EDITOR’S NOTE: Fr. Cantalamessa balances the former central ontological event of Western history, the crucifixion of God incarnate at Calvary, with it’s modern, dark age replacement, “The Shoah.”
“There’s no business like Shoah business,” they say. Today, Christians can’t even reflect upon Christ’s sacrifice on the cross during Holy Week without being reminded of “The Shoah.”
Within his sermon Fr. Cantalamessa makes somewhat of a revelation regarding the Judaic tradition of Christ’s crucifixion, but then leads his listeners/readers towards safe, kosher conclusions.
Father Cantalamessa on the Passion of Christ
“We Are All Responsible for Jesus’ Death”
ROME, MARCH 30, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of a commentary by the Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on the readings for this Sunday’s liturgy.
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A Historical Look at the Passion of Christ
Isaiah 50:4-7; Philippians 2:6-11; Luke 22:14-23, 56
On Palm Sunday we will hear in its entirety St. Luke’s account of the Passion. Let us pose the crucial question, that question which the Gospels were written to answer: How is it that a man like this ended up on the cross? What were the motives of those responsible for Jesus’ death?
According to a theory that began to circulate last century, after the tragedy of the Shoah, the responsibility for Christ’s death falls principally — indeed perhaps even exclusively — on Pilate and the Roman authorities, whose motivation was of a more political than religious nature. The Gospels supposedly vindicated Pilate and accused the Jewish leaders of Christ’s death in order to reassure the Roman authorities about the Christians and to court their friendship.
This thesis was born from a concern which today we all share: to eradicate every pretext for the anti-Semitism that has caused much suffering for the Jewish people at the hands of Christians. But the gravest mistake that can be made for a just cause is to defend it with erroneous arguments. The fight against anti-Semitism should be put on a more solid foundation than a debatable (and debated) interpretation of the Gospel accounts of the Passion.
I wonder when “the fight against anti-semitism” will take into consideration the role the rabbis and their traditions have played in creating “anti-semitism.” The Vatican has spent the past 60 years hosting some of the most vile haters of the Gospel who’ve ever lived such as Jules Isaac and his “teaching of contempt” thesis happily recieved by John XXIII, and even knighting some of these anti-Christs as recently as this past month.
The thesis Fr. Cantalamessa references is not “debatable,” as Cantalamessa diplomatically, or rather, equivocatingly puts it (Jules Isaac and his ilk are certainly not so diplomatic). It’s utter nonsense. And if Fr. Catalamessa was sincere in his desire to eradicate every true “pretext for anti-semitism” he would suggest that the same critical analysis which the Gospel has undergone be conducted on the “holy” texts of rabbinic Judaism. Only then will the true cause for “anti-semitism” begin to be understood and thereby eradicated.
That the Jewish people as such are innocent of Christ’s death rests on a biblical certainty that Christians have in common with Jews but that for centuries was strangely forgotten. “The son shall not be charged with the guilt of his father, nor shall the father be charged with the guilt of his son” (Ezekiel 18:20). Church teaching knows only one sin that is transmitted from father to son, original sin, no other.
The Church has never taught that the sin of the crucifixion is genetically transmitted. But it is undeniable that those who uphold the spiritual and ideological tradition of the Pharisees who conspired to execute Christ–a tradition which to this day maintains that Christ got what He deserved at Calvary (as Fr. Cantelamessa will somewhat reveal in a following paragraph)–are cursed. How could it be otherwise? What blessing from God could come upon a tradition which revels in the execution of His Son? That’s crazy talk.
Having made it clear that I reject anti-Semitism, I would like to explain why it is not possible to accept the complete innocence of the Jewish authorities in Christ’s death and along with it the claim about the purely political nature of Christ’s condemnation …
From the reports about Jesus’ death present in the Talmud and in other Jewish sources (however late and historically contradictory), one thing emerges: The Jewish tradition never denied the participation of the religious leaders of the time in Christ’s condemnation. They did not defend themselves by denying the deed, but, if anything, they denied that the deed, from the Jewish perspective, constituted a crime and that Christ’s condemnation was an unjust condemnation.
