Pope Francis and the White Crucifixion

When asked about his favorite painters, Pope Francis responded: “Among the great painters, I admire Caravaggio; his paintings speak to me. But also Chagall, with his ‘White Crucifixion.’ It’s a fascinating choice.

Marc Chagall was, as Wikipedia notes, “the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century.” He was also captured by the figure of Jesus Christ: he has numerous paintings of the Crucifixion, and designed stained glass windows for several Christian churches. His White Crucifixion, the painting mentioned by Pope Francis, was painted in 1938, on the eve of the Holocaust. It depicts Jesus as a Jew, even wearing a Jewish prayer shawl (a tallit), while He is surrounded on all sides by anti-Semitic violence.

Marc Chagall, White Crucifixion (1938)

This dimension of the faith, Jesus the Jew, hovers over every Crucifix in the “INRI” inscription. It’s also reflected in two particularly strong statements on the subject:

Mark well that in the Catholic Mass, Abraham is our Patriarch and forefather. Anti-Semitism is incompatible with the lofty thought which that fact expresses. It is a movement with which we Christians can have nothing to do. No, no I say to you it is impossible for a Christian to take part in anti-Semitism. It is inadmissible. Through Christ and in Christ we are the spiritual progeny of Abraham. Spiritually, we are all Semites.” – Pope Pius XI, September 6, 1938.

Anti-Semitism, a quite modern development, is the most horrible buffet that Our Lord has received in His Passion, which is still going on; it is the most outrageous and the most unpardonable because He receives it on the face of His Mother and from Christian hands.” – Léon Bloy (the Catholic poet and author referenced in Pope Francis’ first homily as pope).


  1. He likes it? And Caravaggio? “What’s your favorite adult beverage Your Holiness?” “Oh you know, I like a good 18 year old single malt highlands scotch. That, and Schlitz Malt Liquor.”

    1. You’re quite right, Daniel, that from a standpoint of technique Caravaggio and Chagall are not in the same class. But that doesn’t mean that Chagall’s paintings are worthless or, even, that they may not be profound. And the Pope’s comment–at least as translated–seems to indicate that he’s aware of the disparity between the painters, because he says “but also.” Not, however, that artistic acumen is a quality necessary to a pope; it would not matter if he lacked it. (On a personal note, I like Gregorian chant and the Great American Songbook–but obviously in different ways. I also like symphonies and ukuleles.)


  2. Oncet, it was a rudimentary fact of Catholicism that Deicide was considered not only the greatest crime ever in the history of the world but that no other crime imaginable could even come close to it; it was a crime of such magnitude that Jerusalem, the City of Deicide, was destroyed by God as just punishment in 70 a.d. via his instrument, Titus.

    By substituting race for His divinity as the cause of His Crucifixion (The Jews killed Him because He was Jewish?) , Chagall seems to me to be engaging in an act of a substitution premised upon racial supremacism (celebrated in The Talmud and condemned in Mit Brennender Sorge) and, indeed, all about the Cross are the symbols of those who are Messiah-Deniers and the labeling of World War Two war crimes as a holocaust was actually a quite clever substitution as the animals chosen for the Old Testament holocausts were considered to be pure and innocent – just like the Jews whom we Christians are to consider eternally innocent whereas we Christians are sempiternally guilty of a fundamental animus against Jews.

    That a Pope would identify this as one of his favorite paintings is scandalising.

    1. In all honesty, “I am not Spartacus,” your comment doesn’t deserve a response. I very much regret having to say that, and I only write it after much hesitation.

      It is questionable to assert that Deicide being considered the greatest sin is, or ever was, “rudimentary Catholicism.” St. Thomas Aquinas expressly says that “those are the gravest sins which are committed against the Godhead, such as unbelief and blasphemy. The second degree of gravity is held by those sins which are committed against His humanity” (III, Q 80, A 5, resp. — http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4080.htm#article5). He also says that “The Lord of glory is said to be crucified, not as the Lord of glory, but as a man capable of suffering” (III, Q 46, A 12, ad. 1 — http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4046.htm#article12). In other words, Christ was crucified in His human nature. There is, strictly speaking, no such thing as Deicide. St. Thomas does affirm, in a passage he quotes, that those whose crucified Christ “did not crucify one who was simply a man; they inflicted their presumptions upon God” (qtd. in III, Q 46, A 12, ad. 3); but this is because Christ is God, and in crucifying Him they rejected God’s greatest overture to them. It was the world’s greatest act of unbelief.

      And you must also reckon with the Biblical passages that say, quite clearly, that Jesus was crucified by those ignorant of His Divinity:

      1 Corinthians 2:7-8: “What we make known is the wisdom of God, his secret, kept hidden till now; so, before the ages, God had decreed, reserving glory for us. (None of the rulers of this world could read his secret, or they would not have crucified him to whom all glory belongs.)”

      Acts 3:17-18: “Come then, brethren, I know that you, like your rulers, acted in ignorance; but God has fulfilled in this way what was foretold by all the prophets about the sufferings of his Christ.”

      St. Thomas Aquinas says that the ignorance of the rulers of the Jews was an “affected ignorance, which could not excuse them” and that their sin was indeed the gravest sin ever committed, by reason of its kind and of their “malice of will” (III, Q 47, A 6, resp. — http://www.newadvent.org/summa/4047.htm#article6). But of the Jewish people he says: “those of lesser degree–namely, the common folk–who had not grasped the mysteries of the Scriptures, did not fully comprehend that He was the Christ or the Son of God. For although some of them believed in Him, yet the multitude did not; and if they doubted sometimes whether He was the Christ, on account of the manifold signs and force of His teaching, as is stated [John 7:31-4], nevertheless they were deceived afterwards by their rulers, so that they did not believe Him to be the Son of God or the Christ” (III, Q 47, A 5, resp.).

      This tracks perfectly with Nostra Aetate, paragraph 4: “True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures.”

      (continued below)

    2. Obviously, the Jews of the Holocaust were innocent of the death of Christ. This could not be more obvious. They are clearly, in that respect, “pure and innocent.” Your labeling of all Jews as “Messiah-deniers” is reckless and uncharitable–possibly they are only ignorant? I know Protestants who, if they came to believe in the Eucharist, would crawl over a quarter-mile of nails, if they had to, to get to a Catholic Church. But they are unaware of that truth. In fact, they sometimes speak against it. Their case is largely analogous to that of a modern Jew. We must say, with Christ, “Forgive them, Father, for the know not what they do.” If we, the people of God, do not love non-Christians, with an abandoned, kenotic love, why should they think God loves them?

