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gladius_veritatis

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« on: June 07, 2006, 08:40:PM »

Date: 2006-06-07

Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz

Interview With Father Jean Stern

ROME, JUNE 7, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI's visit to Auschwitz is a continuation of John Paul II's teachings on the particular relationship between God and the Jews, says a priest whose parents died in that camp.

In this interview, held May 28, Father Jean Stern, a Jewish-born French missionary of Our Lady of LaSalette, shared with ZENIT his reflections on Benedict XVI's historic visit to Auschwitz during his trip to Poland.

Q: No doubt you followed closely Benedict XVI's visit to Auschwitz. What did you find especially significant about this visit?

Father Stern: The fact that the Holy Father presented himself as a German, saying: "It is a duty before the truth and the just due of all who suffered here, a duty before God, for me to come here as the successor of Pope John Paul II and as a son of the German people, that people over which a ring of criminals rose to power by false promises of future greatness and the recovery of the nation's honor, prominence and prosperity, but also through terror and intimidation, with the result that our people were used and abused as an instrument of their thirst for destruction and power."

Benedict XVI knows the catechism and he knows that the intervention of a deceitful tempter is not an excuse that can make innocent those who have listened to him and followed him. "The serpent deceived me," Eve said after her sin.

On the other hand, the Pope abstained from specifying how many people followed the Nazi power out of conviction [or] weakness and how many, on the contrary, were able to resist heroically. It belongs to God to read consciences and judge them.

Q: Benedict XVI's visit had three stages: Auschwitz I, with the wall of those shot and the bunker of hunger; the Catholic center for dialogue and prayer; and, finally, Birkenau, also called Auschwitz II, a camp specialized in massacres on an industrial scale. Is it significant that the Pope paused at the Catholic center?

Father Stern: That center, with the Carmel which is next to it, manifests a notable openness of the Polish people to others' sufferings.

Of the 6 million Poles who lost their lives during the war, half were Jews, the other half were all, or almost all, baptized Christians. The majority of the latter were led to death by the Nazis.

Although the proportion of non-Jewish victims in relation to the total population is far lower than the proportion of Jewish victims, around 10% in the first case, and 90% in the second, it is in any case huge figures of wounds that have left profound and painful scars on the Polish people.

Openness to sufferings, and also to the problems of others, which the existence of this center represents, seems very positive to me for the future of Europe.

Q: What perception was there at the time of this barbarism?

Father Stern: For many people in France, at least until 1942, the German invader was still the German of 1914-1918.

My family was in the know, in a general way, of Nazi atrocities. My parents died in Auschwitz. But when they climbed into the cattle wagons that took them there, did they have an idea of the "final solution"? I don't know.

Q: What do you think is important to make new generations understand?

Father Stern: Young people must be made to understand that every man is weak at the moral level.

It is tempting for young people to think: "Our fathers have committed abominations, OK. But we have understood it." In fact, today as yesterday, each one must watch over his convictions and his conduct. Otherwise, there is a great risk of being drawn where, in principle, one did not wish to go.

Q: What impressed you most when Benedict XVI spoke about the Jews?

Father Stern: I was impressed by the continuity between his teachings and those of John Paul II. According to this last Pope, God never gave up the Covenant he made with Israel.

The Jewish people, Benedict XVI said at Auschwitz, "by its very existence, is a witness to the God who spoke to humanity and took us to himself," who in Sinai enunciated the criteria that remains valid for eternity.

In the intentions of the Nazis, he added, "by destroying Israel, by the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith."


gladius_veritatis

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2006, 08:44:PM »

Quote
Q: What impressed you most when Benedict XVI spoke about the Jews?

Father Stern: I was impressed by the continuity between his teachings and those of John Paul II. According to this last Pope, God never gave up the Covenant he made with Israel.

The Jewish people, Benedict XVI said at Auschwitz, "by its very existence, is a witness to the God who spoke to humanity and took us to himself," who in Sinai enunciated the criteria that remains valid for eternity.

In the intentions of the Nazis, he added, "by destroying Israel, by the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith."

Sadly, there is indeed continuity between BXVI's false teachings on this point and those of his predecessor.  God ended the Covenant with the Jews 2000 years ago, as was manifestly declared by the rending of the Temple curtain.

