Thursday, 26 November 2015

Inadvertent Antisemitism?

I was struck by the comment by Deacon Augustine on Fr Hunwicke's post about CBCEW and the Good Friday prayer for the Conversion of the Jews. He (Deacon Augustine) wrote: 
Why are these spineless bishops refusing to pray for the salvation of the Jews? Do they not merit the offer of eternal life too? Are our bishops antisemites?
It is a good question. It is not just that they are refusing to pray for the conversion of the Jews: they are taking time to try to ensure that the small number of people who attend the EF do not pray for this intention.

Here are some possibilities:

The statement released on behalf of the bishops does not reflect their beliefs.

The bishops do not believe that their mandate is to 'go, baptise all nations, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.'

The bishops believe that the Jewish religion is as good a means of salvation as the Catholic Faith.

The bishops believe that the Jewish people should not be offered Christ's salvation.

The bishops care less about eternal verities than about socio-political posturing, virtue-signalling, solidarity with the German hierarchy, putting the boot into the EF or the Pope Emeritus, or some other false god fashioned in their own image...

Have I missed any?

If any of the above are true, it strikes me as profoundly worrying.

And whoever wrote that statement, who I am sure believes he was being nice (possibly 'merciful' or 'tolerant' or whatever this week's trendy virtue is) towards the Jews is, by seeking to reduce the number of prayers for their conversion to the True Faith, guilty of (presumably inadvertent) antisemitism.


Part-time Pilgrim said...

Well the two prayers are inconsistent. That much is true.

We are rightly cautious given the antisemitism that has been displayed by Catholics in the past and the unimaginably terrible consequences of antisemitism in the last century. Add to that the fact that whilst the idea of "blood guilt" was specifically repudiated in Nostra aetate it is something that has been held as true by many Catholics before even some saints. Given this track record it is hard to think clearly about these issues and that is, I think, what is going on here.

Ben Trovato said...

I agree about the real and terrible danger of antisemitism.

My view is that pretending that Jewish people cannot bear the fact that Christian people believe something different to what they believe is actually a subtle antisemitism: treating them as though they are too fragile to disagree with. And patronising them, by pretending that we don't disagree with them, when we clearly do - that is we believe Jesus of Nazareth to be the Christ, and they do not - is insulting.

Moreover, I find it hard to believe that a prayer said once a year in a handful of churches in the UK where the EF is celebrated is a major issue, and I have seen no evidence that any Jewish people have been upset. I think there may be something else going on here...