      The reason some people think Christians have a “fundamental animus against Jews” is because people say things like you said in your comment.

      Also, you misinterpret Chagall’s painting. As you point out, it would be absurd to think Christ was crucified for being Jewish. The reasonable conclusion, then, is that Chagall must have meant something different. Here’s a reasonable interpretation: Jesus was persecuted and killed. He is close to all those who are persecuted and killed. And because He is Jewish, He is especially close to the Jews in their suffering. He is the archetype of suffering, rejected Israel. Only in the suffering of Jesus does the suffering of Israel have meaning.

      And, remember, Jesus wept over Jerusalem–over its destruction because it rejected him (Luke 19: 41-44). How much more will He weep over its innocent suffering?

      Chagall’s painting is quite moving: In the midst of darkness, of the terror, confusion, and persecution of the Jews, a ray of light shines on The Suffering Jew, his face peaceful and his body wrapped in a prayer shawl. Below him shines a menorah, a symbol of the light of God and of His Temple.

      There is nothing the least bit scandalous about Pope Francis’ statement. It is much more scandalous that you, as a Catholic, would say such reckless things about the Jews in public and take it upon yourself to censure the Pope—especially on a matter where he has not remotely done anything wrong.

      I beg you, in the brotherhood of our Lord, to strive to exercise charity. That doesn’t mean being unconcerned about truth: it means being concerned about life. We are not called to be a people of condemnation, but a people of hope. We must ask, are the things we do likely to lead others to eternal life, or are they likely to push them away? The bent reed must not be broken, and the smoldering wick must not be put out–at least not by us. Such things will come, but woe to him through whom they come. Let us strive, in the humility of Jesus and Mary, to be a people that gives life.


    3. I hope this isn’t leading to an embrace of the current Israel, which has zero to do with the Biblical Israel. I fear that that may be the next step, following certain strains of Evangelicals who fawn over modern Israel as some fulfillment.

      Most Jews today are not direct descendants of Biblical Jews. Arthur Kostler may well have lost his life to the Mossad for showing this.

      Can Jews be save? Of course! By accepting Jesus.



  3. In all honesty, “I am not Spartacus,” your comment doesn’t deserve a response

    Dear Anonymous. Does that mean what you wrote was dishonest? 🙂

    You are wrong about Deicide not being the worst crime ever and even he who closed the V2 Council, Pope Paul VI, at Mass, preached openly about the Jews and Deicide after the Council as Joe Roddy documented in Time magazine.

    This happened on Passion Sunday in Rome in 1965.

    And, of course, the great Bishop Carli of Segni sent out his pastoral about the crime of Deicide and Jewish involvement after V2 but such facts are presumed to have been dropped off the Pont de Sant’angelo into the Tiber to be washed away forever

    John 8: 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 truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof

    1 Thess 2 For you, 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 coutrymen, 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;

    Luke 19 …But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me.

    Acts Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly, that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified

    Fr John A Hardon’s, Modern Catholic Dictionary, has Deicide as an entry and that word used to be part of every Traditionalist’s vocabulary; and it still is despite the reality that word scandalises and horrifies those who have been beaten into religious submission by the racial supremacists, the Zionists.

    As for the novelties of Vatican Two (about which even Cardinals have said that N.A. is not binding), more and more Catholics are becoming informed about the nature of its revolutionary status and the revelations about the modernist conspiratorialists who assembled prior to V2 opening (See “The Second Vatican Council (an untold story)” by Prof Mattei) and who seized control of the Council early on, men like Austin Cardinal Bea- the perp primarily responsible for Nostra Aetate – are revelations about the revolutionaries that will scatter many.

    That aside, Chagall’s painting is Zionist Propaganda intended to supplant in the mind of the Christian that the crimes against the putative innocent Jews are at least equal to the immeasurable evil of the crime of Deicide.

    As for your pleas of peace and brotherhood, tell that to the Jews who remain the enemy of the Catholic Church despite the political program which constitutes the praxis of the progressive papacy.

    Check-out the Jewish Encyclopedia your own self and learn the status of the Talmud within Judaism and then think about the Talmud teaching that Mary was raped by a roman soldier while she was menstruating and that her bastard child, Jesus, was justly killed for His Blasphemy and that He is in Hell submerged in boiling excrement.

    O. and just to finish, please explain to me the continuity between our first Pope and our modern Popes. Pope Peter preached Christ and Conversion in Synagogue and private Jewish homes while the modern Popes, beginning with John Paul II begin their Pontificates by writing letters to The Chief Rabbi of Rome praising that false religion and promising to continue the political praxis; modern Popes are afraid to preach Christ and Conversion for it they did that just once, they know that would put an end to all of the pretense about peace.

    The Jews would go ballistic so Popes do not preach Christ.

    Look, you are, presumably, an adult, and you have free will and you can bow before your enemies, not me.

  4. How much more will He weep over its innocent suffering?

    O boy; the suffering of Israel and the Jews is not owing to their putative innocence; you do not even begin to have an inkling the extent to which you have internalised zionist propaganda. Do you.