 

So, the Jews of today are the "taproot of the Christian Faith"? 


HMiS

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2006, 01:59:AM »

The Jews are not definitively cast away by God, they remain dear for the sake of their fathers, but the Old Testament was replaced by the New. The Old did not disappear, but the New and Eternal directly outdated and fullfilled the Ancient, that's why the Temple was destroyed and the Temple's veil torn already in 33 AD (cfr. Mystici Corporis, 1943, par. 27). In the sense of love of God towards the perfidious Jews one must see, that he wants to bring them to salvation in the fulness of His Revelation: the New Testament.

 

I don't think Benedict XVI thinks the Old Testament remains salvific by itself. That's what this or that priest makes of it, again one of those judaizers, who does not understand why he converted clearly enough. Like Jean Lustiger of Paris.

 

But given the fact, that I know, that Benedict said about protestants, orthodox and Jews, that they are "in a very deficient situation as to eternal salvation" in a 2005 interview, we know that we can't interpret it the way you, Gladius, want to do it. Don't twist things. 

 

The sad thing is, that this French priest is a missionary of Our Lady of La Salette.  

 

Culturally and historically speaking, it is true, and I know from historical sources, that the National Socialists of Germany thought Christianity, and the Roman Catholic Church in particular, to be in the end a Jewish ("Judaized") perversion of "positive Christianity" (which claimed Jesus was "an Aryan") concocted by "the Jews Peter Simon and Paul of Tarsus", thereby insulting the princes of the Apostles. It is known, that the nazis, because of the Church's lack of cooperation and its resistance in adopting "positive Christianity" and paganized "Life Celebrations", told: after garlick (the Jews) we will take of the incense (the Catholics). In that sense, knowing that, we may conclude that in some way the Nazis also claimed Judaism was the root of Christianity. It really is, but with the difference, that Christianity is not built upon modern "Jewish" Talmudic perfidy, Cabbalistic occultism and rabbinism, but upon the undefiled Old Testament Judaism of the Temple era, not of that of anti-Christian Babylonian rabbis.

„Ja, Ja, wie Gott es will. Gott lohne es Euch. Gott schütze das liebe Vaterland. Für Ihn weiterarbeiten... oh, Du lieber Heiland!” ("Yes, Yes, as God wills it. May God repay it to you. May God protect the dear fatherland. Go on working for him... oh, you dear Savior!") - Clemens August Cardinal von Galen, his last words.

Ceildric

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2006, 12:39:PM »
Quote from: gladius_veritatis

Quote
Q: What impressed you most when Benedict XVI spoke about the Jews?

Father Stern: I was impressed by the continuity between his teachings and those of John Paul II. According to this last Pope, God never gave up the Covenant he made with Israel.

The Jewish people, Benedict XVI said at Auschwitz, "by its very existence, is a witness to the God who spoke to humanity and took us to himself," who in Sinai enunciated the criteria that remains valid for eternity.

In the intentions of the Nazis, he added, "by destroying Israel, by the Shoah, they ultimately wanted to tear up the taproot of the Christian faith."

Sadly, there is indeed continuity between BXVI's false teachings on this point and those of his predecessor.  God ended the Covenant with the Jews 2000 years ago, as was manifestly declared by the rending of the Temple curtain.

So, the Jews of today are the "taproot of the Christian Faith"?


Please correct me if I'm wrong but, God never had a covenant with Jews, today or 2000 years ago.  God's covenant was with Hebrews.  They were initiated into His mysteries and thus were spiritual members of Israel.  Overtime as the Hebrews turned their back on God and "played the harlot", He looked for others to "look after His vineyards" and "present Him with the fruits at the proper time".  Thus Gentiles were grafted onto the vine.  Hebrews continue to have the mystical potential, but they in general (those that identify with modern Judaism, especially Zionism) are still playing the harlot.
"et cognoscetis veritatem, et veritas liberabit vos"

"And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (John 8:32)

lumengentleman

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2006, 01:29:PM »

Quote from: Ceildric
Please correct me if I'm wrong

Alright ... will do ...

 

Quote from: Ceildric
God never had a covenant with Jews, today or 2000 years ago.  God's covenant was with Hebrews.

 

I didn't realize, when we started the online bible study a few weeks ago, just how relevant our topic there (the centrality of Covenant, the various Covenants God made with Man, the history of God's people, etc.) would be to these kinds of modern discussions about Benedict and the Jews.

