Pope says Jews not responsible for Christís death
2011 03 03

By Nicole Winfield | WinnipegFreePress.com

Pope Benedict XVI has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, tackling one of the most controversial issues in Christianity in a new book.

In "Jesus of Nazareth-Part II" excerpts released Wednesday, Benedict explains biblically and theologically why there is no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesusí death.

Interpretations to the contrary have been used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews.

While the Catholic Church has for five decades taught that Jews werenít collectively responsible, Jewish scholars said Wednesday the argument laid out by the German-born pontiff, who has had his share of mishaps with Jews, was a landmark statement from a pope that would help fight anti-Semitism today.

"Holocaust survivors know only too well how the centuries-long charge of íChrist killerí against the Jews created a poisonous climate of hate that was the foundation of anti-Semitic persecution whose ultimate expression was realized in the Holocaust," said Elan Steinberg of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants.

The popeís book, he said, not only confirms church teaching refuting the deicide charge "but seals it for a new generation of Catholics."

The Catholic Church issued its most authoritative teaching on the issue in its 1965 Second Vatican Council document "Nostra Aetate," which revolutionized the churchís relations with Jews by saying Christís death could not be attributed to Jews as a whole at the time or today.

Benedict comes to the same conclusion, but he explains how with a thorough, Gospel-by-Gospel analysis that leaves little doubt that he deeply and personally believes it to be the case: That only a few Temple leaders and a small group of supporters were primarily responsible for Christís crucifixion.

That Benedict is a theologian makes "this statement from the Holy See that much more significant for now and for future generations," said Anti-Defamation League national director, Abraham H. Foxman.

Foxman in a statement hailed Benedict for rejecting "the previous teachings and perversions that have helped to foster and reinforce anti-Semitism through the centuries."

The book is the second installment to Benedictís 2007 "Jesus of Nazareth," his first book as pope, which offered a very personal meditation on the early years of Christís life and teachings. This second book, set to be released March 10, concerns the final part of Christís life, his death and resurrection.

The Vaticanís publishers provided a few excerpts Wednesday.
In the book, Benedict re-enacts Jesusí final hours, including his death sentence for blasphemy, then analyzes each Gospel account to explain why Jews as a whole cannot be blamed for it. Rather, Benedict concludes, it was the "Temple aristocracy" and a few supporters of the figure Barabbas who were responsible.

"How could the whole people have been present at this moment to clamour for Jesusí death?" Benedict asks.

He deconstructs one particular biblical account which has the crowd saying, "His blood be on us and on our children" ó a phrase frequently cited as evidence of the collective guilt Jews bore and the curse that they carried as a result.

The phrase, from the Gospel of Matthew, has been so incendiary that director Mel Gibson was reportedly forced to drop it from the subtitles of his 2004 film "The Passion of the Christ," although it remained in the spoken Aramaic.

But Benedict said Jesusí death wasnít about punishment, but rather salvation. Jesusí blood, he said, "does not cry out for vengeance and punishment, it brings reconciliation. It is not poured out against anyone, it is poured out for many, for all."

Benedict, who was forced to join the Hitler Youth as a child in Nazi Germany, has made improving relations with Jews a priority of his pontificate. He has visited the Auschwitz Nazi death camp in Poland and Israelís Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial.

But he also has had a few missteps that have drawn the ire of Jewish groups, most notably when in 2009 he lifted the excommunication of a traditionalist Catholic bishop who had denied the extent of the Holocaust by saying no Jews were gassed during World War II.

Benedict has said that had he known Bishop Richard Williamsonís views about Jews he never would have lifted the excommunication, which was imposed in 1988 because Williamson was consecrated without papal consent. Williamson is a member of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, which has rejected many Vatican II teachings, including the outreach to Jews contained in Nostra Aetate.

Separately, Jewish groups have been outraged that Benedict is moving Pope Pius XII closer to beatification, the first main hurdle to possible sainthood. Some Jews and historians have argued the World War II-era pope should have done more to prevent the Holocaust.

The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit who writes frequently about spirituality, said the popeís new book was a "ringing reaffirmation" of Nostra Aetate, which was passed during the Second Vatican Council, with the pope putting his "personal stamp on it in a way thatís irrefutable."

"A Vatican Council is the highest teaching authority of the church," Martin said. "Now that you have the popeís reflections underlining it, I donít know how much more authoritative you can get."

