God, of darkness against the Light, of the
flesh against the spirit. It represents in time the spiritual
accomplishing and the fleshly accomplishing of the Scriptures. The
Letter must be everywhere to be the servant of the Spirit. It is with
this understanding St. Thomas Aquinas teaches us that the Jewish people
is the servant of the Church.
It is a terrible enmity, because it is theological. There is a mystery
of iniquity in the Jewish people, as we are taught by St. Jerome and
St. Justin, echoing Jesus Christ and the preaching of the Apostles.
Jesus Christ anathematized them, calling them hypocrites and liars
because the Pharisees practiced enmity under pretence of doing good.
They only perpetuate what they did once to Christ.
Ever since Christ was lifted up on Mount Calvary,
the world has been subjected to two truly opposite forces: the Jewish
force and the Christian.
In the world as it is, there can be only two truly basic modes, two
poles of attraction: the Christian and the Jewish. Only two religions:
Christian and Jewish. All that is not of Christ and for Christ is done
in favour of Judaism. It follows from that, that the de-Christianizing
of the world runs parallel to its Judaizing.
Why are only these two modes possible? Because they are the only ones
willed by God, they are the only theological ones. God has divided the
world between Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Cain and Abel, and
Christ and the Anti-Christ. All human energies must serve one front or
That is why the Gentile peoples, we to whom the vocation to the
Catholic Church is freely offered, have only two roads ahead to us: to
Christianize ourselves or to Judaize ourselves, to be part of the Olive
Tree of the Church or of the sterile Vine of Judaism, to be sons of
Sarah the free woman, or else of Hagar the bondwoman.
If the Gentile people wishes to be free and great, it has no other
solution than to humbly adhere to the Catholic Church. It can have no
other greatness than the incomparable greatness of the Christian
nations of the Middle Ages, which forged saints and heroes, raised the
cathedrals, educated the peoples by the examples of the saints, gave
them an understanding of beauty by Gregorian Chant and the frescoes of
Fra Angelico and Giotto, and elevated their understanding with the
Summa Theologica of the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas.
If the Gentile people now considers this genuine greatness of the
medieval age as gloomy or obscurantist, and wishes to be great with the
material greatness of Babylon, then it can have it: but only as a
servant of Judaism. In the domain of the material, it is the Jewish
people who have the superiority. History tells us (Werner Sombart) that
the renowned greatness of English and American Capitalism is only a
Judaic creation. While Capitalism fulfils its promises and is
unquestionably of incomparable material greatness, it compromises the
work of millions of Christians for the benefit of a much smaller number
of the Jewish people.
The only protection of the Gentile people against
enslaving itself to the material superiority of the Jewish people is
the Catholic life. This is because Jesus Christ alone is the Saviour of
all mankind. Note that the Middle Ages did not succumb to material
mastery for centuries.
Cautious of its theological disposition, the Catholic Church applied
wise laws to the Jewish people, and was vigilant against their
perversion of Catholics. The Catholic Church, however, has never hated
the Jewish people. On the contrary, it has always prayed and asked
prayers for its spiritual well-being, and defended them against
harassment and unjust persecution. This has not gone unrecognized by
the Jewish people itself. So, for instance, when in France (1807) the
Jewish Sanhedrin met publicly for the first time in centuries, it
rendered public homage to the benevolence of the Popes in a document
that one can still read today:
Deputies of the Empire of France and of the Kingdom of
Italy, at the Hebrew Synod decreed on the 30th May ult., inspired with
gratitude for the successive benefits that the Christian clergy has
bestowed in past centuries on the Israelites of different European
States, and full of gratitude for the welcome which diverse Popes in
different epochs have given to Israelites of various countries when
barbarism, prejudice and ignorance combined to persecute the Jews and
expel them from society, declare as follows:
expression of these sentiments shall be recorded in the
minutes of today so as to remain forever an authentic witness to the
gratitude of the Israelites of this assembly for the benefits which the
generations preceding us have received from ecclesiastics of different
European countries." (From Collection of the Acts of the Assembly of
the Israelites of France and the Kingdom of Italy by Diogene Tama.)
Under pain of sin, Catholics cannot hate the Jewish
people, cannot persecute them or prevent them to live, nor disturb them
in their private practice of their laws and customs. But, they must
nevertheless preserve themselves from the danger they represent.
Catholics are not to enter into commercial, social, nor political
relations which are bound hypocritically to seek the ruin of
Christendom. Jews must not live together with Christians because this
is what their own Jewish laws ordain and also because their errors and
material superiority have virulent consequences among other peoples. If
the other peoples reject these precautions, they will invite upon
themselves these consequences, namely, to serve the Jewish people to
whom belongs superiority in the kingdom of the material.
In the wandering and pitiable life of the Jewish
people one must discover the Christian mystery. This is magnificently
demonstrated by the converted Jew, Fr. Joseph Lehmann, in his book
L’entrée des Israelites dans la société française (p. 3). The Jews were
responsible —directly and/or indirectly— for covering the Just One with
insults, throwing over His shoulders a cloak of contempt, putting on
His head a crown of thorns and into His hands a reed. With striking,
spitting, insults, and injury they lavished on Him every sort of
humiliation. They spared Him no shame. Finally, He was sold for the
slave’s price of 30 pieces of silver.