    Look, it was not that log ago that the Catholic Church used to speak the turth about her enemies. You might find this an effective tool with which to break-out of your willing imprisonment to propaganda and to face the light of truth:

    October 23, 1890 La Civiltà Cattolica, on The Jewish Question

    Ultimate Defense: Setting Aside Civil Equality

    But as long as Christianity doesn’t shed the political yoke of Masonry, it will be vain to propose and discuss possible solutions for liberation. The only solution and, at the same time the most reliable one, is to turn back and retake the way where one has gone astray. If the Hebrews are not put in their place by humane and Christian laws, certainly, but nevertheless by laws of exception which deprive them of civil equality, to which they have no right and which is even no less pernicious for them than it is for Christians, little or nothing will be accomplished. Seeing the inevitability of their presence in the various countries; seeing their unalterable nature of their being foreigners in every country, and of their being enemies of each country that tolerates them, and of their being a society always separated from the societies in which it lives; seeing the Talmud’s morality that they follow, and the fundamental dogma of their religion which impels them to seize, by any means whatsoever, the goods of all peoples, because it assigns to their race the possession of, and the domination over, all the world; seeing that the experience of many centuries, and that one which we are undergoing at present, has proven and still proves, that the legal equality with Christians conceded to them in the Christian states results either in their oppression of Christians or in their slaughter by Christians, there emerges the consequence that the only way of reconciling the Hebrews’ residence with the Christians’ rights is to regulate it with such laws which, at the same time, impede the Hebrews from offending the Christians’ welfare, and impede the Christians from offending that of the Hebrews.
    And this is just what, in a more or less perfect manner, has been done in the past; this is what, for a century, the Hebrews have tried to abolish; but this is also what, sooner or later, willingly or unwillingly, will have to be restored, and perhaps the Hebrews themselves will be constrained to ask that it be restored. For the predominance to which today’s revolutionary law has helped them is digging an abyss under their feet, whose depth corresponds to the height to which they have risen. And at the first burst of the storm they are provoking by their very predominance at present, they will suffer such an enormous ruin, heralding an event as unequaled in their history as their modern audacity is also unequaled and with which they have trampled the nations that have madly exalted them.

    On January 30, 1930, German President Paul Von Hindenburg named Adolph Hitler Chancellor – only forty years after the official Catholic Church’s media organ, La Civilta Cattolica issued its onimous warning

    1. Thank you for your reply. I apologize that it has taken me so long to respond to it–life has been rather full lately.

      First, I never denied that the killing of Jesus was the greatest sin ever committed (objectively–as well as subjectively, in so far as those who killed Him were aware of the truth of His claims), nor did I deny that Deicide was a permissible term. I can see how you understood that from what I wrote, however–I was unclear. What I did say was that the murder of Christ isn’t quite rudimentary being the supreme sin isn’t quite rudimentary, and that the term ‘Deicide’ isn’t accurate if considered in its strictest sense (although it is, of course, correct because of the hypostatic union–the strictest sense isn’t intended). But neither of those points have any bearing on my argument, so I won’t defend them further.

      Whether or not you accept Nostra Aetate is irrelevant here–St. Thomas Aquinas says, in the quoted passage, the exact same things the quoted passage from NA says.

      If more will help: “As stated above (Article 5), the rulers of the Jews knew that He was the Christ: and if there was any ignorance in them, it was affected ignorance, which could not excuse them. Therefore their sin was the most grievous, both on account of the kind of sin, as well as from the malice of their will. The Jews also of the common order sinned most grievously as to the kind of their sin: yet in one respect their crime was lessened by reason of their ignorance. Hence Bede, commenting on Luke 23:34, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,’ says: ‘He prays for them who know not what they are doing, as having the zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.’ But the sin of the Gentiles, by whose hands He was crucified, was much more excusable, since they had no knowledge of the Law.” (III, Q 47, A 6, resp.)

      Here’s a quote from Paul VI’s 1965 Passion Sunday homily: “That people predestined to receive the Messiah, awaiting Him for thousands of years and completely absorbed in this hope and this certitude, at the right moment, that is when Christ comes, speaks and manifests Himself, not only does not recognize Him, but combats Him, calumniates and insults Him; and, finally, kills Him . . . Does he perhaps condemn those who have nailed him to the gibbet? Does he desire their ruin? Jesus speaks with the heavenly Father and prays thus: Lord, pardon them, for they do not know what they do! They do not know.”

    2. None of the Biblical passages you quote condemn the Jews as an entire people, especially not in perpetuity, for the death of Christ. In the first, our Lord was speaking to Jews who had believed him (as verse 31), but He knew their hearts, and knew there was no conversion of spirit in them. As St. Augustine says, “The Jews then were children of the devil by imitation, not by birth: And the lusts of your father you will do, our Lord says. You are his children then, because you have such lusts, not because you are born of him. . . The devil did not go, girt with a sword, against man: he sowed an evil word, and slew him. Do not suppose therefore that you are not guilty of murder, when you suggest evil thoughts to your brother.” These words are not addressed to Jews, as such (as if the devil was their ancestral father), but to all those who refuse to receive the truth of Christ in their hearts, even if they follow Him outwardly.

      (On a similar topic, here’s what Pope Francis said in his homily of 10/11/2013: “[H]e who is not with Jesus is against Jesus. There are no attitudes in the middle. [We must be vigilant] over our hearts because the devil is astute. He is never cast out forever. It will only be so on the last day . . . .[The devil’s] strategy is this: ‘You became Christian. Advance in your faith. I will leave you. I will leave you tranquil. But then when you are used to not being so watchful and you feel secure, I will come back’. The Gospel today begins with the devil being cast out and ends with the devil coming back! St. Peter would say: ‘It is like a fierce lion that circles us’. It is like that. ‘But, Father, you a little ancient. You are frightening us with these things . . . ’ No, not me! It is the Gospel! And these are not lies: it is the Word of the Lord!” — http://goo.gl/EaxMy0)

      The second passage refers to the Jews, living in Judea immediately after the time of Christ, who were engaged in persecuting the churches near them. The third clearly refers, in context, to the final judgment. In the fourth, Peter is talking to the multitudes in Jerusalem, many of whom likely were involved in crucifixion of Christ, whether by being part of crowds that called for His death or by giving their tacit approval to those who did.

      As for the Jews being the enemies of the Church, I recall that “our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” I bow, not before my enemies, but before my God—who humbled Himself to become man, who wept for those who would crucify Him, and offered His great Sacrifice for their sake. He died for those who killed Him.

