Skip to comments.Benedict XVI and the Jews: New Ratzinger Essay on Judaism causes Controversy
Posted on 09/06/2018 11:53:12 AM PDT by Repent and Believe
In his self-created role as the contemplative member of an expanded papacy, Fr. Joseph Ratzinger aka Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has a lot of time on his hands these days, and he uses some of it to write on theological matters.
Back in 1972, Fr. Ratzinger was very busy with a lot of things, such as arguing for the permissibility of public adulterers to receive Holy Communion in individual cases. At the time he also co-founded the theological journal Communio, together with such unsavory characters as Fr. Hans Urs von Balthasar, Fr. Karl Lehmann, and others.
Last year, the Pope Emeritus penned a theological essay on apostate Judaism which he sent privately to Cardinal Kurt Koch. Koch is currently the Vaticans chief ecumenist, meaning he is the head of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, which, interestingly enough, also oversees the Novus Ordo Sects interreligious efforts with regard to the Jews. Although it was not meant for public consumption, Koch persuaded Ratzinger to submit his article for publication in Communio, where it was printed in the July/August 2018 issue (pp. 387-406).
The Austrian Novus Ordo press agency kathpress was among the first to publish a report on the Ratzinger monograph, which is available in German here. It is entitled Gnade und Berufung ohne Reue, which basically translates as Irrevocable Grace and Calling or Grace and Calling without Repentance. These words are an allusion to Romans 11:28-29: For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance, meaning, God does not revoke (repent of) His promises and gifts. The Vatican II Sect has long hijacked these sacred words and distorted their true meaning to promote their apostate theology in favor of the Old Covenant as being more or less still valid for the Jews in our day; but more on that later.
The following is our translation of portions of the kathpress report about the new Ratzinger essay, providing a good summary of what the Pope Emeritus is saying:
The aim of Benedicts text is to provide a reflection on the post-conciliar rejection of the so-called substitution theory and the talk about the convenant never revoked [by God].
Indeed the text, signed with Joseph Ratzinger Benedict XVI and dated October 26, 2017, presents quite a critical reflection on previous standards in Jewish-Christian dialogue, or rather, in post-conciliar theological thought concerning the relationship between Judaism and Christianity. In concrete terms, Benedict XVI sees a need for greater precision with regard to the two key phrases substitution theory [aka Supersessionism] and never-revoked covenant: Both theses that Israel has not been replaced by the Church and that the [Old] Covenant has never been revoked are basically correct, but they are too imprecise in many ways and must be critically reflected on further, Benedict writes in his essay.
Thus, there never was, as such, a substitution theory in other words, the idea that the Church has taken Israels place the retired Pope observes, pointing to pertinent encyclopedias. Rather, from the Christian point of view Judaism has always enjoyed a special status insofar as Judaism is not one religion among many but is placed in a special situation and therefore must be recognized as such by the Church. As a result he explains his thesis by means of the remaining differences between Judaism and Christianity, namely, in view of the temple worship, the ritual laws, the place of the Torah, the Messianic question, and the Promised Land.
Likewise, the question of the never-revoked covenant between God and the Jews a statement that goes back to John Paul II and is today part of the obvious horizon of interpretation for Judaism from a Christian point of view requires that distinctions be drawn, according to Benedict XVI. Although in principle the statement is to be regarded as correct, in its details it still requires many clarifications and much deepening: in the sense, for example, that there wasnt just one covenant between God and His people but there were many covenants. In addition, Benedict says, the expression of a covenantal revocation is not part of the theological vocabulary of the Old Testament, and similarly the idea conveyed thereby of a contract between two equal partners does not correspond to biblical theology.
The formula of the never-revoked covenant may have been helpful in a first stage of the new dialogue between Jews and Christians, but it is not adequate in the long run to express the magnitude of the reality in a way that is passably appropriate. This is Benedicts final verdict.
(Benedikt XVI. veröffentlicht Text zum christlich-jüdischen Dialog, kathpress.at, July 6, 2018; our translation.)
