Lawyerly Apologetics Meant to Cover Up Disaster

Those who make a serious study of the rabbinic tradition of Judaism come to understand very deeply that Judaism is a lawyerly “religion.” It’s a “religion” not of the law (aside from using the law as a totem), but a religion which finds ways around the law. I was once told by a lawyer that being a good lawyer entails not just knowing what the law says, but more importantly, what it doesn’t say. In other words, it’s about finding loopholes, clever maneuvering and the like. The lawyer’s profession in the U.S. today is rotten with this kind of end-justifies-the-means thinking. It’s not about justice, but about “winning.”

Serious problems arise when this mentality is applied to things of the Church, such as we see in Ferrara’s shameful apologia for Benedict and the prayer he rewrote in response to wailing from the Chief Rabbinate of “Israel,” the AJC and ADL of B’nai B’rith. Ferrara revels in what he views to be a clever counter-ploy by Benedict, as if there were virtue in intrigue and cheap courtroom gambits. Ferrara’s view has found much support on “trad” message boards. This is a clear sign of the level of Talmudization of the thinking of many so-called “traditional Catholics.” Such lawyerly behavior is seen as admirable. Their traditionalism is a sham.

Nothing “gained” through disreputable means is truly a gain. The reality is that Benedict’s “masterstroke” is a huge loss. There is now a precedent of public pressure from Judaic organizations bringing about a snappy response from the Vatican. For a true traditionalist this is unthinkable–end of discussion. But further, the removal of language which was deemed “offensive” and “demeaning” by Judaic groups, is a tacit admission that there was a problem that needed to be fixed. This is a disaster for tradition.

For 50 years now we have been hearing about Catholic “teaching of contempt” which “paved the road to The Holocaust.” This insane idea has been seriously considered by Vatican prelates and it’s been the impetus for many anti-tradition developments in theology and the Novus Ordo liturgy. Removal of language from the traditional Latin liturgy deemed to be “offensive” and “demeaning” to “Jews” plays into the “teaching of contempt” zeitgeist. It serves as confirmation of the charge that Catholic tradition is “anti-semitic” and constitutes precedent for further change. Pharisees exploit precedent to the utmost.

Now, Catholic tradition is open to examination and revision according to the whims of the Pharisees, not in reference to truth, clarity and purity of doctrine, but the post-“Holocaust” benchmark: is it good for the ‘Jews’? And this doesn’t happen behind close doors as it did in the past. It happens in broad daylight, with lawyerly “trads” trumpeting their support. Outrage is non-existent.

Today these same “trads” are swooning over Benedict in his Roman vestments at Ash Wednesday service. Have they ever heard of the concept of damage control? Benedict has just sold out Catholic tradition to the Pharisees in a spectacular, public display. Of course he needs to build up his “conservative” image before and after such an unspeakably treacherous act. Didn’t Ferrara say that Benedict tears down tradition as he creates the appearance of building it up back in 2005? Oh, but that’s when he was the prosecutor. Now he’s with the defense. It’s all about “winning,” then, I guess. I tell you, such lawyerly strategizing is a recipe for failure.

Perhaps these “trads” need to learn of a true masterstroke by a true safeguard of tradition. They would do well to learn that St. Pius X handled Judaic lobbying by telling the interlocutors, essentially, to get lost and that he would send missionaries to convert them. How far from Christianity the Vatican has fallen in the past 100 years …


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