    3. You seem to think that Jews are a plague on the world, a hereditary mass of iniquity: the cause of their own problems and the cause of the Church’s problems. How far is this from the attitude of Christ, Who, even as He died, asked for His murderers to be forgiven? You condemn even those living today, who had no part in that great sin—which is not the view of the Lord: “The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20) Let us have done with any talk of the Jewish people being enemies of God—men are enemies of God only individually, and no one’s opposition is necessarily permanent. If Jews today are sinners in their own right, apart from any supposedly inherited guilt, well, who is not? Are we to write off all non-Christians, and not preach the forgiveness of Christ to them nor practice His love towards them? God has “given to us the ministry of reconciliation. For God indeed was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not imputing to them their sins; and he hath placed in us the word of reconciliation. For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:18-20) It is an indisputable fact that men respond more favorably to love than to condemnation. If we truly wish Jews (or any non-believers) to be saved, we should love them, not rattle off a list of their sins and condemn them en masse. Especially since most Jews alive today probably hold to their Judaism in ignorance of the truth of Christianity, not in full and knowing opposition to the truth of God–which means they have, as St. Thomas Aquinas says above, the “zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” They have the zeal of God! Shall we condemn that in them, or shall we rather love them as God’s creations, as potential sons in the Son, and endeavor to show them the correct end of their zeal, both through gentle argument and through the witness of that love? “The bruised reed he shall not break: and smoking flax he shall not extinguish: till he send forth judgment unto victory.” (Matt. 12:20) Neither should we extinguish the smoking flax—we should endeavor to fan it into full flame. And again, “I give thanks who hath strengthened me, even to Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he hath counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry; Who before was a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and contumelious. But I obtained the mercy of God, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” (1 Tim. 1:13) And we should love even those non-believers who do not convert! “You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you: That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.” (Matt. 5:43-45)

    4. Please do not be offended by what I am about to say. I can find no softer way to say it, and I say it only because it needs to be said. The things you are saying and the attitude in which you say them are in complete opposition the Spirit of Christ. Christ indeed will judge, but He will judge at the judgment. In this life, our task is to love, and by that love to gather the world–so we hope–into His body, the Church. We do not get to decide who is beyond His grace; we do not get to decide who we will love and who we will not. This is not wishy-washy, happy-clappy theology: it is the via dolorosa, the via crucis, which Christ suffered even for those He knew would reject Him.

      I am a sinner, too, unworthy of myself to instruct anyone. But I will admonish you as a brother, as an equal–please turn from these views. Take an honest look at your heart. Do you see tenderness in it for those who need God? Do you see humility that lets itself be taught by the voice of the Church? Do you see mercy that longs to reach out to those who are dead in sin? What do you see?

      Please take this look. It costs you nothing just to look! I do not know what you will see. All I know are your words, and that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh”—but I do not see your heart. Only our Lord does that. As you love Him, take a moment to pray and reflect. If you are without sin in this matter, you have nothing to fear–you will prove yourself blameless. Please take an honest look!

      In the Mercy,

  5. Dear Reuben. I too have been busy and away and so I am just getting to read what you so thoughtfully wrote.

    On the Altar of the Chair of Saint Peter is a statue of Saint John Chrysostom, a Doctor of the Church. If you are taken aback by what I have written please do not read what he has written about the Jews (blood pressure problems might arise) – nor several other Doctors of the Church that I could cite; and I have not even gotten to what the Popes have said about the Jews.


I can see that you took time to explain (well, explain away, actually) the real meaning of the Biblical verses I cited but in my liberry at home I have many orthodox sources teeming with traditional exegesis whereas the new-theology and its exegesis of captious verses is rather a political eisegesis intended to dissolve the truth because it is offensive to the ears of our enemies.

    Since the Modernists (and their progeny, the new theologians) seized control of The Liturgical Movement and turned it into The Liturgical Revolution in 1948, Ecumenism (the universal solvent dissolving Tradition) has been the font in which everything Catholic has been baptised – from Mass, to Sacraments, to Biblical exegesis, to the strictures against Praying with heretics, animists, atheists, and praying in Mosques and Synagogues, etc etc – and so I recognise we inhabit different intellectual and spiritual universes.


Now, I could recommend Dr. E. Michael Jones great book on The Jewish Revolutionary Spirit and its impact on the world (I think that’s the title, the book is in the other room) and the works of other faithful Catholics who have exposed the malign machinations of the Messsias-Deniers against Holy Mother Church but I sense such recommendations would fall on the stopped-up ears of a closed mind.


C’est la vie.


If we truly wish Jews (or any non-believers) to be saved, we should love them, not rattle off a list of their sins and condemn them en masse


    The penultimate action of any modern Pope would be to speak collectively of the sins of Jews; Christians, yes, but not Jews. Jews are spoken about collectively only as regards their virtues and the promises made to them by God.

    That is, it is deemed permissible to speak of Blessings but never Curses. Well, sorry, but that is a half-assed political praxis, not truth.


The very last action of modern Popes would be to preach Christ and Conversion as did Peter and The Apostles (see Acts); thus, one could rationally claim that because it is the case that Jews who do not convert go to Hell, the refusal of the modern Popes to preach Christ and Conversion could be seen as the most extreme and fetid form of anti-semitism for by their silence they are complicit in their damnation – For if I preach the gospel, it is no glory to me, for a necessity lieth upon me: for woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel

    And all of the above is just another way of expressing the truth about the Catholic Traditionalist – that it is he, not the modern Popes, who are the truest friends of the Jews for we seek their salvation whereas modern Popes seek a political accommodation with them while refusing to discharge their primary duty to convert the nations.

    Far from hating Jews or being riven with enmity – as the subtext of your long response asserts – it is the Catholic Traditionalist who has their best interest (and the best interest of Holy Mother Church) at heart.


Now, please check your heart, Reuben; and then check closely the content of your argument and see who it is who has the best interest of Jews at heart.

    Pax tecum

  6. Saint John Chrysostom on 1st Thessalonians which you think is restricted to a particular time and place…(I wonder how many other verses of Holy Writ you think are no longer valid today)

    Ver. 14, 15, 16. “For ye, brethren, became imitators of the Churches of God, which are in Judaea in Christ Jesus: for ye also suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they did of the Jews; who both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and drave out us, and please not God, and are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they may be saved; to fill up their sins alway: but the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”

    “For ye,” he says, “became imitators of the Churches of God which are in Judaea.” This is a great consolation. It is no wonder, he says, that they should do these things to you, inasmuch as they have done it also to their own countrymen. And this too is no little proof that the Preaching is true, that even Jews were able to endure all things. “For ye also,” he says, “have suffered the same things of your own countrymen, even as they did of the Jews.” There is something more in his saying, “as they also did in Judaea”; it shows that everywhere they rejoiced, as having nobly contended. He says therefore, “that ye also suffered the same things.” And again, what wonder is it, if to you also, when even to the Lord they dared do such things?

