1 October 2021

Jorge and the Jews

Some viewers of the Internet may have been puzzled to find that PF is currently the recipient of strong criticism from some Jewish quarters. Surely, such a kindly gentleman whose universal love ...

I am not at all puzzled. In 2016 I contributed a paper to that year's Gardone Conference, subsequently published in  Luther and his progeny, 2017, ed. John Rao, pub. Angelico Press. I am surprised that it has taken so long for this subject to become a matter of public controversy. I am glad I am not Cardinal Koch.

Let me explain PF's big problem. On the one hand, he ... of course ... like all the Nice and the Good ... loves Jews and desires his love to be manifest and accepted and reciprocated. On the other hand, he loves to attack those in the Church whom he hates, smiting them with the accusation that they are rigid and unloving and hypocrites. He does this by bracketing them with the Pharisees of the time of the Lord's Incarnation. "You are just like those whom Christ so fiercely criticised" is his eternal refrain. "By opposing me, you also oppose Christ."

So it is not surprising that he gets his knickers in such a twist.

In my 2016 paper, I quoted a passage from his Bull of Indiction of his Year of Mercy.

"Before [S Paul] met Christ on the road to Damascus, he dedicated his whole life to fulfilling in every way the Righteousness of the Torah [Lex]. But, converted to Christ, he so radically [prorsus] changed his mind that he wrote in his Letter to the Galatians: 'We have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we are made righteous out of Faith in Christ and not out of works prescribed by the Torah.' Paul turns totally upside down the basic idea of Righteousness [rationem iustitiae omnino evertit]. He puts in the first place, not now the Torah, but Faith. Keeping the Torah does not save, but Faith in Christ Jesus, who through His death and resurrection brings His salvation through the Mercy which makes righteous."

My paper also explains how poorly PF's views, like those of Luther, have stood up to the renaissance in Pauline studies associated with the name of 'Ed' Sanders in the last half-century. 

Having strong views but a fragile grasp upon Catholic Doctrine makes one rather vulnerable to such confusions. 

I have not forgotten the disrespectful attack by the CBCEW on Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Jews.


1 comment:

Albrecht von Brandenburg said...

On an unrelated topic, I've received my copy of Dr Diggle's Dictionary.

It's superb.

Now I can read Aristotle (which was one of my main aims in studying Greek; sadly, the LS was deficient in that regard. But I won't chuck it out).