Ever since, similar insults have been visited upon the Jewish people as
a chastisement and penalty for its deed. Moses himself warned:
"And thou shalt
be lost, as a proverb and a byword to all people, among
whom the Lord shall bring thee in [will lead you away]." (Deut. 28:37)
How long must this terrible enmity between Jews and Christians last?
Until God in His mercy brings about the conversion and reconciliation
of the Jewish people. St. Paul teaches us that the day will come when
Israel will recognize Him whom he has denied:
"For I would not
have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, (lest
you should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part has
happened in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in.
And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come
out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness
from Jacob." (Rom. 11:25,26)
When the moment arrives (which is in the hands of God), then Esau will
be reconciled with Jacob, that is to say, the Jews will become
Catholics, and the words of the prophet Ezekiel, five centuries before
Christ, will be fulfilled:
the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel
from among the midst of the nations whither they are gone: and I will
gather them on every side, and will bring them to their own land. And I
will make them one nation in the land on the mountains of Israel, and
one king shall be king over them all: and they shall no more be two
nations, neither shall they be divided any more into two kingdoms. Nor
shall they be defiled any more with their idols, nor with their
abominations, nor with all their iniquities: and I will save them out
of all the places in which they have sinned, and I will cleanse them:
and they shall be my people, and I will be their God." (Ezek. 37:21-23)
Then all will be one in Christ because the Jewish people will convert
from its Judaism and the Christians will be Christians in earnest, and
peace will become a reality as the fruit of justice and charity, in Him
Who promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is Jesus Christ, the Blessing
of all the ages.
The Jewish and
The relations of Christians and Jews cannot be governed by the common
law of Christians, but only by an exceptional legislation which takes
count of the theological status of the Jewish people. The Catholic
Church’s teaching is that they should neither be eliminated from among
us (as anti-Semitism seeks) nor given equality of rights, which leads
to their superiority (as is advocated by liberalism or philo-Semitism).
The Catholic Church has always had the habit of praying for the Jewish
people, which was the depository of the Divine Promises up to the
coming of Jesus Christ, in spite of this people’s blindness. More than
that, it has done so on account of that very blindness. Ruled by the
same charity, the Apostolic See has protected this people against
unjust vexations, and just as it reproves all hatred between peoples,
so it condemns hatred against the people formerly chosen by God, that
hatred that ordinarily goes by the name of Anti-Semitism (from the
Decree of the Holy Office, 25 March, 1928).
The Jewish people must live among Christians as a blind witness to the
Christian truth, like a spur to keep us faithful. The Catholic Church
teaches that it must not be exterminated (for the Jewish people bears
the mark of Cain given it by God so no one would kill it) nor
frequented (for God warns of its danger). As once they treated Christ,
ever since, to persecute Christianity is their theological
brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as
then he, that was born according to the flesh [i.e., Ishmael],
persecuted him that was after the spirit [i.e., Isaac]; so also it is
now." (Gal. 4:28,29)
This theological law is stronger than all human plans and expedients.
The Jewish people realizes this law. The law contained in the Talmud,
which governs Jews, orders enmity with Christians.
The celebrated rabbi, Paulus L.B. Drach, who converted to the Catholic
Church, authored a valuable work on the Talmud, De l’harmonie entre
l’église et le synagogue (ed. Paul Melier, Paris 1844). The Talmud is
the corpus of Jewish doctrine, to which the most authentic teachers of
Israel in different periods have contributed. It is the complete civil
and religious code of the Synagogue. Its object is to explain the Law
of Moses in conformity with verbal tradition, and includes discussions
of doctors. Although the Christian reader will sometimes be repelled,
for one reason or another, he will get valuable information to help
explain obscure passages in the New Testament. From the time of the
Captivity in Babylon (586 BC), the authority of the rabbis took the
place of that of Moses and the Prophets. Rules for the temporal
development of the people got more important than rules for religious
The Talmud got particularly virulent after Christianity appeared.
Insolent and sacrilegious infamies against Christ and Christians were
written into it, which is why copies were burnt by order of Christian
rulers and popes. Hence, a Jewish synod in Poland in 1631 ordered all
in the Talmud that related to Christ and Christians to be suppressed,
publish a new edition of these books, leave blank the
pages referring to Jesus of Nazareth, making a circle like an O; and
every rabbi or other teacher will take care not to teach these passages
except verbally. In this way, learned Christians will have nothing to
reproach us with on this, and we will live in peace."
We have already discussed the spiritual greatness of the nation from
which Christ came. Israel is so great in whatever he does that it is
unable to perpetrate evil except also in a great, a terrible way. We
will discuss four of these ways. He is a consecrated lineage which, if
he saves us in Christ, ruins us in the Antichrist. Yet, Christians
cannot hate him, only lament him. Jewish writers like Barnard Lazare
recognize this, the Jewish people forged as it is by the spirit of the
The rabbis had separated Israel from the community of nations; they had
made the people a wild solitary people, rebellious against all law,
hostile to all fraternity, shut against every beautiful, noble and
generous ideal; a miserable little nation made bitter by isolation,
made brutish by a narrow education, demoralized and corrupted by an
unjustifiable pride (l’Antisemitisme, v.1, p.57).