    Do you see how he introduces this as containing great consolation? And constantly he adverts to it; and upon a close examination one may find it in nearly all his Epistles, how variously, upon all occasions of temptation, he brings foward Christ. Observe accordingly, that here also, when accusing the Jews, he puts them in mind of the Lord, and of the sufferings of the Lord; so well does he know that this is a matter of the greatest consolation.

    “Who both killed the Lord,” he says–but, perhaps, they did not know

    Him,–assuredly they did know Him. What then? Did they not slay and stone their own prophets, whose books even they carry about with them? And they did not do this for the sake of truth. There is therefore not only a consolation under the temptations, but they are reminded not to think that (the Jews) did it for the truth’s sake, and be troubled on that account. “And drave out us,” he says. And we also, he says, have suffered numberless evils. “And please not God, and are contrary to all men; forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles, that they may be saved.” “Contrary to all men,” he says.

    How? Because if we ought to speak to the world, and they forbid us, they are the common enemies of the world. They have slain Christ and the prophets, they insult God, they are the common enemies of the world, they banish us, when coming for their salvation. What wonder if they have done such things also to you, when they have done them even in Judaea? “Forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles, that they might be saved.” It is a mark of envy therefore to hinder the salvation of all. “To fill up their sins alway. But the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost.”

  7. What is “to the uttermost”? These things are no longer like the former. There is here no return back, no limit. But the wrath is nigh at hand. Whence is this manifest? From that which Christ foretold. For not only is it a consolation to have partakers in our afflictions, but to hear also that our persecutors are to be punished. And if the delay is a grievance, let it be a consolation that they will never lift up their heads again; or rather he hath cut short the delay, by saying, “THE wrath,” showing that it was long ago due, and predetermined, and predicted.

    ++++++++++++++ end of quotes++++++++++++

    No, Reuben, this is not referring to only a particular time and place for I can see a similar effect the Jews have on you today as they had on the saints of the nascent Church with the difference being that your binding is psychological for you have internalised the errors of ecumenism and you have been ruptured out of the Tradition of the Catholic Church; that is, the Jews would call you names were you to follow and promote the fullness of Catholic Tradition.

    Silence is the counterfeit coin that purchases peace in this novel epoch of political praxis established by the modern Popes – keep yer yapper shut and you will not be labeled an anti-semite.

    And even though it is a spiritually worthless coin, it is still too precious a price to pay for the approval of those who work for the destruction of Holy Mother Church.

    You can choose to reconnect with Catholic Tradition or you can chose to cleave to the political, ideological, and ecumenical pogrom initiated by Agostino Cardinal Bea and his modernist conspirators (the conspiracy noted in 1960 by Mons. Antonio Romeo referring to “The Biblical Institute” and which institute had been subjected to the ideological ‘ historical method” wrecking ball of the then Father Bea in 1930)

    In any event, all of these facts are easily discoverable by even a lay autodidact like my own self.

    So, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open, Reuben; there really is more to the Faith than the past one-half century.

  8. The Church goes on forever but the trial never ends.

    That is, many of our problems exist because Christ is sempiternally on trial before Caiaphas and we do not have the courage to champion Christ and confront Caiaphas , to say nothing about confessing that he trial exists.

    I’ll be quite busy the next week or so but I did want to than Reuben and those who run this site for giving me the opportunity to write what is in my heart.

    1. Thank you for your reply! I apologize that it has taken me over a month to get to it.

      Thank you also, for your calmer tone.

      You are absolutely correct that being Catholic entails faithfulness to the Tradition, adherence to the Faith of 20 centuries. That is very near the core of Christianity and the Church, which is not free to reinvent itself. Some have called the infallibility of the Church a Marian mystery: just as Mary was ever-virgin by grace, the Church, as the Bride of Christ, always preserves spotless the deposit given to it by the Lord. This doesn’t mean, as you know, that the members, or even the leaders, of the Church are always faithful, or that the Church always proclaims the Faith entrusted to it clearly or with appropriate force. But it does mean that the teaching of the Church as a whole is always pure, that the Church never turns its back on an essential teaching, and that the Magisterium retains its divine authority even when it doesn’t speak with formal infallibility.

      To speak truthfully, I think much official inter-religious dialogue is purposeless. The Pope is the earthly head of the Church, but there is no single leader of Judaism or even of Islam. All official dialogue is therefore between asymmetrical structures. This problem plagues some official ecumenism, as well: why ARCIC still exists, I can’t fathom. So, I agree with you that, in more than a few ways, the Church hasn’t been firm enough and that some official actions and documents have been a waste of time and effort.

      But we diverge on two points:

      1) The Church is still within the Tradition, because it must be. You say that I “have internalised the errors of ecumenism and . . . have been ruptured out of the Tradition of the Catholic Church”; you also state that ecumenism has “baptized” everything Catholic. Does this mean that the Church itself has been ruptured out of the Tradition? I hope we would both agree that such a thing is impossible and that such a claim is heretical.


    2. 2) Ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue (they are different things) both fit well with the Tradition and the Holy Scriptures. That doesn’t mean that you will find examples of them in Tradition or the Scriptures–you will, in fact, but you will also find things that seem to be completely opposite. The essential idea of both is, to put it somewhat frivolously, that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Christ came to bring a sword, so Christianity will always be an offense and a stumbling block to the natural man–that cannot be done away with. But we should seek, as much as we can, to remove all unnecessary stumbling blocks. As St. Paul says, we should be “all things to all men, that [we] might save all.” (1 Cor. 9:22) (This, of course, is not and cannot be allowed to become what Pope Francis has called “the worldly spirit that negotiates all” in order to “be like everyone else,” which leads to apostasy. That’s what the supposed “Spirit of Vatican II” was. [http://goo.gl/t5G48W]) It is a given that Catholics consider Christianity to be the one true religion and that there is no other means of salvation–regardless of what poorly formed Catholics may think. That is the foundation on which all ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue is conducted. If the differences between sects and religions didn’t matter, there would be no reason to discuss them. But we ought to build bridges where bridges can be built, that hopefully some people may walk across them.