 

The word "Jew" means a descendant of Judah, who was only one of the twelve sons of Jacob, who himself was later named Israel.

 

The twelve sons of Jacob and all the peoples that come from him are "Israelites."

 

All of these, but also including Midian and all who spring from him, and Ishmael and all who spring from him (including the Arabs), are sons of Abraham.

 

All of these, and more, can trace their lineage back to Eber (see Gen. 10), who is the father of the Hebrews.

 

A much larger group can trace itself back to Shem (again, see Gen. 10), and so are called Semites.

 

The Old Testament shows us the progressive narrowing down of the genealogical lines who are responsible for mediating the Covenant.  It was made with Abraham, and so it would necessarily include all of his sons - Ishmael, Isaac, Midian.  But then it was passed on to Isaac, and then to Jacob/Israel, so thus the Covenant of God was with the Israelites - not with the "Hebrews," because that group is a larger umbrella that includes more than just the Israelites.

 

Then, just after 1000 BC, the ten northern tribes of Israel broke away from the kingdom and religion of YHWH, which was centered in Judah (the Davidic Kings all come from Judah).  They became idolaters, and thus, the Covenant was maintained only by the southern kingdom of Judah - the Jews.

 

So yes, for some 1,000 years, the Jews were the mediators of the Covenant.  However, since God's original covenant with Abraham promised to bless all the nations through the seed of Isaac (Jacob), He promised through the prophets to reunite the kingdom and re-establish the covenant, not just with Judah, but with all Israel.

 

When the pope says that God never revoked His covenant with Israel, he is either right or wrong, depending on what he means.  If he is referring to the specific covenant with Israel made at Sinai - the "Old Covenant" - then he is wrong; that covenant has been fulfilled (and thus made obsolete) in the New Covenant.

 

But if he is referring to the Older Covenant, the one made with Abraham, then he is right: that covenant has not been revoked.  It is this Older Covenant that has been honored by God in the New Covenant.

 

Covenants are sticky business.  It's hard to separate them, because ultimately they're all connected - one comes after and either modifies or fulfills the one before.  We can speak of the abstract essence of the Covenant, which is the same today as it was when it was first made with Adam; or we can speak of the concrete "incarnations" or "modes" of that over-arching covenant, which are separate from each other and have taken on various forms throughout history.

 

For example: the covenant with Abraham took on a particular form when God said that circumcision was a necessary element of this covenant.  It took on another form with Israel in the wilderness at Sinai, and included the written and ceremonial Laws.  It was further modified again just before Israel entered the Promised Land, and this time included stipulations about worship taking place only at the one temple in Jerusalem.  Obviously, in its newest manifestation in the New Covenant, it takes on a different form from the ones before: circumcision is replaced by baptism, animal sacrifice is replaced by the Eucharist, worship at the temple is made obsolete because the worship of God can now take place any time and any place the Eucharistic King and Lord is made present.

 

But in its essence, there is one covenant; and the New Covenant fulfills (not revokes) the original covenant with Abraham, which included the promise that Israel would be the mediators of salvation to the Gentiles.

 

This is why, I think, the pope is so emphatic about the Church sharing a common root with Israel; to use St. Paul's language, the Gentiles are "wild branches" grafted onto a tree, to which Israel belongs by nature.

 

With good reason did so many of the Church Fathers speak about the time in the future when Israel would return to God and convert en masse; St. Paul speaks of this present age as a period of time when the "full number" of the Gentiles are being "grafted" onto the one tree, and during this period Israel will be in rebellion - but there will come a turning point, when they are grafted back on to their own tree.

 

The reason why this will happen is because, as St. Paul says in Romans, the "calling" of God is irrevocable - and His "calling" to Israel was, from the very start, that they should be His "first-born son" (Ex. 4:22).  In ancient Hebrew life, the first-born was the one who served with his father as priest, mediating the covenant to the rest of the family.  Israel was called to be God's first-born son, and thus, a priestly mediator to the nations - which is why He calls them (in Ex. 19) to be a royal-priestly nation.  That calling is irrevocable, and I believe that it will be precisely through their mass conversion at the end of days that they will finally fulfill that calling.