1. The Jewish people
St. Paul denounces it for persecution:
"...for you also
have suffered the same things from your own
countrymen, even as they have from the Jews, who both killed the Lord
Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted us, and please not God,
and are adversaries to all men; prohibiting us to speak to the
Gentiles, that they may be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the
wrath of God is come upon them to the end." (I Thess. 3:14b-16)
See also St. Justin in his Dialogue with the Jew Tryphon (XVI, 133).
St. Basil affirms that the Jewish and pagan people were formerly at
enmity, but joined together against Christians, as is confirmed by
Tertullian, Origen, and Gregory Nazianzen. See Leclerc, Les Martyres
(Paris, 1905, v.1, p.103); and the article of J. Vernet, "Juifs et
Chretiens" in Dictionnaire d’apologétique.
Since the 12th century these persecutions became rare because of the
Church’s vigilance. But we find them allied to heretics repeatedly:
Cathars, Vaudois, Hussites. As the Jew Darmesteter himself said (Les
prophètes d’Israel), all revolutionaries in spirit go to the Jews for
2. The Jewish people
conspire against the Christian State.
Some facts: In Spain (694) the Jews conspired with the Jews in Africa
to let the Arabs into Spain; in 711 they allied with the Arabs; in 952
they handed over Barcelona. In 854, Bordeaux was delivered to the
Normans by the Jews; at the end of the 12th century they made common
cause with the Mongols against the Christians of Hungary.
3. The Jewish people
win control of property by usury. The Jewish people
were forbidden to lend at interest among themselves.
"Thou shalt not
lend to thy brother money to usury, nor corn, nor any
other thing: but to the stranger [i.e., foreigner]. To thy brother thou
shalt lend that which he wanteth, without usury:..."(Deut. 23:19,20)
St. Thomas Aquinas says (II-IIae, Q. 78, A. 1) God permitted them to
lend usuriously to foreigners, not as though it were lawful, but in
order to avoid the greater evil, that is, through the avarice to which
they were prone (Is. 56:11) that they should take usury from their own
Jewish people who worshipped the true God.
Jansen, the great historian of the Reformation wrote:
"The Jews not
only monopolized money-changing; the real source of their
wealth was usury...they gradually became the bankers and financiers for
Jansen cites that in 1338, Emperor Louis of Bavaria allowed the Jews to
charge interest rates as high as 32½% upon the citizens of Frankfurt,
Germany; 43% for foreigners in the city. At Ratisbon, Augsburg, and
Vienna, the legally permitted interest was as high as 86%. One of
Jansen’s contemporaries wrote:
usurers now install themselves in fixed places in even the
smallest towns; when they advance five florins they take security
representing six times the value of what is lent; then they claim
interest and compound interest, so that the poor man is deprived of all
he had (Erasmus of Erbach" 1487)
The superiority of the Jewish moneylenders and the extravagant
wastefulness of the Gentiles is exemplified by the fact that when
Philip Augustus expelled the Jewish people from France in the 12th
century, they owned a third of the land, and had so gotten hold of the
money, that when they left, it was difficult to find any anywhere.
4. Jews are known to
Already St. Justin (3rd century) said so. The Talmud allows it. History
confirms it. It is certain that lives of Christians have been taken:
St. William of York, 12 years old (1144); St. Richard of Paris (1179);
St. Dominic de Val, crucified at Saragossa, Spain (1250); Bl. Henry of
Munich (1345); Bl. Simeon (1475); the controversial martyrdoms of Fr.
Thomas of Cangiano and his aide (1840) in Damascus.
As grisly as they are, these four accusations can be documented in
every period and country where Jews live with Christians. In earlier
times the Jews could only act directly against Christians who were
well-cautioned about them. But now that Christians are
de-Christianized, the Jews pursue their aggression with the help of the
Judgments of Popes
Regarding the Jewish People
There are at least 15 papal documents warning the Catholic Church
against the dangers presented by the Jewish people. Catholic theology
has always recognized that the Jewish people are a sacred people. In
one sense, the Jewish people is the Father of the Church, because the
oracles of God were given to it; and however perverse a father may be,
he is owed protection and respect. Anti-Semitism is condemned because
it is persecution of the Jewish people without taking account of their
sacred character nor the rights that come from this. An excerpt from
one of the papal documents regarding the Jewish people tidily
summarizes the Catholic teaching:
"They are the
living witnesses of the true Faith. The Christian must
not exterminate or oppress them....We must not molest them in the
exercise of the privileges accorded them....As they seek our help, we
accept and take them under our protection; and following our
predecessors Callixtus, Eugenius, Alexander, Clement and Celestine, we
forbid the forcing of baptism on a Jew, also harming them in any way or
taking their goods, etc., or violating their cemeteries and digging up
corpses to find money. The punishment for disobedience to these
dispositions is excommunication." (from the Constitution Licet Perfidia
Judaeorum, Pope Innocent III, 1199)
Nevertheless, though the Jewish people must be protected, it was
recognized it was dangerous enough to be isolated into its own
neighbourhoods. Was this an offence against its natural human rights?