      I am in perfect agreement with G.K. Chesterton, who said “Creeds must disagree: it is the whole fun of the thing. If I think the universe is triangular, and you think it is square, there cannot be room for two universes. We may argue politely, we may argue humanely, we may argue with great mutual benefit; but, obviously, we must argue. Modern toleration is really a tyranny. It is a tyranny because it is a silence. To say that I must not deny my opponent’s faith is to say I must not discuss it . . . It is absurd to have a discussion on Comparative Religions if you don’t compare them.” (‘Illustrated London News,’ Oct. 10, 1908.)

      He also said, “For the convert’s sake, it should also be remembered that one foolish word from inside does more harm than a hundred thousand foolish words from outside. The latter he has already learned to expect, like a blind hail or rain beating upon the Ark; but the voices from within, even the most casual and accidental, he is already prepared to regard as holy or more than human; and though this is unfair to people who only profess to be human beings, it is a fact that Catholics ought to remember. There is many a convert who has reached a stage at which no word from any Protestant or pagan could any longer hold him back. Only the word of a Catholic can keep him from Catholicism.”


    3. That is really the crux of ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. We must argue–but politely, humanely, and with great mutual benefit. And we must studiously avoid all foolish words and all unnecessary harshness, because they do great harm to those whose hearts are moving toward the truth. The Church is a Mother, and gently welcomes even those who are not yet her children. It is natural in children, especially wayward ones, to grow sullen and refuse advice, however good, that is offered severely. It is not right; but it is natural. Yet even selfish children warm and soften when advice is offered sweetly and with palpable love. This is one reason why Vatican II proclaimed the beautiful Marian title, with the deepest of roots in the Tradition: “Mother of the Church.” Vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra, salve. There is indeed a place for stern instruction, orders, and reprimands–those things are necessary, too. But they must take their place as dictated by love: love is prior and governs all things. It is not enough to say, “People need to repent; therefore, telling them bluntly that they’re under condemnation and should repent is the most loving choice.” Yes, they need to know those things. But love demands that each person be told the truth in such a way that he will listen. As the saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” That is the long and the short of it.

      (However, it is worth noting that there is much false ecumenism. The word has somewhat distasteful overtones–rather like “dialogue” does–because it has been seized on by those who wanted an excuse to capitulate to secularism. You see much of this kind of thing at Catholic-in-name-only colleges, for example. But: abusus non tollit usum.)


    4. I have two more comments, then a conclusion:

      The Scriptures are not explained away by explaining the distinction between their historical and the theological meanings. The theological meaning is always made known in the historical, but it does not follow from that fact that the historical sense is still true today. Do the Seven Churches of Asia still read the Apocalypse as if it is addressed directly to their particular situations? Do readers of Colossians still need to heed Paul’s direction: “And when this epistle shall have been read with you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans: and that you read that which is of the Laodiceans”? (Col. 4:16) The immediate context of an epistle is frequently “not valid” to those other than the original addressees. This fact doesn’t at all destroy the theological meanings of the Scriptures. I freely admit, with St. John Chrysostom, that people who prevent the preaching of the Gospel make themselves thereby enemies of all men. I freely admit, with St. Paul, that the Jews who persecuted Christians did not please God. But I also, with Jesus, sorrow for the destruction of Jerusalem. I also, with St. Bede, acknowledge that devout Jews truly have “the zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” You consider it a theological truth that Jews, qua Jews, are enemies of the Lord, and consider that the harsh statements in the Scriptures can be predicated equally of all Jews in all times and places. Because I explain the theological meaning of those passages differently, you think I am explaining their meaning away. It is not so.

      On that same note, I neither deny nor dispute the authority of St. John Chrysostom. Instead of getting involved in a discussion of how Chrysostom’s Jewish sermons ought to be interpreted, in their historical and rhetorical context, I offer three observations: Even Doctors of the Church are fallible. A statement by a Doctor, even an early Doctor, isn’t necessarily part of the depositum fidei. St. Thomas Aquinas, whose authority exceeds St. John Chrysostom’s, clearly shows that the Jews cannot be condemned en masse: if the Jews of Christ’s time were not all guilty of opposition to Christ, how could all the Jews of today be?

    5. In closing, I want to be sure to differentiate between two topics we’ve discussed. One reason for ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue is tactfulness and self-emptying love: the best way, in most cases, to bring about conversion of heart is to touch the heart. People may accept a message from friends they trust; they will nearly always refuse messages from those they view as enemies. But that is not the reason for condemning theological demonization of Jews. The principal reason for condemning it is that it is false, and no part of the true Tradition of the Church. It is also, of course, counter-productive evangelization, but that is beside the point.

      I understand, and truly appreciate, your concern for the Tradition of the Church. But I cannot follow you into thinking that the continuity of the Church has ruptured in the past half century. It is neither ignorance of the past nor fear that the “Jews would call [me] names” that prohibits me. (Incidentally, I’ve been called enough names by you for being faithful to the Church–if fear of calumny doesn’t stop me being faithful in this matter, what evidence is there it would stop me in others?) As you well know, I’m sure, the Magisterium is the only authoritative interpreter of the Tradition. And there are not multiple Magisteria–one living, and one dead. No, there’s only a single Magisterium: the perpetual. It’s not possible to pick up opinions from the past, hold them in defiance of the entire Magisterium–from an ecumenical council and the Pope all the way down–and call that adhering to the “fullness of Catholic Tradition.” If those things were true, necessary elements of Tradition, they could never have been abandoned. This doesn’t mean that some practices that are worthwhile haven’t been abandoned, or that very good things haven’t been sidelined. It only means that the truth has not been lost, and that Christ the Teacher still teaches His Truth through His Church. “He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth me; and he that despiseth me, despiseth him that sent me.” (Luke 10:16) I am not willing to trust my own ability to research and interpret history above the trustworthiness of the authorities Christ has established. I know that, on the Day of Judgment, that decision is not one I will be held liable for. Many other things, in all likelihood, but not that!

      Christ’s peace be with you,

  9. Dear Reuben. We disagree more than we agree. I will cite the work of the Roman Traditionalist historian, Dr Roberto de Mattei, “The Second Vatican Council, an untold story,” who proves from the personal dairies of the participants of V2 that a revolutionary cadre of modernists -conspiring before the council first assembled- that they seized control of the council and they wrought grave damage and that council was a rupture.