That’s a mild way of putting it. The fact is that the “great sages” who wrote the Talmud take full responsibility for Christ’s execution, absolving the Romans completely, claiming that Christ got what He deserved for “leading Israel astray” (Babylonian Talmud, tractate Sanhedrin 43a) They go on to relay a story of a necromancer who raises a repentant Jesus from the grave who proclaims, “Seek their (the Israelites’) welfare, seek not their harm. Whoever touches them is as though he touches the apple of his [God’s] eye!” and who states that His punishment for ridiculing the Pharisees is eternal damnation in boiling excrement. (Babylonian Talmud, tractate Gittin, 57a)
This juvenile idiocy is what the tradition of our “elder brothers in the faith” teaches about the Messiah, Jesus Christ. This is the “great religion” of Judaism which Christianity has “sprung from,” if one takes the Vatican prelates at their word.
Those who uphold this tradition are not cursed, then? If the claim that Christ deserved to be executed and punished in hell in boiling excrement doesn’t merit a curse, what does? Oh, “anti-semitism,” of course! It’s the same message the Talmudic “sages” audaciously put in the mouth of a repentant Jesus Christ–“the Jews” are the apple of God’s eye just for having been born; everyone should seek their welfare; anyone who mocks the rabbis is punished in boiling excrement. Yesterday the rabbis put that message in Christ’s mouth. Today, Vatican prelates join them.
It seems to me that this is a very real teaching of contempt. And this barely scratches the surface. When will the role which teachings such as these about Christ and His followers have played in creating “anti-semitism” be addressed? When will the yeshivas be reciprocally opened up to scholars such as Michael A. Hoffman who are well prepared to truthfully lecture Judaic children on the very real Judaic teaching of contempt and it’s implications throughout history? Is the Vatican pushing for such a thing? Absolutely not.
In the past [the Passion has] often been used (in the theatric representations of the Passion, for example) in an inappropriate manner, with a forced anti-Semitism.
This is something that everyone today firmly rejects, even if something still remains to be done about eliminating from the Christian celebration of the Passion everything that could still offend the sensibility of our Jewish brothers.
So the Vatican is only getting started making changes to the Christian celebration of the Passion according to the sensibilities of our “Jewish brothers” who uphold their tradition that Christ deserved to be executed and is being punished eternally in boiling excrement for the “crime” of chastising the Pharisees. That’s a “fair” deal …
If only Fr. Cantalamessa were so concerned about Judaic blasphemy against Jesus Christ as he is “blasphemy” against “the Jews.”
Jesus was and remains, despite everything, the greatest gift of Judaism to the world …
Judaism’s “gifts” to the world have been things like racial supremacism, double standards, usury, circumvention of the sabbatical year and the jubilee, the transmission of the occult traditions of Babylon into the West, dialectical reasoning, etc., etc. Jesus Christ has no part in Judaism, a “religion” which teaches that He deserved to be executed.
And this trendy notion that Jesus was “given to us” by the Jews smacks of naturalism. God gave Himself to us in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. All the glory is due to Him.
… a gift for which the Jews have paid a high price …
Christ’s disciples certainly paid a price high enough as to merit mention, but doing so risks depreciating the “unique” suffering of the “Jews,” hence it’s absence in Fr. Cantalamessa’s sermon.
This sermon by Fr. Catalamessa will likely come across as “tough talk” to many people, particularly relative to the disgraceful subservience to the rabbis displayed by JPII. But this, in my opinion, is only an effort to manage the response to uncomfortable facts which are increasingly being revealed about the Judaic tradition today. It may also be meant to gauge the people’s reaction to the revelation which will likely be as insignificant as the reaction to the joint document produced last week by the Papal Commission for Religious Relations with the “Jews” and the Chief Rabbinate of “Israel” promoting the Noahide Laws and creating a fictional “Christian” basis for them.
If that is so, one should only expect the treachery to escalate.
One last thought regarding the title of Fr. Cantalamessa’s sermon, “We Are All Responsible for Jesus’ Death.” This slogan often seems intended to imply that all of mankind is equally culpable for Christ’s crucifixion. This notion is not only absurd on it’s face, it contradicts the words of Christ Himself spoken to Pilate: “… he that hath delivered me to thee, hath the greater sin.” Here is a scripture which in our time has been “strangely forgotten,” to borrow Fr. Cantalamessa’s phrase. Fr. Cantalamessa and his “Jewish brothers” apparently would like it to stay that way.