—No, for this people refuses to assimilate itself into the country that
gives it hospitality, and lives by Talmudic laws contrary to the common
good. The policy of the Catholic Church is to extend liberty to the
Jewish people to develop and live within its legitimate laws while
guarding Catholics, however, against its domination.
The Church’s Wisdom
The Catholic Church perceives the deep desire of the Jewish people to
impose its material superiority and the guilt of Catholics who seek
this people to get material gain. The enslaving of Christians and
Christian nations began by the fault of Christians.
If Christians wish to remain free, let them avoid entanglements with
the Jewish people. It dominates in every branch of commerce and
finance, in philosophy and the universities. Its action is felt in the
consequences of the French Revolution, in the socialization of
socialist countries, and in the slavery of Communism. If the Gentile
people wishes for a civilization based on economic greatness and the
comfortable life, with everything set at the epitome of organization
and technical development–then it can have it, with the Jewish people
as master and the all the rest as slaves.
Since Christ came into the world, a civilization where Mammon is king
is only possible under the Jewish people because, as said previously,
the gift of dominance has been given it in all that is of the flesh,
Theology rules history. History has a meaning, a theological one;
because God knows how to profit from all the successes and failures of
men to realize His plan.
God gave two enemies to the nations that flourished under the Church’s
guidance in the Middle Ages: an internal one, the spirit of rebellion
against the spiritual in order that worldly greatness be achieved; and
an external one, the Jewish people, who live among the Christians to be
a goad and a spur. Christendom under holy kings and popes knew how to
guard against these dangers. Christendom perceived in a truly
theological manner the Jewish people’s domination of the material world
and so isolated this sacred but perfidious people.
But in the Renaissance and Protestant Reformation, carnal instincts
rebelled, and by a theological necessity stronger than men’s
calculations, the emancipation of the Jewish people necessarily
followed: an emancipation that under Capitalism and Communism turned
Fault is not to be charged to the Jewish people for the evils that have
come upon society. It is realizing the program which, in God’s plan, is
its task to bring to completion. The fault is on the Catholics,
unfaithful to their great vocation, who have sought with its help a
material, carnal, worldly greatness–which ends in rivers of Christian
The Jewish People
and the De-Christianized Peoples
The true defence of Christendom is not police measures, but Jesus
Christ. Woe to the world if it forgets Him! At the end of the Middle
Ages, the Gentile people committed great sins, especially the clergy.
Thus weakened, this people succumbed to the brain and hand of
Judaization —through the Renaissance, the French Revolution, and
Communism. Judaism would give mental ammunition to the rebels, e.g.,
Renaissance sceptics and 18th-century libertines. Werner Sombart, the
authoritative historian of Capitalism who is neither Catholic nor
anti-Semite, shows in his book Les juifs et la vie économique how some
Protestant sects, especially the Puritans, are Judaic. Close relations
formed between Judaism and some of the Reformation sects and a great
keenness for Hebrew studies swept Europe. In England alone, for
instance, a sect named the "Levellers" called themselves Jews and
wished to make the Torah the English code of law, Cromwell was urged to
imitate the Sanhedrin by numbering 70 members in the Council of State,
and it was proposed (1629) in Parliament to change the Sunday worship
Whatever influence Judaism had in the Renaissance and Reformation, it
certainly profited. The Jewish author, Bernard Lazare, says:
spirit triumphed with Protestantism." (l’Antisemitisme,
From the breach thus opened in the structure of Christendom, the Jewish
people hope to exercise their astuteness to realize their ancient dream
of a world empire. Having rejected Christ, it awaits the messiah
promised in the Talmud who will "give to the Jews the sceptre of the
To penetrate Christendom, the masses must be captivated and rebellion
fomented against its two pillars —Pope and King. The formula prepared
by Judaism for their destruction: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. This
formula was introduced first to the malcontents making up the
membership of the Freemasonic lodges. The lodges proclaim inoffensive
programs about the improvement of humanity, but the real aim is to
"destroy all that the Catholic Church has done in the world" (Etudes
sur la franc-maçonnerie américaine, A. Preuss).
There are solid proofs of their deadly activity in the public record,
especially in confiscated Masonic documents and the public claims of
the Masons themselves. The Jewish author Isaac Wise reported:
"Masonry is a
Jewish institution, whose history, regulations, duties,
recommendations and explanations are Jewish to the end." (The
Israelite, August, 1855)
Under the deceitful slogan of the Rights of Man, Christian society has
become ripe for conquest. Firstly, by Capitalism, all wealth falls to
centralized control. Secondly, by Liberalism and Socialism, the
understanding of nations is perverted and their heart corrupted.
Thirdly, by Communism, all opposition is eliminated and the remaining
people are submitted to a yoke from which they cannot escape.