    One of the reasons Pope Francis intervened with the Franciscans is they are part of the burgeoning traditionalist movement that is cracking the prison walls Vatican Two erected around Tradition.

    He will gauge what will be the relatively tepid response to his grave injustice and then move on to more substantial targets.

    I know you are blind to that plain and simple truth whereas you imagine ecclesiastical and doctrinal continuity where none exists. Take for instance the glaring attempted change in Doctrine, Religious Liberty. Despite its claim it left intact Tradition, it did not.

    And you cite the Fathers proclaiming Mary as Mother of the Church but that was a compromise after they refused to declare her Mary Mediatrix (see her Feast Day declared by Pope Benedict XV) because those lost in False Religions would be upset at such a declaration of Truth.

    The syncretism on display at Assisi puts the lie to your claims about Ecumenism.

    Our Inertia Into Indifferentism can be seen in the modern ecclesiastical praxis of the Popes who go to Synagogues refusing to preach Jesus and conversion in direct contradiction to what Pope Peter and his Apostles did (Acts).

    There is a clear rupture with the past. It can only be denied by those willingly blind.

    1. Reuben,

      What, specifically, do you claim is the “glaring attempted change in doctrine” regarding religious liberty?

      It might be fruitful if you could define what you think the Church’s stance on religious liberty was before and after the Council, as well as what you mean (or think the Church means) by “religious liberty.” Because, at least as far as Dignitatis Humanae is concerned, what is meant isn’t what most Americans and anti-Vatican II Catholics seems to think (that is, DH and the American Founders have very different conceptions of religious liberty).



      P.S. Are you familiar with Fr. Brian Harrison’s Religious Liberty and Contraception?

  10. Mortalium Animos: A similar object is aimed at by some, in those matters which concern the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion.

    3. But some are more easily deceived by the outward appearance of good when there is question of fostering unity among all Christians.

    4. Is it not right, it is often repeated, indeed, even consonant with duty, that all who invoke the name of Christ should abstain from mutual reproaches and at long last be united in mutual charity? Who would dare to say that he loved Christ, unless he worked with all his might to carry out the desires of Him, Who asked His Father that His disciples might be “one.” And did not the same Christ will that His disciples should be marked out and distinguished from others by this characteristic, namely that they loved one another: “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another”? All Christians, they add, should be as “one”: for then they would be much more powerful in driving out the pest of irreligion, which like a serpent daily creeps further and becomes more widely spread, and prepares to rob the Gospel of its strength. These things and others that class of men who are known as pan-Christians continually repeat and amplify; and these men, so far from being quite few and scattered, have increased to the dimensions of an entire class, and have grouped themselves into widely spread societies, most of which are directed by non-Catholics, although they are imbued with varying doctrines concerning the things of faith. This undertaking is so actively promoted as in many places to win for itself the adhesion of a number of citizens, and it even takes possession of the minds of very many Catholics and allures them with the hope of bringing about such a union as would be agreeable to the desires of Holy Mother Church, who has indeed nothing more at heart than to recall her erring sons and to lead them back to her bosom. But in reality beneath these enticing words and blandishments lies hid a most grave error, by which the foundations of the Catholic faith are completely destroyed.

  11. Pope Pius XII:
    “I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to Lucy of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the Faith, in Her liturgy, Her theology, and Her soul. I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject Her ornaments and make Her feel remorse for Her historical past.” 


    Joseph Ratzinger, Principles of Catholic Theology

    Does this mean that the Council should be revoked? Certainly not. It means only that the real reception of the Council has not yet even begun. What devastated the Church in the decade after the Council was not the Council but the refusal to accept it. This becomes clear precisely in the history of the influence of Gaudium et spes. What was identified with the Council was, for the most part, the expression of an attitude that did not coincide with the statements to be found in the text itself, although it is recognizable as a tendency in its development and in some of its individual formulations. The task is not, therefore, to suppress the Council but to discover the real Council and to deepen its true intention in the light of the present experience. That means that there can be no return to the Syllabus, which may have marked the first stage in the confrontation with liberalism and a newly conceived Marxism but cannot be the last stage. In the long run, neither embrace nor ghetto can solve for Christians the problem of the modern world. The fact is, as Hans Urs von Balthasar pointed out as early as 1952, that the “demolition of the bastions” is a long-overdue task.


    Pope Pius VIII, Traditi Humilitate Nostrae

    Although God may console Us with you, We are nonetheless sad. This is due to the numberless errors and the teachings of perverse doctrines which, no longer secretly and clandestinely but openly and vigorously, attack the Catholic faith. You know how evil men have raised the standard of revolt against religion through philosophy (of which they proclaim themselves doctors) and through empty fallacies devised according to natural reason. In the first place, the Roman See is assailed and the bonds of unity are, every day, being severed. The authority of the Church is weakened and the protectors of things sacred are snatched away and held in contempt. The holy precepts are despised, the celebration of divine offices is ridiculed, and the worship of God is cursed by the sinner. All things which concern religion are relegated to the fables of old women and the superstitions of priests. Truly lions have roared in Israel. With tears We say: “Truly they have conspired against the Lord and against His Christ.” Truly the impious have said: “Raze it, raze it down to its foundations.”

  12. The Theology and Ecclesiology of Tradition is expressed beautifully by Pope Pius whereas thr V2 Theology and Ecclesiology is a clear rupture with Tradition,

    Apostolic Letter of His Holiness, Pope Pius IX, to all Protestants and other Non-Catholics at the convocation of the Vatican Council, September 13, 1868, that they might return to the Catholic Church.

    Surely you all are aware that We, who have been raised up, though without any merit, to this Chair of Peter, and therefore to the head of the supreme government and care of the entire Catholic Church of Jesus Christ Our Lord, have thought it opportune to call to Us the Venerable Brothers of the Episcopate of all the world, and to reunite them, in the coming year, in an Ecumenical Council; for preparation, with the same Venerable Brothers, calling you to share Our pastoral solicitude, those provisions which will prove more suitable and more incisive to dissipate the darkness of many pestilent errors which, wherever, with added damage of the soul, every day are more affirmed and triumph, and to always give more consistency and to diffuse in the Christian people, entrusted to Our vigilance, the kingdom of the true faith, of justice and of authentic peace of God.

