I have been reading a book titled, Auschwitz: Beginning of a New Era? This is a collection of papers given at an “International Symposium on the Holocaust” held at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, June 3 to 6, 1974. The book is edited by Eva Fleischer and published by the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and the “Anti-Defamation League” of “B’nai B’rith.”
The title of the book should be Theological Contrivances Rationalizing Displacement of Calvary by Auschwitz to be Taught in Christian Churches and Schools because that is precisely what Catholic priests, Protestant ministers, rabbis and others including Elie Wiesel came together to synthesize at this symposium.
Gregory Baum was a Judaic (alleged) convert to Catholicism and Catholic priest, assistant to Cardinal Bea and peritus (theological advisor) at the Second Vatican Council, particularly on the three most troubling Vatican II documents, Dignitatis Humanæ, Unitatis Redintegratio and Nostra Aetate. For the moment I will focus primarily on his words because he was a priest of great influence in Rome and at the Vatican II Council.
Getting straight to business, Fr. Gregory Baum opened his talk thus:
After Auschwitz the Christian churches no longer wish to convert the Jews. While they may not be sure of the theological grounds that dispense them from this mission, the churches have become aware that asking the Jews to become Christians is a spiritual way of blotting them out of existence and thus only reinforces the effects of the Holocaust. The churches, moreover, realize the deadly irony implicit in a Christian plea for the conversion of the Jews; for after Auschwitz and the participation of the nations, it is the Christian world that is in need of conversion. The major churches have come to repudiate mission to the Jews, even if they have not justified this by adequate doctrinal explanations. We have here a case, frequently found in church history, where a practical decision on the part of the churches, in response to a significant event, precedes dogmatic reflection and in fact becomes the guide to future doctrinal development. Moved by a sense of shame over the doctrinal formulations that negate Jewish existence, the churches have come to recognize Judaism as an authentic religion before God, with independent value and meaning, not as a stage on the way to Christianity …
The new openness to Jewish faith and the emergence of a new understanding of mission reflect the response of the Christian conscience to the voice of the Holocaust … The churches believe that they have been addressed by God’s Word through these events: they have placed themselves under God’s judgment.
Fr. Baum later returns to this idea that “God’s Word” is spoken to the “Christian conscience” through “The Holocaust” and explains what is “demanded” in response to “God’s call.”
Even without elaborating an adequate dogmatic basis, they have made significant public declarations and changed the public policy in remarkable ways. Christian theologians have reflected on the new trends and tried to establish their doctrinal foundation. Christian educators have begun to rewrite catechisms and schoolbooks. Many missionary congregations and Christian-action groups have abandoned their former ideal of evangelization and adopted a new policy, according to which missionaries enter into solidarity with the people in whose midst they serve, bear the burdens of life with them, and promote the self-discovery and humanization taking place in their midst. In particular the churches have renounced the desire to convert the Jews; they have begun to call them brothers and sisters.
While these changes have taken place on the highest ecclesiastical level, in official circles and among Christians intensely involved in the problems of contemporary life, the effect of the new policy on the great majority of Christians is negligible. Most Christians have not even begun to reflect on these issues … the reason why the new policies adopted by the churches have so little power and influence among Christians is that the negation of Judaism and other religions seems to be built into the central Christian symbols. The corrections made on the margins hardly affect the central teaching. Since Christian teaching confesses Jesus as the one mediator between God and man, and the church as the true Israel, the unique vehicle of salvation, in whom the peoples of the world will find forgiveness and new life, the dangerous social trends against which the new ecclesiastical policies have reacted continue to affect the Christian understanding of history. Unless people are well informed and belong to a religious elite, the traditional language continues to shape their outlook and attitude. What is demanded, therefore, is that the churches interpret the central Christian doctrine, in obedience to God’s call, in a more socially responsible way and find a sound dogmatic basis for their new policies … (Auschwitz, Beginning of a New Era?, pp. 113, 116-117)
As we can see, Vatican II peritus Fr. Gregory Baum was not a convert to Catholicism, but rather, a subvert who sought to convert Catholics to a new religion as he stated explicitly himself: “… after Auschwitz … it is the Christian world that is in need of conversion.”
“After Auschwitz” is of course Baum’s designator for the measurement of time in the new dispensation he is operating in. As Calvary is replaced by Auschwitz in this new religion, so, Anno Domini is replaced by Anno Auschwitz. If you believe that I’m reading into his words, then listen to co-speaker Johannes Hoekendijk in his response to Baum’s paper:
“Are we anno Auschwitz 30 in a new era? That is what the theme of our colloquium suggests … After Auschwitz: The State of Israel–A New era.” (ibid p.129)
Note that Gregory Baum lamented in 1974 that while he and his comrades in Rome were inebriated on the new “Holocaust” religion that the laity in the pews hadn’t yet received the message. I imagine that he must be quite pleased with the “Holocaust” religion teaching opportunity which materialized in January-February 2009 HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE.
Fr. Baum speaks at length on the topic of the revised Vatican II “mission” of the Church which negates Catholic traditional missionary theology and activity which he was involved in formulating. Just as the central dogmas of Catholicism are subordinate to “Holocaust” theology as quoted above, so is Christian missionary activity, in Gregory Baum’s universe:
“The new openness to the Jewish faith and the emergence of a new understanding of mission reflect the response of the Christian conscience to the voice of the Holocaust …
Fr. Baum repeats his delusional language suggesting that God, speaking in judgment through “The Holocaust,” is commanding this change in mission:
“The churches believe that they have been addressed by God’s Word through these events: they have placed themselves under God’s judgment.” (ibid p.116)
Gregory Baum proposed a replacement theology in which the “existence” of “The Jews” is the first principle to which even the most fundamental Catholic dogmas must yield. I reiterate that it is a Vatican II peritus who wrote these things 35 years ago. Clearly we can see in recent events that many prelates in and outside the Vatican have made these lunatic ideas their own.