7 April 2023

Kidnapping Abraham

 After Pope Benedict rewrote the Prayer for the Jews to be used on Good Friday in the More Authentic Form of the Roman Rite, a nasty uproar was raised by the German episcopate with which, unfortunately, the CBCEW gullibly associated itself. 

We were told about the multitudes of Jews who were 'distressed' by Papa Ratzinger's formula. 

I never believed any of that. A prayer written to be used by mere handfuls of people one day a year in a dead language would not have such an electrifying effect ... unless ... it were being deliberately misused by malevolent people to stir up trouble. If there were distressed Jews, my suspicion is that they were the victims, the stooges, of 'Catholics' who had an anti-Ratzingerian agenda. In other words, such Jews were the collateral damage in an intra-Catholic war.

But if representatives of Rabbinic Judaism had really wanted an occasio belli against traddy Catholics, there is a much more plausible one they could have used.

Until the post-Conciliar disorders, every Latin-Rite priest, every morning, mentioned in his Eucharistic Prayer "our Patriarch Abraham". Notice, recollect, the ease with which one slips into these familiar words ... our Patriarch ... can there be anything more natural to say ...

Rabbinic Judaist polemicists could have raised a great cry against us ... that of kidnapping Abraham. Abraham, they might have said, was their Patriarch.

It is, surely, our contention that we are God's Holy People; that the great and wonderful continuity which runs from the beginning of the 'Old' Testament to the end of the 'New', is the Unity of one single People of God.

There are not two 'religions', Judaism and Christianity. There is one Holy People. We are it.

After the fall of the Temple, some congregations adhered to a compromised and reconstructed Judaism, centred on Synagogue, Rabbi, and Family. Perforce, they abandoned the great swathes of the Torah which dealt with sacrificial legislation involving the Temple. 

We, on the other hand, with our rich experience and inheritance of the great Truth of the offering of Abraham's Son, the Messiah, upon Mount Moriah, continued with our sacrifice-based model of religion.

In the post-Conciliar period, I believe a total of a dozen or more 'Eucharistic Prayers' were eventually authorised ... although I don't believe that have all suervived in on-going editiones typicae of the Missale Romanum.

Not one of those new Prayers retained 'Abraham' ... let alone the easy, companionable, 'our'.

I am not going to suggest a conspiracy theory. But Abraham's disappearance happened, and, as with all Stuff that Happened, one can interrogate it.

The elision of Abraham happened.

It looks to me de facto Anti-Semitic. And the disappearance ... whatever the mechanisms and the motives ... happened.

Tomorrow, more on the constructive anti-semitism of some important forms of 'Catholicism'.




Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

There are not two 'religions', Judaism and Christianity. There is one Holy People. We are it.

Dear Father. Amen. Religion means bond with God and it is God Himself who established the Bond and because God is only one He established only one religion, the religion of Jesus Christ.

The faithful of the OT lived in anticipation of the Messias and they were gradually and sequentially catechised through prophesy, who He was, would be, the signs of his coming etc.

What you are writing is quite radical - in a good way.

Eric said...

Who the real children of Abraham were seems to have been a great polemic during the first Christian centuries. You see it in Luke 3:8-9 and Saint Paul's letter to the Galatians. You even see it in the Quran with the first followers of Muhammad claiming that they were the real children of Abraham through Ismael.

Gregory said...

Some time ago I providentially found a now-obscure novel, "Michel, Michel" by Robert J. Lewis (1967). It concerns a Jewish boy in post-WWII France who has lost his parents and subsequently been baptised by his guardian. At times the author tips his hand and we can see that the Catholic viewpoint has a bit of an uphill slog. The novel in its entirety can be seen as a post-conciliar exegesis of "Nostra Aetate." Thankfully the author is skilled enough that this book is full of interesting and plausibly flawed characters. (What tinged this with sadness for me was knowing that this Catholic world depicted from 1948-1953 would soon be undergoing heart-rending destruction.) Now I read in The New Republic that the rise of Gov. DeSantis parallels the rise of a renewed Catholic right wing with shining anti-Semitic credentials. Can these anti-Catholic anti-Semites help me understand if Jesus, Peter, John, and Mary were Jews?

William Tighe said...

A book to be read with caution, but one which provides a lot of "raw material" on the whole topic of what (or who) is the "True Israel," is Verus Israel: A study of the relations between Christians and Jews in the Roman Empire (AD 135-425) by Marcel Simon (Oxford University Press, 1986; ISBN: 0-19-710035-X). The book was published originally in French and revised in 1948. OUP published it 1986 for "The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization."

On Simon, see:


Basically, Simon's "take" on "Apostolic Christianity" is "Harnackian" Liberal Protestant, although I would guess Simon himself to have been Jewish.