 

In the meantime, they remain cut off from the covenant, but not rejected by God.  They need to be converted, and we as Gentile Christians need to recognize our debt to that first-born son of God among the nations.  I cannot say it any more strongly than what St. Paul himself said:

 

Quote
 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in their place to share the richness of the olive tree, do not boast over the branches. If you do boast, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you.

 

You will say, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in." That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.

 

Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off. And even the others, if they do not persist in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

 

For if you have been cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree. Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, "The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob"; "and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins."

 

As regards the gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. (Rom. 11:17-31)



Ceildric

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2006, 01:54:PM »
Thank you lumengentleman.

My ability to choose appropriate terms to express my ideas is often not spot on.  I was trying to delineate the difference between modern Judaism (what I would call a Jew, someone that practices the modern Talmudic religion) and the ancient religion, which Christ was a fullfillment of; hence in my view, the Old Testament persons that were ever faithful to God's truth were in fact Christians in a sense, and Christianity is a continuance of that tradition with ethnic peoples other than those who originally received the mysteries.

Would you say I'm still off the mark (beyound being sloppy about the terms "Jew" and "Hebrew")?

"et cognoscetis veritatem, et veritas liberabit vos"

"And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free" (John 8:32)

lumengentleman

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2006, 02:22:PM »

Quote from: Ceildric
I was trying to delineate the difference between modern Judaism (what I would call a Jew, someone that practices the modern Talmudic religion) and the ancient religion

I see what you're saying.  The modern Judaic religion is not the Old Covenant, precisely for the reasons outlined above: the last manifestation of the Old Covenant - that is, the particular binding form of that Covenant in the days of Christ - was the Deuteronomic form, which required animals sacrifices and worship only at the temple in Jerusalem.

 

Obviously, that temple is gone, and so are the genealogical records that are necessary (according to Scripture) in order to prove that a priest is of Levitical descent.

 

The situation of the ethnic Jew today is comparable to the situation we would be in if God suddenly struck down all the priests and prelates of the Church.  That would be the end of Catholicism.  No more Mass.  No way to ordain valid priests to say the Mass.  We could still pray our prayers, say our rosaries, venerate our relics and statues, etc., but you could hardly call our religion "Catholicism" anymore - because Catholicism is inextricably bound up with the Mass and the hierarchy.

 

So the long and short of it is that no ethnic Jew today is also a truly religious Jew.  There is no way to practice the Old Covenant without a priesthood and without a temple in Jerusalem.

 

Quote
hence in my view, the Old Testament persons that were ever faithful to God's truth were in fact Christians in a sense, and Christianity is a continuance of that tradition with ethnic peoples other than those who originally received the mysteries.

 

That is almost point-for-point the view of the early Fathers.  Listen to Eusebius:

 

Quote

But although it is clear that we are new and that this new name of Christians has really but recently been known among all nations, nevertheless our life and our conduct, with our doctrines of religion, have not been lately invented by us, but from the first creation of man, so to speak, have been established by the natural understanding of divinely favored men of old. That this is so we shall show in the following way.

 

That the Hebrew nation is not new, but is universally honored on account of its antiquity, is known to all. The books and writings of this people contain accounts of ancient men, rare indeed and few in number, but nevertheless distinguished for piety and righteousness and every other virtue. Of these, some excellent men lived before the flood, others of the sons and descendants of Noah lived after it, among them Abraham, whom the Hebrews celebrate as their own founder and forefather.

 

If any one should assert that all those who have enjoyed the testimony of righteousness, from Abraham himself back to the first man, were Christians in fact if not in name, he would not go beyond the truth.

 

For that which the name indicates, that the Christian man, through the knowledge and the teaching of Christ, is distinguished for temperance and righteousness, for patience in life and manly virtue, and for a profession of piety toward the one and only God over all-all that was zealously practiced by them not less than by us.

 

They did not care about circumcision of the body, neither do we. They did not care about observing Sabbaths, nor do we. They did not avoid certain kinds of food, neither did they regard the other distinctions which Moses first delivered to their posterity to be observed as symbols; nor do Christians of the present day do such things. But they also clearly knew the very Christ of God; for it has already been shown that he appeared unto Abraham, that he imparted revelations to Isaac, that he talked with Jacob, that he held converse with Moses and with the prophets that came after.