Rabbi David Rosen, head of interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee and a leader of Vatican-Jewish dialogue, said the popeís book may make a bigger, more lasting mark than Nostra Aetate because the faithful tend to read Scripture and commentary more than church documents, particularly old church documents.

"It may be an obvious thing for Jews to present texts with commentaries, but normally with church magisterium, they present a document," he said. "This is a pedagogical tool that heís providing, so people will be able to interpret the text in keeping with orthodox Vatican teaching."

Foxman put it another way, saying the pontiffís book translates Nostra Aetate "down to the pews."


Article from: winnipegfreepress.com



Also tune into:

Kenneth Humphreys - Jesus Never Existed, Judaism & Christianity

Kenneth Humphreys - The Christian Crusades, Dark Ages, Knights Templar, Jesuits, Islam & Zionism

Dennis Price - The Missing Years of Jesus

Craig Hines - Gateway of the Gods

Philip Gardiner - Secret Societies and the Knights of the Temple

Gene Matlock - The Origins of Humanity, Civilization & The Nephilim

Ralph Ellis - Egypt, The Hyksos, Pharaohs and the Bible

Laurence Gardner - The Royal Bloodlines & the Desposyni

Jerry E. Smith - Secrets of the Holy Lance

John Lash - The Discovery of the Eadwine Psalter





Related Articles
Popeís organ donor card íinvalidí
God was behind Big Bang, universe no accident: Pope
WikiLeaks: Pope wanted Muslim Turkey kept out of EU and íChristian rootsí enshrined in EU constitution
The Vatican Archive: the Popeís private library
"Pope Benedict XVI - My Vatican" (Documentary Tour of Vatican state)
"Ordain women," London bus ads will urge Pope
Pope launches team to íre-evangeliseí the West
Pope sees the Devil Behind Timing of Sex Abuse Crisis ... Exactly!
Voltaire - God Thinks (Video)
Netanyahu thanks pope for exoneration
Popeís speech stirs Muslim anger (2006)
Jesus Christ Master Mason
Jesusí baptism site still surrounded by landmines months before opening
Manuscripts Reveal Legend of Jesusí Great-Grandmother
Jesus is God a Pagan Invention - A different Christ
I love Jesus (but not in a gay way)
6-storey Jesus statue struck by lightning, burned to ground (Zeus sought for questioning ;) )


Latest News from our Front Page

Exponential growth of Ashkenazi Jews following a Medieval population bottleneck
2014 09 17
A recent paper by Marta Costa et al. found that around 80% of Ashkenazi mitochondrial DNA had a prehistoric European origin (and ruled out the Khazar hypothesis). Combined with previous Y chromosome studies indicating that the male line is Middle Eastern, the results suggested a scenario in which Jewish males married European females after traveling to Europe. Now another paper, ...
Bankers Rule: City of London vs. Scottish Independence
2014 09 17
Now that the independence referendum is too close to call, the bankers express their worry. The media blitz ramps up to tip the outcome. Scottish independence has finally rattled the City of London has the usual banksters forecasting the dislocations from a currency panic. Scotland has a long and noteworthy history of banking. Money, savings and investing is entrenched in the ...
French separatists want Scots to say "yes"
2014 09 17
Separatist leaders in Brittany, Corsica and the French Basque Country will watch with interest as Scotland votes on independence next week, but they donít expect France to follow the UKís lead any time soon. Pro-independence activists point to the fact they have their own languages and cultural identities. France, however, remains a deeply centralized country and any talk of a negotiated ...
Devilís Deal: US-Backed Syrian Rebels Already Signed Pact with ISIS Prior to Haines Beheading
2014 09 17
While Washington considers appropriating half a billion in funds to the Syrian rebels, we now learn that opposition groups the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and al Qaeda affiliate Ďal Nusra Frontí, have officially aligned themselves with ISISÖ Despite grand words by US President Obama and British PM David Cameron, hereís whatís really behind their plan to bomb ISIS in SyriaÖ In a ...
World War III for Dummies
2014 09 16
A Step-by-Step Guide to Understanding the Present World Situation. 1998 - 2000 Powerful elites and influential think tanks forecast a coming period of American aggression. Zbigniew Brzezinski speaks for the Globalist faction of the western PRC (Predatory Ruling Class) in íThe Grand Chessboardí, a book in which he openly advocates for bolder American action in dominating the Eurasian land mass. During this ...
More News Ľ