The essence of the capitalist regime in force since the French
Revolution which has produced the material greatness of the modern
world is the regime of financial wealth as the prime mover of all
economic affairs. The financial power concentrated in the banks assures
the development of all commercial, industrial, and agricultural
activity. By means of credit and lending at interest, finance capital
mobilizes great wealth, which in turn increases that same finance
capital. The banks enrich themselves rapidly by lending at interest. By
being loaned, money acquires a magnetic power. Lending at interest, in
a regime with monetary stability, tends to create two well-defined
classes. The lending, capitalist class necessarily goes on getting
richer, because the money cannot help increasing. The working class
must work both for itself and for the lender. The moment comes when the
work done does not cover what is due to the lender, and then it goes
Another way by which bankers enrich themselves is the numerous
operations of loans and repayment of loans. It is a real creation of
money for the use of the banker. Credit is money, and in creating it,
they become wealthy.
It is public knowledge that the Jewish sector, relatively small
compared to the Gentile sector which devotes itself to the creation of
wealth, controls especially the financial power that is exercised
through banks. Wise Solomon observes for us under the power of the Holy
a building shall be brought down, and through the
weakness of hands, the house shall drop through. For laughter they make
bread, and wine that the living may feast: and all things obey money."
The gifted Jewish bankers have created a controlled economy whose
ultimate end is the multiplication of money. Even money-strapped
governments become their obedient clients. Governments could break
their financial bonds except that, despite many other circumstances,
these bankers are also national or international at will and can bring
pressure to bear from nearly any point. International Judaism has
created international capitalism to gain international wealth. Werner
Sombart’s voluminous work (Les juifs et la vie économique, Payot,
Paris, 1923 [translated from the German]) shows how Judaism has created
Capitalism and could not be otherwise explained without it.
Corruption and Socialism
Beyond its financial influence, Judaic thinking comes to dominate the
cultural and educational fields. The pattern repeats: Jews get into
posts of influence, and submit society to a high degree of corruption
in ways of thinking and acting, which leads to a reaction of public
opinion against them.
But demo-liberalism is only a stage. The next step is socialism, whose
seminal thinkers, from Marx to Leon Blum, were of the Jewish people.
The construction of both Capitalism and Socialism, two opposing forces,
is to further divide and conquer. Capitalism robs Christians of what
they have. Socialism poisons those who have not, and so starts the
Class War. Catholicism, however, which constructed Christendom, is
confined to sacristies and convents.
The people are Judaized: the rich with Liberalism, the poor with
Socialism. It thinks and acts in the manner of Judaism. Thinking itself
free, it thinks with the Judaized mind of the media.
"The great ideal of Judaism is that the whole world should be imbued
with Jewish teaching, and that in a universal fraternity of nations —an
enlarged Judaism —all separate races and religious should disappear....
By their activity in literature and science, by expressing their
dominant passion in every branch of public activity, they are gradually
pouring into Jewish molds all non-Jewish systems and ideas." (Jewish
World newspaper, Feb. 9, 1863)
It is a matter of public historical record that Communism was financed
by Jewish money. Jacob Schiff and his banking partners, Felix and Max
Warburg, financed revolutionary propaganda among Russian prisoners of
war in different countries and helped Trotsky. Schiff publicly declared
(1917) that the revolution had succeeded thanks to his help.
A Jewish review declared that Communism had achieved "the emancipation
of Jews and the triumph of Judaism," because it had "been created,
realized by Jews" (Vu, April, 1932).
Capitalism is only a transition stage toward the egalitarian levelling
of Communism. That Communism was created by Judaism does not mean it
has the control of it as it once had, especially since 1947 when the
alliance broke into two blocks. In Russia now there is a general
anti-Judaism feeling and though Judaism still promotes Communism, it
prefers to see it realized in another manner.
Will the Jewish people succeed in its ambitions? To what extent? God
knows. He has His plans, and knows how to combine human acts to further
them. The amalgamation of the Jewish and Gentile peoples has been
catastrophic; but God has allowed it, so something good will come of
One of the goods will be that Catholic nations will expiate for their
centuries of infidelities. These nations who, headed by France, should
have been the heralds of Christ to the peoples of East and West have
instead been heralds of sin. As the Jewish people were punished in 70
AD, so the Gentile people. For the Christian peoples, yesterday it was
Russia; tomorrow, the world. A global chastisement is due for both Jew
and Gentile alike, for both have offended God for centuries and need
purifying. Afterwards then will appear men of sanctity, full of the
genuine Catholic faith and charity of the martyrs. A weak and
hypocritical Catholicism will no longer be possible. Only after this
purification will be possible the reconciliation of Jacob and Esau,
Christian and Jew. St Paul teaches that when the knowledge of the
Catholic Faith shall have reached all nations, Israel will convert en
masse. In the shared pain of a common chastisement, all will understand
that we are brothers in Him who was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and
Jacob; in Whom all nations of the earth are blessed. There will be an
outpouring of the Spirit of God in the coming collision of the forces
of evil against the few who will resist. He will inflame hearts through
the flames of material punishment. He will enter them and teach them to
meet together in Him who is "meek and humble of heart." Because we all
have been ruined by pride and materialism, and must be saved in the
humility of Christ.
