27 January 2019

Unknown Bones

I've never been atracted to the idea of the Unknown Warrior, buried in Westminster Abbey. His corpse was deliberately chosen after the First World War so that nobody should ever know who he was, or even from which theatre of war he came. It has seemed to me that this idea (although I understand its motivations) disregards the sacred reality and particularity of every individual human being. The airy subPlatonic notion of a representative unknown and depersonalised soldier, surely, is a lesser concept than the rich truth of whoever the real person buried in the Abbey actually and really was, made by God in all his uniqueness.

I feel rather like this about the recent burial, with Jewish rites, of bones from Auschwitz, in the Jewish cemetery at Bushey in Hertfordshire. The site is apparently destined to become a holocaust memorial.

We have been told very little about these bones. Presumably scientific examination was undertaken which did prove that they were Jewish? How so? Might not the results of the investigations have also shown where they originally came from? Were they members of the same family? - that would give a particular resonance to this sombre event. Popular archaeological programmes on TV create the impression that, given DNA and so many other modern wonders of Natural Philosophy, a very great deal can be discovered from the smallest fragments of human tissue.

I don't want to make a great fuss about this. I certainly do wish the Jewish community well as they honour these members of their race with the respectful burial they were denied in the fearful genocide of Hitlerite Europe. And I am very glad that Vincent Nichols was at the event.

I am just uneasy about the lack of information made public in our media. It is almost as if, as in the case of the Unknown Warrior, the real point of the operation is the elimination of the individuality of those buried.

11 comments:

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

When a colony is developed on Mars, the country responsible for if will be accused of anti semitism if they do not erect a holocaust memorial within a decade.

ABS is old enough to remember that when the Fathers of The Second Vatican Council spoke about a holocaust, they were describing The Mass.

Text of Council’s Message to World

We wish to convey to all men and to all nations the message of salvation, love and peace which Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, brought to the world and entrusted to the Church.

In fact, it is for this reason that we, the successors of the apostles, all united in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, forming one single apostolic body whose head is the successor of Peter, are gathered here at the invitation of His Holiness Pope John XXIII.

Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we intend in this meeting to seek the most effective ways of renewing ourselves and of becoming increasingly more faithful witnesses of the Gospel of Christ.

We will strive to propose to the men of our times the truth of God in its entirety and purity so that they may understand it and accept it freely.

Conscious of our duties as pastors, we wish deeply to meet the demands of those who seek God “and perhaps grope after him and find him though he is not far from any one of us” (Acts 17: 27).

Faithful, therefore, to the mandate of Christ, who offered Himself as a holocaust ..“in order that he might present to himself the Church in all her glory … but that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:27) we shall devote ourselves with all our energies, with all our thoughts toward renewing ourselves and the faithful entrusted to us, that the image of Jesus Christ, which shines in our hearts “to give enlightenment concerning the knowledge of the glory of God” (II Cor. 4:6) may appear to all people.


That was prolly the last time and Vatican Two Prelates or Popes spoke publicly about the Man as a Holocaust and so we have now arrived at a point in time that if one billion catholics are asked - What is a holocaust? - virtually every single one will speak about the war crimes suffered by the Jews (and them alone) and we calll this disgrace progress.

The Catholic Church has allowed the Messias-Deniers to co-opt this word in their attempt to have the entire world think the crimes committed against them (and them alone) during world war two was the worst crime ever.

Deicide is the worst crime ever and it is literally impossible for any sane Catholic to imagine any crime that would approached with one million light years of that black crime

Anita Moore said...

You may be interested to know that the Vietnam War soldier in the U.S.’s Tomb of the Unknowns was exhumed about 20 years ago and positively identified via mitochondrial DNA tests. His body was given into the care of his family and reinterred in a military cemetery in his home town. His name was Michael Joseph Blassie.

Advances in DNA testing would certainly seem to make the idea of a Tomb of the Unknowns increasingly difficult to sustain. The time may come when we will be able to identify all of the unknown soldiers from every war, although, the further into the past each war recedes, the less political pressure there will be to do so.

shrink said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Camillo SSC said...

St John Paul II regularly used the Hebrew word "Shoah", meaning "catastrophe" for the mass-murder of Jews by the Nazis. The word "holocaust", in its Biblical context, referred to certain types of sacrifice. The Nazis certainly did not think they were offering any sort of religious sacrifice, but the word has now become secularised. The Greek, of course, from holos and kauston, simply means "wholly burnt", and therefore can be appropriate for any fiery destruction. The dictionary definition is "destruction or slaughter on a mass scale, especially caused by fire or nuclear war." It seems pedantic to insist that it can ONLY refer to the Sacrifice of our blessed Lord.

david evans said...

