Rome is anti-Semitic...

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On December 10, 2015, one month ago, the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews released a statement on the relationship of Roman Catholicism and Judaism titled, The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable (Romans 11:29): A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of "Nostra Aetate" (No. 4).

What is this document whose 50th anniversary is being celebrated?

Nostra Aetate is a statement on interreligious relations which came out of Roman Catholicism's most recent ecumenical council, Vatican II. Nostra Aetate is most notable for laying a groundwork for the Vatican's recent and growing repudiation of evangelism of the Jews. Nostra Aetate exhibits the typical post-Holocaust pandering to the Jews in its declarations that "what happened in [Christ's] passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today."

Tell that to the Apostles preaching in the book of Acts.

Nostra Aetate also declares: "the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God." Also, "the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself."

Since Nostra Aetate, the Vatican has been undercutting the Church's historic call to Jews to repent of their part in the persecution and murder of their Messiah, and to turn and believe in His Name. Historically, the Christian Church has patterned our witness to the Jews after the Apostolic sermons preached to the Jews which are recorded for us in Acts. Take, for instance, this record of the sermon preached by the Apostle Peter...

outside the Temple after the healing of the lame man. In our world in which the blackmail of the Holocaust Industry labelling a man "anti-Semitic" has terrorized Christian teachers and preachers, not a soul dares to say anything even slightly negative about Israel or the Jews. Yet Peter preached the Gospel to the Jews, explicitly proclaiming "the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene" by reminding them that they as a people group had murdered Jesus. Jesus, Peter said, is the stone "rejected by you" and the one "whom you crucified":

Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people, if we are on trial today for a benefit done to a sick man, as to how this man has been made well, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:8-12)

Now, though, Rome is abandoning the Jews to their unbelief. Here, for instance, are excerpts from The Gifts and the Calling of God... released a month ago by the Vatican:

The dark and terrible shadow of the Shoah over Europe during the Nazi period led the Church to reflect anew on her bond with the Jewish people. (1)

Rome's document begins with this acknowledgement that the context for the following statements is the Holocaust.

From a theological perspective it also makes good sense to link this Commission with the Council for Promoting Christian Unity, since the separation between Synagogue and Church may be viewed as the first and most far-reaching breach among the chosen people. (3)

Did you catch that? Christian unity.

As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was greatly committed to fostering Jewish-Catholic dialogue and had many friends among the Jews of Argentina. Now as Pope he continues, at the international level, to intensify dialogue with Judaism through many friendly encounters. (8)

We're all reassured to hear that some of the Pope's best friends are Jews.

Judaism is not to be considered simply as another religion; the Jews are instead our "elder brothers" (Saint Pope John Paul II), our "fathers in faith" (Benedict XVI). (14)

Fathers in faith? Or unbelief?

The soil that nurtured both Jews and Christians is the Judaism of Jesus’ time...  Jews and Christians have the same mother and can be seen, as it were, as two siblings who – as is the normal course of events for siblings – have developed in different directions. (15)

Two siblings of the same mother? Isn't the Church of Jesus Christ the Christian's mother? If so, in what sense is the Christian Church any Jew's mother?

In his address in the Roman Synagogue on 13 April 1986 Saint Pope John Paul II expressed this situation in these words: "The Jewish religion is not ‘extrinsic’ to us but in a certain way is ‘intrinsic’ to our own religion. With Judaism therefore we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers and, in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers." (20)

Brothers in Christ, both adopted by God? If not, brothers sharing what father?

God revealed himself in his Word, so that it may be understood by humanity in actual historical situations. This Word invites all people to respond. If their responses are in accord with the Word of God they stand in right relationship with him. For Jews this Word can be learned through the Torah and the traditions based on it. The Torah is the instruction for a successful life in right relationship with God. Whoever observes the Torah has life in its fullness (cf. Pirqe Avot II, 7). By observing the Torah the Jew receives a share in communion with God. In this regard, Pope Francis has stated: "The Christian confessions find their unity in Christ; Judaism finds its unity in the Torah. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh in the world; for Jews the Word of God is present above all in the Torah. Both faith traditions find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word. In seeking a right attitude towards God, Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah." (Address to members of the International Council of Christians and Jews, 30 June 2015). (24)

If both faith traditions find their foundation in the One God, is this the Trinitarian God of three Persons, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?