The Mystery of
History and Eschatology
The Jewish people are of exceptional importance in human history. Other
peoples have been dominant, but only for a time. To begin to understand
the mystery of the Jewish people in history, let us make some
theological considerations about history.
History begins with the Creation. Here the initiative was with God. God
continues to act on humanity, to continue what He made good at the
start. He can give direction and meaning to otherwise absurd acts of
men. Man, however, has the initiative in doing evil.
Looking at things from a human viewpoint, one can see two histories,
one written by the intervention of God, and the other, by man. In the
divine history of God, Christ is the centre. Profane history is the
history of successive civilizations. In the profane history of
civilizations, it seems that man’s will prevails. In it, however, one
sees a strong dose of fatality, by which Divine Providence directs the
progress of human affairs for purposes it does not reveal.
In reality there is only one history, that written by God with the
cooperation of all His creatures. It is a magnificent drama. The
Creation. The disorder introduced by human sin. The profit of God from
this fault. The Incarnation. The conflict with Evil. The Resurrection.
Christ Risen is at the centre, and with Him, His chosen ones. When the
Mystical Body of Christ is complete, all history will end. Profane
history, written by man and his passions, is only a secondary element
in God’s great unique history.
The key to this one history is given by St. Paul:
"...for all are
yours; and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s." (I
The world is for the benefit of the faithful, to teach them something,
to serve them. The faithful are for Christ, and Christ —as Man— is
ordained to God.
As St. Thomas Aquinas says, the movement of history as made by men does
not have its end in itself, but outside itself, that is, the filling-up
of the number of the elect which will bring the movement of all history
to a close (De Potentia 3,10 ad 4).
God knows how to make men’s perverse designs serve His purpose exactly.
(St. Thomas Aquinas gives the example of Joseph and his brothers.)
Profane history is what St. Augustine thinks of under the phrase "City
of Man," as distinct from the "City of God." The Bible gives us the
profane history up to Abram. After that, God is in control. It is
divine history. It seems as though God abandoned the City of Man to its
own devices. We could even venture to say that the life of the Gentile
nations fell under "the Prince of this world": not because they were
bad in themselves, but because Satan had gotten possession of them
since Man yielded to his suggestion.
St. John seems to indicate the logic of the great laws of
1. The desire of
power over other nations: "the pride of life";
2. Unbounded enrichment, with poverty for the weaker: "the
concupiscence of the eyes";
3. Sexual rivalries and jealousies: concupiscence of the
St. John juxtaposes divine and profane history.
"We know that we
are of God, and the whole world is seated in
wickedness." (I Jn. 5:19)
In his Epistles, St. Paul contrasts the dialectic of the world —i.e.,
rivalries between Jew and Greek, Master and Slave, Man and Woman— with
the City of God:
"For you are all
the children of God by faith, in Christ Jesus. For as
many of you as have been baptized in Christ, have put on Christ. There
is neither Jew nor Greek: there is neither bond nor free: there is
neither male nor female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if
you be Christ’s, then are you the seed of Abraham, heirs according to
the Promise." (Gal. 3:26-29)
Many authors show how civilizations decline, how there are laws of
birth, growth, and death of civilizations. Their common error is to
think that profane history of nations is the only history. In fact,
profane history aids the true divine history, because the latter makes
use of the former. It is inserted into it, mixed with it.
"And we know
that to them that love God, all things work together unto
good, to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be saints."
St. Thomas Aquinas comments:
"What happens to
the good, who are the noblest part of the universe, is
not done for the benefit of others, but for themselves. The reprobate,
and inferior creatures, are ordained for the good of the elect."
History exists to give time for the preaching of the Gospel.
"And this gospel
of the kingdom, shall be preached in the whole world,
for a testimony to all nations, and then shall the consummation come."
But the preaching of the Gospel is continually frustrated by Judaism.
This historical fact is given us by St. Paul, especially in I
"Who both killed
the Lord Jesus, and the prophets, and have persecuted
us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men; prohibiting us
to speak to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, to fill up their sins
always: for the wrath of God is come upon them to the end." (I Thess.
"Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
then he, that was born according to the flesh, persecuted him that was
after the spirit; so also it is now." (Gal. 4:28,29)
While the Catholic Church opposed the amalgamation of the Jewish people
with Christians, it insisted the Jews be treated with respect in view
of the greatness of their ancestors: a sacred people, but inimical.
When Catholic fervour cooled and pagan influences entered, then
Christian nations imprudently opened their doors to the Jews. Nowadays,
nations no longer have missionary ambitions or political aims; they are
moved purely by economic welfare, in which they cannot succeed except
in dependence on the Jews.
The Mystery of the
Tension Between the Jewish and Gentile Peoples
St. Paul discusses this mysterious dispensation of Providence in his
Letter to the Romans, chapters 9 and 11. Further testimony from Sacred
Scripture highlights this tension in relation to history.
1. The Jewish people is superior to the Gentile people.
"But glory, and
honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to
the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Rom. 2:9)
"What advantage then hath the Jew, or what is the profit of
circumcision? Much every way. First indeed, because the words of God
were committed to them." (Rom. 3:1)
And so Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out
of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from
Jacob. And this is to them my covenant: when I shall take away their
sins. As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake:
but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the
fathers (Rom. 11:26-28).