In Ratzingers native country of Germany, the new monograph has created a firestorm of outrage. According to a report in the July 26, 2018, edition of the national Novus Ordo weekly Die Tagespost (p. 11), the Pope Emeritus has been criticized by journalists, theologians, and rabbis for his latest theological contribution. Even the official web site of the German conference of Novus Ordo bishops published a critical review by Felix Neumann. A fairly dispassionate commentary was provided by Prof. Thomas Söding in the the Aug. 2018 edition of Herder Korrespondenz.
Now that a few weeks have passed, some reactions in English have poured in as well: German bishops website sharply criticizes Pope Benedict for new essay on the Jews (Maike Hickson) Benedict on the Jews: Criticism richly deserved (Louie Verrecchio) Benedict XVI criticised for new article on Jewish-Christian relations (Christa Pongratz-Lippitt) Benedict XVIs article on church and the Jews will create reaction (Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner)
Meanwhile, Cardinal Koch himself has joined the debate, trying to placate the Jews and other critics with these rather unmistakable words: It is important to me not to engender any misgivings on the Jewish side but [instead] to clarify the Catholic position and to ensure that no one on the Christian side will get the idea that there could be any justification for Anti-Semitism or Anti-Judaism or that there must or should be a Christian mission to the Jews (Vatikan: Keine Infragestellung des Dialogs mit den Juden; katholisch.de, Aug. 13, 2018; our translation).
In other words, when Jesus Christ told the Chanaanite woman, I was not sent but to the sheep that are lost of the house of Israel (Mt 15:24), He actually meant that He was sent to everyone except for the Jews. Likewise, when our Blessed Lord instructed His disciples: Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believeth not shall be condemned (Mk 16:15-16), He really meant to exclude the Jews its just that St. Mark forgot to put a little asterisk beside every creature, or perhaps he did and it got deleted with its corresponding footnote.
The very fact that the Jews act as though they had a right to weigh in on what Christian theology ought to be, what may and may not be said with regard to them, as though they ruled over the Catholic Church, is an unparalleled impertinence. It is also a frightful testimony to how much the Novus Ordo Sect has humiliated Christ before His declared enemies and made itself subservient to them all under the label of Catholic Church.
It is both infuriating and tragic that it would never occur to such Catholic authorities as Mr. Koch to tell the Jews, lest there be any illusion on their part, that of course there will be a Catholic mission to convert them as much as anyone else, since their souls too are precious in the sight of God and Christ and the Church desire their salvation no less than that of anyone else. This would be exercising true charity towards the disciples of Annas and Caiaphas, who, as long they persist in their blindness, will never see the face of God for it is a dogma of the Catholic Faith that those not living within the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics cannot become participants in eternal life (Council of Florence, Bull Cantate Domino; Denz. 714).
It is manifest that the false Catholics of the Vatican II Church are in plain denial of Divine Revelation, and yet after nearly six decades they can still get away with it. No one will make a big fuss about this, however, because it doesnt involve sins against the Fifth or Sixth Commandment. It is only when it comes to abortion, adultery, unnatural vice, and so forth, that the conservative Catholics come out in bulk and protest; when it comes to the very essence of the Christian Faith being denied that all must convert to Jesus Christ and His Church to be saved they all fall silent. No petitions, no dubia, no interviews, no appearances on EWTN, no Rosary processions, no special web sites, nothing. Its just not stimulating enough of a topic.
Finally, we must not forget what the Pope Emeritus said about his modification of the traditional Good Friday Prayer for the Conversion of the Jews, a change which had become necessary after the universal permission for the use of the 1962 Missal (traditional Latin Mass) was granted on July 7, 2007, in the Apostolic Letter Summorum Pontificum. (For the background to the Good Friday prayer controversy and how the Novus Ordo version differs essentially from the traditional prayer from before Vatican II, please see our post, The Crucified Christ Betrayed.) Thus, on Feb. 4, 2008, Benedict XVI released his own version of the prayer for the Jews, which was to be used exclusively in the Good Friday liturgies celebrated under Summorum Pontificum. The Ratzinger text was basically a compromise between the traditional formula and the Novus Ordo version.
Regarding the introduction of this new prayer, the Antipope Emeritus wrote in his final interview book:
I was of the opinion that one cannot let that go on [the praying of the traditional Good Friday prayer for the conversion of the Jews], that even those using the old liturgy must change at this point in time. One had to have a form of the prayer created that fitted with the spiritual style of the old liturgy, but which was at the same time consonant with our modern understandings of Judaism and Christianity .