Jhayes said...

The sanctifying power of this night
dispels wickedness, washes faults away,
restores innocence to the fallen, and joy to mourners,
drives out hatred, fosters concord, and brings down the mighty.
On this, your night of grace, O holy Father,
accept this candle, a solemn offering,
the work of bees and of your servants’ hands,
an evening sacrifice of praise,
this gift from your most holy Church.

Mick Jagger Gathers No Mosque said...

Dear Gregory Now I read in The New Republic that the rise of Gov. DeSantis parallels the rise of a renewed Catholic right wing with shining anti-Semitic credentials. Can these anti-Catholic anti-Semites help me understand if Jesus, Peter, John, and Mary were Jews?

Having been elected Governor of Florida, the first cabinet meeting of DeSantis was held in Israel and he is soon to return there to make a speech.

I don't read the New Republic (Lent is over)but I know the label anti semitism is not defined because it never is so it remains useful to those who disdain Christians (they are anti Christian and opposed to their Creator, Redeemer and Saviour) to never define it so it can remain elastic enough to shroud in ignominy any opponent of Jesus, His Church, and His commandments.

Banshee said...

There has always been a sort of set concentric circles depicted in the prayers.

There's the Church. There's the schismatics with the right sacraments and theology. There's the baptized Christians who have the wrong theology. There's the unbaptized without sacraments or theology, but with belief in Christ. There's the Jews, who don't accept Christ, but do accept more than half of Divine Revelation and Scripture.

All of these circles are still much closer to the center than the Muslims, the pagans, or the atheists of the world.

When we disagree nastily with Protestants or Jews, it is nasty and personal because it is a family fight. When we can bring them into the true Church, it is really a matter of coming home.

Obviously people from the outer circles are also welcome, as having come a lot farther. But their obstacles to belief are very different.

So I do like people like Brant Pitre, who can bring out good stuff that also explains where Second Temple ideas are more continuous with Catholicism than what has survived in today's Judaism. Because it makes sense that there is continuity. He and that Smith guy with the book about the Cosmic Temple idea - very good, very explanatory.

The hilarious thing is that Pitre's old professor, Amy-Jill Levine, suddenly has prominence (in popular press stuff like Audible) because of Pitre. She has lots of good Bible stuff, but you have to dig it out past layers of feminism, skepticism, weird presentation order, and so on. So my experience of listening to her on audio was mostly me yelling back at the audio, but with a few amazing nuggets gained.

Pitre is all nuggets. (And I have a lot of respect for him and her getting along, despite huge obvious disagreements on fundamental beliefs. Obviously she did an honest academic job of helping him learn where to look.)

I suppose one could argue where the Samaritans and Essenes belong, or whether they are included among prayers for the Jews.

Jhayes said...

In 2018, Vatican News published an article on a “correction” Benedict had just sent to a journal regarding an article it had published:

“In his “correction,” Benedict also addressed – among other theological issues – the delicate question of the “mission” to the Jews; that is, the question of whether the Church should proclaim the Good News of Christ to the Jews. Benedict wrote: “A mission to the Jews is not foreseen and not necessary.” At the same time, it is true that Christ gave His disciples a mission to all peoples and all cultures. For this reason, Benedict affirms, “the missionary mandate is universal – with one exception: a mission to the Jews was not foreseen and not necessary because they alone, among all peoples, knew the ‘unknown God’.”


lynn said...

Could it be that Jews of power hate Christ and Christians....the goyim? That would explain it.
Jewish hate groups here like the ADL and Southern Poverty League openly hate us and anything Christian. Do we cower now like the Apostles before The Lord sent the Holy Spirit down to us...for fear of the Jews and their religion that hates God? The Lord said Iniquity would abound mightily and Charity would grow cold....that would signify the end. Have they ever said they were sorry for murdering God? No....and the ruling power elite of The Devil never will.

Gregory said...

Thank you, Father, for keeping this issue before us. A few months ago I purchased several boxes of used books from our chapel bookstore. At the time I was selling books online. Going through the books I discovered a fascinating manichean pair: The Protocols etc. (don't want to alarm any algorithm here) and the book about JPII and his Jewish friend. Sadly I've met folks in trad circles who espouse less-than-generous views of Jews. I am also related by marriage to someone who seems to be a modern day Judaizer, though she was raised a Catholic and has not an iota of Semitic blood. Like Banshee, I find Dr. Pitre most enlightening and convincing. To Mr. Jagger, I am not usually a New Rep. reader, but the article popped up when I was looking for info on Mr. DeSantis. And for lynn: My observation is that only in Israel is it the religious Jews attacking Christians. Everywhere else, the "Jews" are so only by ancestry. Are the zealots and the globalists really just two sides of the same coin?