2. But this superiority comes from faith, not from the flesh. The
Jewish people’s constant temptation is to think it comes from the
flesh. This is indeed great, but great only because it was to bring us
3. The Jewish-Gentile tension and the superiority of the Jewish people
over the Gentile people come to an end in Christendom. This end is not
temporal, but supra-historical.
"For you are all
one in Christ Jesus." (Gal. 3:29b)
4. There is a mystery regarding the Jewish people: that a part of this
people has been rejected so the Gentile people may be saved.
"And Isaiah crieth out concerning Israel: If the number of the children
of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved....And as
Isaiah foretold: Unless the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had
been made as Sodom, and we had been like unto Gomorrah. What then shall
we say? That the Gentiles, who followed not after justice, have
attained to justice, even the justice that is of faith." (Rom.
"I [Paul] say then: Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I
also am an Israelite of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.
God hath not cast away his people, which he foreknew. Know you not what
the scripture saith of Elias; how he calleth on God against Israel?
Lord, they have slain thy prophets, they have dug down thy altars; and
I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the divine
answer to him? I have left me seven thousand men, that have not bowed
their knees to Baal. Even so then at this present time also, there is a
remnant saved according to the election of grace." (Rom. 11:1-5)
St. Paul says the Gentiles have received the Faith so that the jealousy
of the Jewish people might be aroused to receive it as well.
"I say then,
have they [the Jews] so stumbled, that they should fall?
God forbid. But by their offence, salvation is come to the Gentiles,
that they may be emulous of them." (Rom 11:11)
5. The reprobation of Israel is allowed until the fullness of the
Gentile people comes in.
"For I would not
have you ignorant, brethren, of this mystery, (lest
you should be wise in your own conceits), that blindness in part has
happened in Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in."
6. Until that time, however, the Jewish people will be jealous of the
Gentile Christians. Unfortunately, this will not inspire them to seek
the salvation enjoyed by the Gentile Christians, but provoke it to
7. In the course of history, some Jews will be saved.
8. One day, all of Israel will convert. (See Ps. 147; Ps. 126.)
"Now if the
offence of them [the Jewish people] be the riches of the
world, and the diminution of them, the riches of the Gentile; how much
more the fullness of them." (Rom. 11:12)
"And so all Israel should be saved..." (Rom. 11:26a)
"Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in
that are afar off, and say: He that scattered Israel will gather him:
and he will keep him as the shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath
redeemed Jacob, and delivered him out of the hand of one that was
mightier than he. And they shall come, and shall give praise in mount
Sion: and they shall flow together to the good things of the Lord, for
the corn, and wine, and oil, and the increase of cattle and herds, and
their soul shall be as a watered garden, and they shall be hungry no
more....Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: As yet shall
they say this word in the land of Juda, and in the cities thereof, when
I shall bring back their captivity: The Lord bless thee, the beauty of
justice, the holy mountain." (Jer. 31:10-12, 23)
"For I say to you, you shall not see me henceforth till you
Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord." (Mt. 23:39)
"And they shall fall by the edge of the sword; and shall be
captives into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the
Gentiles; till the times of the nations be fulfilled." (Lk. 21:24)
9. The conversion of the Jewish people to the Catholic Church will be
in the course of history.
10. History proceeds towards an eschatological state where Jew and
Gentile are one.
"For he is our
peace, who hath made both one, and breaking down the
middle wall of partition, the enmities in his flesh; making void the
law of commandments contained in decrees; that he might make the two in
himself into one new man, making peace; and might reconcile both to God
in one body by the cross, killing the enmities in himself. And coming,
he preached peace to you that were afar off, and peace to them that
were nigh....Built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the
building, being framed together, groweth up into an holy temple in the
Lord. In whom you also are built together into an habitation of God in
the Spirit." (Eph. 2:14-17,20-22)
The Jewish People
and the End-Times
We must consider the role of the Jewish people in those last events
which, already outside history, have a gravitational pull on all
history. The order of these events seems to be:
1. The fullness of the nations (as prophesied by St. Paul) coming into
the Catholic Church.
2. At the same time, conversions amongst the Jewish people multiply.
These developments enrage the central core of Judaism, and it succeeds
in its stepped-up propaganda among the Gentile people. Thus will come
the universal Apostasy.
"Let no man
deceive you by any means, for unless there come a revolt
first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, who
opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is
worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as
if he were God." (II Thess. 2:3,4)
3. The Apostasy will be contemporaneous with the Antichrist (II Thess.
2:3). He will be recognized as the messiah of the Jews and master of
the Gentiles. He will arrive by Satan’s suggestion.
4. The conversion of the Jewish people will follow, chiefly by the
preaching of Elias (and Enoch).
"Behold I will
send you Elias the prophet, before the coming of the
great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the heart of the
fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their
fathers:..." (Mal. 4:5,6)
5. And with the Apostasy and Antichrist will come the Great Tribulation
announced by our Lord.