Judaism and the Christian faith as seen in the New Testament are two ways by which God’s people can make the Sacred Scriptures of Israel their own. ...A response to God’s word of salvation that accords with one or the other tradition can thus open up access to God, even if it is left up to his counsel of salvation to determine in what way he may intend to save mankind in each instance. (25)

Doesn't Scripture reveal there is only One Name given among men whereby we must be saved, Jesus Christ?

Torah and Christ are the locus of the presence of God in the world as this presence is experienced in the respective worship communities. (26)

The document "Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church" published by the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews in 1985 therefore maintained that the Church and Judaism cannot be represented as "two parallel ways to salvation", but that the Church must "witness to Christ as the Redeemer for all" (No.I, 7). (35)

Sounds Biblical, doesn't it? But then consider the contradictory statement made in the very next paragraph:

From the Christian confession that there can be only one path to salvation, however, 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. (36)

"It does not in any way follow?" The phrase "in any way" is hyperbolic obfuscation. There's no need to add the phrase "completely and entirely" unless, in fact, "it does completely and entirely follow that the Jews are excluded from God's salvation because they deny Jesus Christ as the Messiah of Israel and the Son of God."

The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelisation to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views. In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews. (40)

In other words, Rome here promises they will never preach the Gospel to the Jews. But actually, given her idolatrous sacramentalism, we knew this already.

History teaches us where even the slightest perceptible forms of anti-Semitism can lead: the human tragedy of the Shoah in which two-thirds of European Jewry were annihilated. Both faith traditions are called to maintain together an unceasing vigilance and sensitivity in the social sphere as well. Because of the strong bond of friendship between Jews and Catholics, the Catholic Church feels particularly obliged to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies. (47)

So the document ends as it begins: the Holocaust is the soil in which the abandonment of Jews germinated. Rome begins and ends this betrayal of the Jews by cringing before the Holocaust Industry's blackmail.

Should we really be concerned that Rome is now promising not to engage in the evangelism of Jews? If Roman Catholicism is a false religion, what harm is there if this false religion promises not to try to get Jews to work out their salvation through her seven sacraments?

There are still several reasons why it is necessary to sound the alarm over Rome's abandonment of the Jews.

First, Rome publicizes her errors across the world, through the Vatican and its various congregations as well as monasteries, convents, colleges, chanceries, schools, parishes, retreat centers, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, and priests. When Rome pronounces her errors, the world listens with the conviction that, aside from some fraternal debates left over from the Middle Ages, Rome speaks for the whole Christian Church.

Second, Rome quotes Scripture and Church fathers in support of her errors and heresies. Thus, true believers reading Rome's decrees or the media's summary of those decrees are vulnerable to being misled concerning the true teaching of the Bible and our Church fathers. If Rome is able to broadcast her errors into the homes of my flock, I should be defending my flock against those errors, giving particular diligence to exposing their deceptions concerning what God has revealed in His Word.

Third, it is trendy in certain parts of Reformed Protestantism in North America today to talk incessantly about "Catholicity." This has led a number of Reformed pastors to follow their theological gurus in their call for reunion with Rome, pursuing that Catholicity by reordering Reformed worship along the lines of Roman Catholic worship. The simplicity and Word-centered reform of worship carried out by the Reformers five centuries ago is now replaced by sacramental liturgies and appurtenances that ease the way back to Rome. This work towards rapprochement with Rome championed by, for instance, Theopolis Institute men such as the Communion of Reformed Evagelicals pastor Peter Leithart, as well as Presbyterian Church in America pastors Jeff Meyers and Rich Bledsoe, has softened up many pastors and their congregations so that they find it easy to accept the teaching authority and doctrine of the Vatican without protest, even converting to Roman Catholicism without having a clue how wicked Rome's doctrine, practice, and morals actually are.

The only thing left to point out is that it would be difficult to find a more perfect specimen of anti-Semitism today than withholding the Gospel from Jews in order to avoid being called "anti-Semitic."

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and big lots of grandchildren.

Want to get in touch? Send Tim an email!