    Reposing full confidence in the most tightly bound and most amiable pact of union which in a marvelous way binds to Us and to this Seat the same Venerable Brothers, what testimony the unequivocable tests of fidelity, of love and of obedience towards Us and towards this Our Seat, [they] have never omitted to offer in the course of all Our Supreme Pontificate, we nourish the hope that, as it has happened in ages past through other General Councils, so also in the present age, this Ecumenical Council of Ours will produce, with the help of divine grace, copious and most joyous fruits for the greater glory of God and for the eternal salvation of men.

    Sustained therefore by this hope, solicitous and urged by the charity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered His life for the salvation of all the race of men, it is not possible for us to pass by the occasion of the future Council without turning Our paternal and Apostolic word again to all those who, even if they acknowledge Jesus Christ the Redeemer and boast of the name of Christian, do not profess the totality of the true faith of Christ and are not in the communion of the Catholic Church. This being the case, we propose with all zeal and Charity to admonish, exhort, and beseech them for this reason to seriously consider and reflect whether the way in which they continue is that which is indicated by that same Christ the Lord: which is the way that leads to eternal life.

  13. Nobody will certainly be able to doubt or deny that this Jesus Christ, to the end that the fruits of His Redemption might be applied to all the race of men, has built here on earth, upon Peter, the only Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic; and that He has conferred upon her the power necessary to preserve whole and inviolate the deposit of faith; to transmit this same faith to all peoples, tribes, and nations; to call [elect] to unity in this Mystical Body, through baptism, all men, for the purpose of preserving in them, and perfecting, that new life of grace, without which no one can merit and obtain eternal life; wherefore this Church, which constitutes the Mystical Body, will persist and prosper in her own stable and indefectible nature until the end of the ages, and offer to all Her sons the means of salvation.

    Whoever thus gives proper attention and reflection to the situation which surrounds the various religious societies, divided amongst themselves and separated from the Catholic Church – which, without interruption, from the time of Christ the Lord and of His Apostles, by means of her legitimate sacred Shepherds, has always exercised, and exercises still, the divine power conferred upon Her by the Lord – it will be easy to convince [them] that in none of these societies, and not even in all of them taken together, can in some way be seen the one and Catholic Church which Christ the Lord built, constituted, and willed to exist. Neither will it ever be able to be said that they are members and part of that Church as long as they remain visibly separated from Catholic unity. It follows that such societies, lacking that living authority established by God, which instructs men in the things of the faith and in the discipline of the customs, directing and governing them in all that concerns eternal salvation, they continuously mutate in their doctrines without that mobility and the instability they find one end. Everyone therefore can easily comprehend and fully reckon that this is absolutely in contrast with the Church instituted by Christ the Lord, in which the truth must always remain constant and never subject to change whatsoever, deposited as if it were into a warehouse, entrusted to be guarded perfectly whole. To this purpose, it has received the promise of the perpetual presence and the aid of the Holy Spirit. No one then ignores that from these dissentions [disagreements] in doctrines and opinions derive social divisions, which find their origin in these innumerable communions and which are always and increasingly diffused with grave damage[s] to the Christian and civil society.

  14. Therefore, whoever recognizes that religion is the foundation of human society must be moved to confess what great violence has been wrought in civil society by the discrepancy of principles and the division of religious societies which fight amongst themselves, and with what force the refusal of the authority willed by God for governing the convictions of the intellect of men through the direction of the actions of men, as much in private life as in social life, has provoked, promoted and fed the lamentable of the things and of the times which agitate and plague [afflict] in this way nearly all peoples.

    It is for this reason that so many who do not share “the communion and the truth of the Catholic Church” must make use of the occasion of the Council, by the means of the Catholic Church, which received in Her bosom their ancestors, proposes [further] demonstration of profound unity and of firm vital force; hear the requirements [demands] of her heart, they must engage themselves to leave this state that does not guarantee for them the security of salvation. She does not hesitate to raise to the Lord of mercy most fervent prayers to tear down of the walls of division, to dissipate the haze of errors, and lead them back within holy Mother Church, where their Ancestors found salutary pastures of life; where, in an exclusive way, is conserved and transmitted whole the doctrine of Jesus Christ and wherein is dispensed the mysteries of heavenly grace.

    It is therefore by force of the right of Our supreme Apostolic ministry, entrusted to us by the same Christ the Lord, which, having to carry out with [supreme] participation all the duties of the good Shepherd and to follow and embrace with paternal love all the men of the world, we send this Letter of Ours to all the Christians from whom We are separated, with which we exhort them warmly and beseech them with insistence to hasten to return to the one fold of Christ; we desire in fact from the depths of the heart their salvation in Christ Jesus, and we fear having to render an account one day to Him, Our Judge, if, through some possibility, we have not pointed out and prepared the way for them to attain eternal salvation. In all Our prayers and supplications, with thankfulness, day and night we never omit to ask for them, with humble insistence, from the eternal Shepherd of souls the abundance of goods and heavenly graces. And since, if also, we fulfill in the earth the office of vicar, with all our heart we await with open arms the return of the wayward sons to the Catholic Church, in order to receive them with infinite fondness into the house of the Heavenly Father and to enrich them with its inexhaustible treasures. By our greatest wish for the return to the truth and the communion with the Catholic Church, upon which depends not only the salvation of all of them, but above all also of the whole Christian society: the entire world in fact cannot enjoy true peace if it is not of one fold and one shepherd.

    Given at Rome, from St. Peter, on the 13th of September, 1868; in the 23rd year of Our Pontificate, Pius PP IX


    It would be tiresome to assemble the quotations of subsequent Popes stating that ecumenism does not mean conversion; you know it and I know it

    1. Spartacus,

      I am not positive that I follow your argument (admittedly, I haven’t followed this thread all that closely).

      To be sure, we agree that the Church should proceed without hesitation in her Divine commission, the evangelization of the world. But are suggesting that this means that (a) we’re not allowed to interact with non-Catholic faiths in any other ways [e.g., searching for common ground], and (b) any inter-religious dialogue that isn’t primarily evangelical is a repudiation of the Great Commission?



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