"For there shall
be then great tribulation, such as hath not been from
the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be." (Mt. 24:21)
6. Following that...
"...the sun will
be darkened...then shall appear the sign of the Son of
man in heaven:...and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds
of heaven with much power and majesty....And he shall send his angels
with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his
elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to
the utmost bounds of them." (Mt. 24:29,30,31)
7. Then, the General Judgment.
"And when the
son of Man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels
with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty [judgment]:
And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall
separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep
from the goats." (Mt. 25:31,32)
8. But when the glory of the Lord appears, the heavens will pass away
and the earth will dissolve.
"But the day of
the Lord shall come as a thief, in which the heavens
shall pass away with great violence, and the elements shall be melted
with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it, shall be burnt
up." (II Pet. 3:10)
9. There will be a new heaven and a new earth.
"But we look for
new heavens and a new earth according to his promises,
in which justice dwelleth." (II Pet. 3:13).
"For behold I create new heavens, and a new earth: and the
things shall not be in remembrance, and they shall not come upon the
heart." (Isaiah 65:17).
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. For the first heaven
first earth was gone, and the sea is now no more. And I John saw the
holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,
prepared as a bride adorned for her husband." (Apoc. 21:1,2)
10. An eternal banquet in heaven.
"That you may
eat and drink at my table, in my kingdom: and may sit
upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Lk. 22:30)
Just as Israel has a primordial mission in historical time, so it has
in the eschatological events. The Jewish people is great with a triple
greatness: in its name Israel given by God, in the benefits received
from God, and that it gave flesh to Jesus Christ. The Gentile people,
grafted into this Olive Tree, have a mission to accomplish in God’s
plan, too, that is, to accelerate (unwittingly) the evangelization of
But at the end, when the nations have entered the messianic kingdom,
Israel, by being newly inserted into the Olive Tree (i.e., the Catholic
Church) from which it has been partially detached, will announce by its
conversion to the Catholic Church the moment of the start of the great
events which prepare the Second Coming of the Son of Man. And in the
consummation of eschatology, in the eternal banquet of Divine
contemplation, called in from the East and the West "they will come and
sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the Kingdom of Heaven."
The Jewish people is the bearer of salvation in Christ. One cannot
adequately evaluate the people that has given us Mary and Jesus. With
them we touch the Divine. The Jewish people should have acknowledged
their littleness in comparison to them. But a part of Israel was
consumed by pride. For the wrong reasons, it thought itself greater
than all other races, greater than even Jesus Christ and the Blessed
Virgin Mary. Thinking itself superior to all, it put a fence round
itself to prevent contamination from others, and worked to dominate
them. In the system of carnal, worldly greatness they have raised up
with the de-Christianized peoples, the Jews are the masters, and no
power seems able to resist their hidden power.
So, must the Christian peoples resign themselves to a degrading
slavery? In no way.
The Catholic life can be summarized:
Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole
heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind. This is the
greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this:
Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself (Mt. 22: 37-39).
Love means seeking the good of those whom we love, that is, God’s good,
which is that His Name should be glorified by the doing of His will,
and Man’s good, which is that all rights necessary for him to obtain
his temporal and eternal welfare be afforded him. Infractions against
these "goods" should be prevented and/or punished by responsible
authority. Charity, remember, is not sentimentality. It is to seek the
real good of others and to hate evil.
These things understood, the ambitions of the Jewish people can be
prevented in two ways at the same time. Firstly, the Catholic life of
Gentile nations must be strengthened. Since there is a theological law
proved in history that de-Christianization allows the ascendancy of
Judaism, the revivification of the Catholic spirit in private and
public life is the only way to ensure its decline. Secondly, acts of
aggression by Judaism must be resisted. A characteristic strategy of
Judaism is to perpetrate falsehood.
"You are of your
father the devil, and the desires of your father you
will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the
truth; because the truth was not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he
speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof." (Jn.
The Gentile Christians are eradicated under the pretence of security,
enslaved in the name of liberty, scorned under pretence of fraternity,
mastered under guise of equality (of democracy), robbed under pretence
of giving credit, endarkened under pretence of enlightenment.
It is unthinkable to Catholics that the Jewish people should be
repressed simply for being Jewish. The Catholic argument is not hostile
to Jewishness as such. Rather, it is a defence of the true Jewish
heritage, the glory of which is Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin
"The Jews must
not be persecuted or chased like beasts....They are
living signs that remind us of the Passion of our Lord. Besides, they
are scattered through the world so that, while they pay for such a
crime, they can be the witnesses of our redemption." (St. Bernard of
Clairvaux, Letter 363)
"The [Catholic] Church has a nobler triumph over the Jews by
them see their errors or converting them than by killing them. It is
not in vain that the Church has prayers for the incredulous Jews: for
it would be pointless to pray for them if we did not hope that they may
come to believe." (St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Letter 365)
The Catholic Church defends the true Jewish heritage, that is, the
principles of Christianity, by outlawing its infection by pharisaism.
It is the prayer of the Catholic Church that true Israelites understand
they cannot attain to the true greatness of their people until they
themselves take sword in hand to clean out from within themselves the
leaven of the Pharisees that perverts them, and adhere to Him who came
to save all men.