Im still happy today that I managed to change the old liturgy for the better at that moment. If one withdrew this new formulation of the supplication, as is always demanded, this would mean that the old, unacceptable, text with the perfidi Iudaei [faithless Jews] would have to be prayed . Until then the old intercession was prayed, and I replaced it with a better one for this circle of people [i.e. traditionalists in union with the Modernist Vatican].
(Benedict XVI, Last Testament: In His Own Words, trans. by Jacob Phillips [London: Bloomsbury, 2017], Chapter 12; underlining added.)
This is Joseph Ratzinger on the Jews. As is evident, he may be a lot of things but a Roman Catholic is not one of them.
What must we conclude from all these facts? The tragic truth is that for decades, Joseph Ratzinger has been confirming Jews in their blindness and unbelief! For him to be portrayed now, as he no doubt will be, as some kind of ultra-conservative bulldog on the grounds that he has relativized some of the Vatican II Sects more openly heretical theses with regard to the Jews, is absurd. But, alas, in our strange times people are willing to consider someone orthodox simply for not denying all dogmas rather than for not denying any!
One of Ratzingers fundamental errors is his failure to draw an essential distinction between the Jews who lived at the time of the Old Covenant, who were indeed Gods Chosen People then (see Deut 7:6; Jn 4:22), and the Christ-rejecting Jews and their progeny, who say they are Jews and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan (Apoc 2:9; cf. Rom 9:6).
To think that conservative Novus Ordos consider this man the great orthodox alternative to the clearly heterodox Francis, is a sad testimony to how frighteningly far the Great Apostasy has already advanced.
Take anything posted at the linked source with a very large grain of salt. It is a schismatic website that does not recognize the Roman Catholic Church as... well... the Roman Catholic Church. They are sede vacantists who deny the legitimacy of pretty much all the Pope’s since Pius XII and do not even recognize the orders and sacraments of the Catholic Church. In short this is a fringe group of pseudo-Catholics who think they are right and pretty much all of the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics are not really Catholic.
thanks for sharing with us, but as for the item itself....
imho, what a crying shame to have to read such trashy hate-blinded theology. Its like a time machine back to the worst (most anti-Christian and of course in the process anti-Semitic) false/distorted teachings of the middle ages
ps: I pray for the authors’ eternal souls, I pray fervently for them.
(and may they awaken and repent while they still have the opportunity!)
If Benedict XVI thinks he is a pope, then Francis is an antipope.
It is a fundamental teaching of the Bible that without Christ there is no salvation. Jews must convert.
Source and article both violate FR’s policy disapproving racism and religious bigotry. I hope the Moderator will remove the posting. Thanks.
And who are you to judge them as “schismatic”? You’re not even Catholic.
racism? religious bigotry? Proof?
Good to know that's what you think of Catholicism.
According to Rome, I am because I was baptized and raised Catholic. In this case however I am simply noting the position of the Roman Catholic Church. Or not, depending on your POV. In any event I don’t think you need to be Catholic to be able to identify a group of fringe nuts.
Actually, according to the Catholic Church you are the schismatic.
Nobody has to convert. To anything. Period. It is a matter of the free will that Hod has given each person. Secondly, God has provided the Jewish
People with A path to salvation ( the Christian Church teaches a different one We obviously both do realize). Ezekiel 18:20-23. 1 Kings 8:46-50. Etc. etc.
The difference between us is that I am not uncomfortable with that title. I don’t claim to be Roman Catholic while also claiming that the Pope is really not the Pope.
Crap article, IMHO.
Not at all. I just feel the article is coming from a confused or unfortunate corner is all. Blessings,
This is where knowing the Catholic Faith comes in Nrx. Heretics can not possibly be pope. Bergoglio is a manifest heretic; therefore, he can not possibly be pope by divine law. That is a valid Catholic position to have under the circumstances. Therefore, you (and others) have no right to condemn those that hold this position as non-Catholic or fringe or nutso.
Actually, the article (and site) actually presents the Catholic Faith as it was for 1960 years.
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