Methinks, Father, that you are on the cusp of falling into the trap of judging matters 100 years on from the modern perspective: rather than considering what was the thinking at the time.

the Unknown Warrior was the son of someone - it was then very difficult to identify all the bodies of those who sacrificed themselves for our country and Empire. That a Soldier of the Great War received a State Funeral meant any mother could take comfort that her son was being properly honoured BUT for one of those mothers it would, indeed, have been her son.

One Hundred years on, perhaps, we can identify remains and bodies more easily. But I do not think that following the naturalistic fallacy ( because it is, therefore it ought) should colour our judgements now.

What was done then was right and proper for various reasons....should be now hold a quasi-intellectual superiority now ?

Voice from the roof top said...

The Church besides allowing Jews to co-opt Holocaust has also allowed them to turn Christian Era into Common Era. The calendar we follow is Gregorian calendar and the era we follow is Christian Era. The years should be mentioned as AD (Anno Domini) or BC (Before Christ). Expressions like CE, ACE and BCE are attempts to erase Christianity and destroy Christian character of the calendar. Anno Domini means In the year of the Lord. The Jews who do not accept Jesus as the Lord started calling Christian Era as Common Era and began expressions like CE, ACE and BCE. They called it modern way of calendar. Later other people followed them, most of them ignorantly. We are Christians. We should say AD or BC. If the Jews do not want to accept Jesus as the Lord it is their right. However they have no right to turn Christian Era into Common Era. The Jews have their own calendar. They should use it.

Banshee said...

ABS, every single human except Jesus and Mary is guilty of Jesus' death. He died because we sinned. Every single time we sin, we deny Him as Lord and Messiah with our deeds and our hearts.

So I really think you need to watch that beam in your eye, and stop hitting yourself with it.

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Don Camillo. Do you ever refer to the Mass as a Holocaust?

ABS considers what you claim to be be both accurate and an example of what he frequently complains about - the opening of the Church to the world has resulted in a leveling of the church so that it speaks and acts like the world at large.

Yes, Catholics use Biblical language - we own it (Old and New Testament) lock, stock, and barrel and, thus, have the exclusive authority to explain what it means - but that use of Biblical language must be both consistent and circumspect.

The Nazis were not in any way engaged in a holocaust by slaughtering and eating Jews as a form of worship of God and it is certainly insane to claim the Jews, like Jesus Christ was, were a willing victim in His Salvific Pluperfect Holocaust Sacrifice on Calvary.

The Popes and Prelates of the Catholic Church have committed a grave prudential error in their refusal to identity Mass as a Holocaust but they could easily resurrect the word, couldn't they?

All it takes is good will and moral courage to speak the truth.

The Holocaust of The Mass is the single most important event happening on earth at any moment in time and if it were to cease, the world would end, but for many years we have had Popes and Prelates treat it as though it were aught but a meal celebrated by a local community of believers that brings us together and makes us a family.

IF Popes and Prelates chose to again identify The Mass as a Holocaust they'd resurrect not only the word, Holocaust, but they 'd resurrect their duty to teach their flocks the truth and they'd have to be willing to take on the burden to explain to their flock why the daily Holocaust is the most important, truest, and most beautiful action that takes place on earth at any time and they'd have to explain the the serious consequences to their flocks for the flock has its own sacrifice to offer at Mass, a sacrifice of prayers, works, joys, and sufferings (their very lives) that is made acceptable to God by that sacrifice being swept up into the Pluperfect Sacrifice of Jesus that is presented by the angels on the altar in Heaven to our Triune God and, thus, their flocks must become sanctified, holy.

Jesus established His Church for two reasons

Salvation
Sanctification

Any new evangelisation must be anchored in the radial reality of The Mass as a Holocaust or we risk being leveled to the point where everything is about field hospital this, immigration that, and don't worry about your adultery because God accompanies you in your journey the other thing.

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

Banshee,

You're failing to distinguish between the final cause of Christ's death, and the efficient cause.

There's a huge difference. Your rejoinder to ABS about beams was entirely misplaced.

AvB

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Catholic Dictionary

Term

DEICIDE

Definition

Literally the killing (cidium) of God (Deus), and applied to those responsible for the crucifixion of Christ. this refers especially to the Jewish Scribes and Pharisees in first-century Palestine, Judas, Pilate, Annas and Caiphas, and the Roman executioners. The Second Vatican Council cautions, however, that "neither all Hews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his passion" (Nostra Aetate, 4). The term is permissible because, though God certainly cannot die, those who killed Christ (who is God) implicitly aimed their murderous intent against the Deity. (Etym. Latin deicida: deus, god + cidium, killing.)

++++++++++ end of quote ++++++++++

Dear Father. ABS has nothing to add at this time except to express his thanksgiving for you being so generous with both time and space for ABS to post his ideas.

As for those who say that Holocaust has more than one meaning and can mean The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass and the meaning given it to by the current cultural consensus, why then do you they never ever identify Mass as a Holocaust but treat the word as having only one acceptable meaning?

Voice from the roof top said...

You disappoint me Fr. John. You did not publish my comment.