“Hermeneutic of continuity” leads to loss of Catholic faith

Francis and JewsReaders of this space are by now familiar with the 10,000 word treatment on Nostra Aetate that was published last month by the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

As I wrote in a previous post on the matter, this document has exposed the hypocrisy of the neo-conservative “hermeneutic-of-continuity” crowd.

While many of them cannot help (one hopes) but bristle at the document’s insistence that “it does not in any way follow that the Jews are excluded from God’s salvation because they do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God,” they simply can’t bring themselves to openly criticize it.

Why not?

Because doing so would come dangerously close to slaughtering one of their most sacred of cows – the Second Vatican Council.

As I wrote at the time, it’s one thing to acknowledge that the Church in our day is in crisis thanks to an abundance of faithless prelates; it’s quite another to admit that the Almighty Council lies at the very heart of the problem. Such an admission as this, as I and others know all too well, comes at considerable cost.

That said, steadfast adherence to the fundamental neo-conservative precept that one must always and everywhere hold the Council harmless comes at an even greater cost – a loss of Catholic faith.


Following the Pontifical Commission’s denial of Jesus Christ, any number of Jewish groups applauded the gesture as an important contribution to Catholic-Jewish interreligious dialogue.

This was to be expected, but one such response stood out in the form of a so-called Orthodox Rabbinic Statement on Christianity.

Here are some of the highlights from that statement followed by the kind of Catholic commentary you won’t get from the EWTNs or the National Catholic Registers of the world:

– The Shoah ended 70 years ago. It was the warped climax to centuries of disrespect, oppression and rejection of Jews and the consequent enmity that developed between Jews and Christians. In retrospect, it is clear that the failure to break through this contempt and engage in constructive dialogue for the good of humankind weakened resistance to evil forces of anti-Semitism that engulfed the world in murder and genocide.

The Shoah had nothing whatsoever to do with Christianity, but don’t blame these starry eyed rabbis for embracing the lie that it did. Karol Wojtyla and Josef Ratzinger are as much or more to blame than anyone for lending credence to this preposterous notion.

For example, in a reflection on Vatican Council II written in October of 2012 and published in L’Osservatore Romano, Pope Benedict XVI stated in reference to Nostra Aetate:

At the outset, the intention was to draft a declaration on relations between the Church and Judaism, a text that had become intrinsically necessary after the horrors of the Shoah.

The Shoah made Nostra Aetate intrinsically necessary?


The rabbis continue:

– We recognize that since the Second Vatican Council the official teachings of the Catholic Church about Judaism have changed fundamentally and irrevocably.

More nonsense.

Vatican II was a non-binding and eminently fallible gathering, the novelties of which carry as much doctrinal weight as the minutes of a local PTA meeting.

Again, however, let it be said that these Jews are simply parroting what the Holy See has been saying.

– The promulgation of Nostra Aetate fifty years ago started the process of reconciliation between our two communities … Nostra Aetate and the later official Church documents it inspired unequivocally reject any form of anti-Semitism…

Nostra Aetate didn’t facilitate any meaningful reconciliation at all; that can only happen in Christ whom the Jews reject. But hey, at least the Jews do so openly. The champions of the conciliar text at the Pontifical Commission, by contrast, do so by stealthy decrees cloaked in Catholic language.

In any case, the Church has long rejected authentic anti-Semitism. The politically correct version so often alleged today for such high crimes as accepting the historicity of the Gospels and affirming the necessity of the Church for salvation is another matter altogether.

– On this basis, Catholics and other Christian officials started an honest dialogue with Jews that has grown during the last five decades.

There hasn’t been five minutes of honest dialogue between the Church and the Jews for over 50 years.

Want some honesty, rabbis?

Here you go:

In rejecting Jesus Christ, you rejected God, and the only way to return to Him and in turn secure your salvation is to do precisely what St. Peter exhorted on the day of Pentecost; “Repent and be baptized every one of you for the forgiveness of sins in the name of Christ Jesus.”

– We appreciate the Church’s affirmation of Israel’s unique place in sacred history and the ultimate world redemption. Today Jews have experienced sincere love and respect from many Christians that have been expressed in many dialogue initiatives, meetings, and conferences around the world.

St. Peter’s exhortation (above) is the epitome of love, anything else is hatred; in other words, the apostates running the show in Rome are “loving” the Jews all the way to Hell.

Finally, not to be outdone, the rabbis attempt to match Rome’s repudiation of the Catholic faith by repudiating Judaism (such as it is today), stating:

– We acknowledge that Christianity is neither an accident nor an error, but the willed divine outcome and gift to the nations… Both Jews and Christians have a common covenantal mission to perfect the world under the sovereignty of the Almighty, so that all humanity will call on His name and abominations will be removed from the earth.

Bear in mind that these rabbis are talking about a religion that was founded, in their view, by a mere man who was not only a “false messiah,” but who also even dared to claim to be God (“Before Abraham was, I am”), and then by that authority took it upon Himself to establish a “new” covenant!

Any Jew worth a wooden shekel, misguided though he may be, should denounce Jesus of Nazareth and the religion He established as grave offenses against the Almighty, but alas…

So impressed were these rabbis by the emasculated pansies at the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews that they apparently decided to place their own testicles in a lock box as well. L’chaim!

Oh well… enough about what I think.

What do the neo-conservative, “hermeneutic of continuity” types think of the rabbis’ statement?

Get a load of this (load being the operative word):

Such solidarity is unprecedented. Vatican II laid groundwork with Nostra Aetate. Pope Saint John Paul II pleaded for forgiveness at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Now, we have a further fulfillment of a partnership in prayer and action in the mission of doing God’s will.

So, from where does this flaccid, cringe-worthy garbage come?

America Magazine? Commonweal? National Catholic Reporter?

Nope, it comes from Richard J. Clark at the CC Watershed blog – you know, those champions of traditional liturgy.

The lesson here should be plain; one can champion all the “traditional” thoughts and ideas they want – even liturgical ones – but at the end of the day, if one remains in denial about the poison that is Vatican Council II long enough, it will eventually lead to a loss of Catholic faith.

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