 

Hence you will find those divinely favored men honored with the name of Christ, according to the passage which says of them, "Touch not my Christs, and do my prophets no harm."

 

So that it is clearly necessary to consider that religion, which has recently been preached to all nations through the teaching of Christ, as the first and most ancient of all religions, and the one discovered by those divinely favored men in the age of Abraham. (Eusebius, Church History, Book I, 4:4-10)


lumengentleman

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2006, 02:41:PM »

Quote from: abragers
What's this I've read about some Evangelicals trying to help the Israelis to breed a red calf or something like that to restore the old covenant priesthood?? Is there such a restoration formula and, if so, what is its source??

 

I've heard rumors of the same (incidentally, the Evangelicals who believe in the Secret Rapture and all that stuff are actively trying to help the Jews get their temple back, because the way they interpret Scripture leads them to believe that this will set in motion the chain of events that lead to the end times).

 

Personally, I don't see how it's possible.  They have to have a valid priesthood, and for them that means being able to demonstrate Levitical pedigree, both on the mother's and father's side, going back some 10 generations.  I can't imagine how they could attempt to do that when those genealogical records are gone.


gladius_veritatis

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2006, 06:12:PM »

Quote from: HMiS
The Jews are not definitively cast away by God, they remain dear for the sake of their fathers, but the Old Testament was replaced by the New. The Old did not disappear, but the New and Eternal directly outdated and fullfilled the Ancient, that's why the Temple was destroyed and the Temple's veil torn already in 33 AD (cfr. Mystici Corporis, 1943, par. 27).

So is the Old still around and operative, or not?   These two ideas, imo, are in conflict, Sander.  It was superseded by that which was its fulfillment, and rendered completely obsolete - and the words of BXVI, et alii, confirm that they do not think this is the case.

 

Quote
I don't think Benedict XVI thinks the Old Testament remains salvific by itself.

 

I do, but that discussion is for another time and place. 

 

Quote
...we know that we can't interpret it the way you, Gladius, want to do it. Don't twist things. 

 

See your own words above for a great example of "twisting things".   The OT was replaced, but did not disappear?   Where did it go?

 

Quote
It really is, but with the difference, that Christianity is not built upon modern "Jewish" Talmudic perfidy, Cabbalistic occultism and rabbinism, but upon the undefiled Old Testament Judaism of the Temple era, not of that of anti-Christian Babylonian rabbis.

 

So...?  

 

BXVI's statements clearly mark out the modern Jews as "the taproot of Christianity" - and he does not say "what the 1930'-40's Germans erroneously thought was the taproot, etc."


michaeorapronobis

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Assessing Benedict XVI's Visit to Auschwitz
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2006, 09:39:PM »

Since Vatican II, ecumenism has been the highest priority. The Mass was changed to make it more 'ecumenical', prohibitions against attending other religious services were lifted, etc. The Modernists want to destroy the Catholic faith, and what faster way to do that than to claim that 'all religions are equal ways to God'? All people, no matter what religion they are, are to be included.

 

Because of this 'inclusive' principle, the Pope is taking the idea of the Old Covenant with Moses and saying that it the Jews never lost it. For almost 2000 years the Church has taught that that covenant was fulfilled in Christ. Benedict and the Modernists are only changing that teaching now to suit their own agenda - an ecumenical agenda which seeks to include all people of all religions without the requirement that they believe in Christ and become part of His Holy Church! Even Muslims, who are the sworn enemies of Christ and His Church, who killed thousands upon thousands of Catholics during the Crusades, are included, and priest even give them chapels to use as mosques!

 

But this ecumenism is two-faced. My belief is that the Modernists want to completely eradicate the Catholic faith. To do this, the Pope meets with heretics and schismatics, pagans and heathens, and praises their religions as vaild ways to God, yet when one Archbishop practices the Catholic faith as it has always been practiced for centuries, he is looked down upon and eventually excommunicated! Archbishop Lefebvre's crime was nothing less than being a Catholic! Yes, that is a crime in the Conciliar Church, the church that claims to be exclusive, allowing all religions saying that they are all paths to God, yet they will not allow the traditional Catholic faith. The real ecumenical message is "If it's not traditional Catholicism, then it's ok. Anything goes, except traditional Catholicism!" How absurd is this?