Papal Preacher To Pope (Saint Peter) and Council (Of Florence): You're Wrong: Do Not Seek to Convert the Jews
Thomas A. Droleskey
After these things was a festival dayof the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem a pond, called Probatica, which in Hebrew is named Bethsaida, having five porches.
In these lay a great multitude of sick, of blind, of lame, of withered; waiting for the moving of the water. And an angel of the Lord descended at certain times into the pond; and the water was moved. And he that wane down first into the pond after the motion of the water, was made whole, of whatsoever infirmity he lay under.
And there was a certain man there, that had been eight and thirty years under his infirmity. Him when Jesus had seen lying, and knew that he had been now a long time, he saith to him: Wilt thou be made whole?
The infirm man answered him: Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pond. For whilst I am coming, another goeth down before me.
Jesus saith to him Arise, take up they bed, and walk.
And immediately the man was made whole: and he took up his bed, and walked. And it was the sabbath that day.
The Jews therefore said to him that was healed: It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for thee to take up they bed. He answered them: He that made me whole, he said to me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
They asked him therefore: Who is that man who said to thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? But he who was healed, knew not who it was; for Jesus went aside from the multitude standing in the place.
Afterwards, Jesus findeth him in the temple, and saith to him: Behold that art made whole: sin no more, less some worse thing happen to thee.
The man went his way, and told the Jews, that it was Jesus who had made him whole. Therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, because he did these things on the sabbath.
But Jesus answered them: My Father worketh until now; and I work.
Hereupon therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he did not only break the sabbath, but also said God was his Father, making himself equal to God.
Then Jesus answered, and said to them: Amen, Amen, I say unto you, the Son cannot do any thing of himself, but what he seeth the Father doing: for what things soever he doth, these the Son also doth in like manner. For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things which himself doth: and greater works than these will he shew him, that you may wonder. For a the Father raiseth up the dead, and giveth life: so the Son also giveth life to whom he will. For neither doth the Father judge any man, but hath given all judgment to the Son. That all men may honour the Son, as they honour the Father. He who honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father, who hat send him.
Amen, amen, I say unto you, that he who heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath life everlasting; and cometh not into judgment., but it passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say unto you, that the hour cometh, and now is, when the head shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself, so he hath given to the Son also to have life in himself: And he hath given him power to do judgment, because he is the Son of man.
Wonder not at this; for the hour cometh, wherein all that are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God. And they that have done good things, shall come forth unto the resurrection of life; but they they have done evil, unto the resurrection of judgment.
I cannot of myself do any thing. As I hear, so I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of him who sent me. If I bear witness to myself, my witness is not true. There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
You sent to John, and he gave testimony to the truth. But I receive not testimony from man; but I say these things, that you may be saved. He was a burning and a shining light: and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. But I have a greater testimony than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to perfect; the works themselves, which I do, give testimony of me, that the Father hath sent me. And the Father himself who hath sent me, hath given testimony of me: neither have you heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him you believe not.
Search the scriptures, for you think in them to have life everlasting; and the same are they that give testimony to me. And you will not come to me that you may have life.
I receive not glory from men. But I know you, that you have not the love of God in you. I am come in the name of my Father, and you receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. How can you believe, who receive glory from one another: and the glory which is from God alone, you do not seek?
Think not that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one that accuseth you, Moses, in whom you trust. For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words. (John 5:1-47)
"And you will not come to me that you may have life." In other words, men must believe in Our Lord as He has revealed Himself through His true Church to have life in them. Those who do not go to Our Lord as He has revealed Himself through His true Church have no life in them. This includes the people from whom Our Lord took His Sacred Humanity and whose conversion to the Catholic Church He desired then and desires to this very day so that they can have life and have it to the full.
Saint John the Evangelist recorded Our Lord's own elaboration on this in Chapter 6 of his Gospel:
Jesus answered them, and said: Amen, amen, I say to you, you seek me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meant which perisheth, but for that which endureth unto life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you. For him hath God, the Father, sealed.
They said therefore unto him: What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?
Jesus answered, and said to them: This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent. (John 6: 26-29)
"This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he hath sent." Those who not believe in Our Lord as He has revealed Himself solely through His true Church are not doing the work of God. This includes the people who claim to follow the Old Covenant, the one that was abrogated when the curtain was torn from top to bottom in the Temple in Jerusalem on Good Friday, but who are actually followers of the man-made Talmud, a manifesto that is full of hatred of Our Lord and His followers. Our Lord does not want these people steeped in the blindness of Original Sin to perish. He wants them to convert. He wants all men to convert to the true Faith. He wants us to be instruments to help plant the seeds for the conversion of all men to the true Faith:
Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)
There is no time limit on this mandate that God Himself gave to the Eleven on Ascension Thursday. No country and no peoples steeped in false religions are exempt at any time from this mandate.
Go tell that, however, to the scions of the erroneous novelty of ecumenism, men who believe that "circumstances" have changed and that proselytism is not only not a mandate given us by Our Lord Himself but an objective evil that demeans the dignity of others, including those steeped in the lies of the Talmud.
Consider the words of Father
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, the preacher of the Papal Household, as reported by Zenit on September 30, 2005:
If Jews one day come (as Paul hopes) to a more positive judgment of Jesus, this must occur through an inner process, as the end of a search of their own (something that in part is occurring). We Christians cannot be the ones who seek to convert them. We have lost the right to do so by the way in which this was done in the past. First the wounds must be healed through dialogue and reconciliation.
"We have lost the right to do so by the way in which this was done in the past?" Excuse me, Father Cantalamessa, where in the history of the Catholic Church prior to 1958 can you find any evidence whatsoever that the mandate given by Our Lord to the Eleven on Ascension Thursday to seek to convert all men at all times until His Second Coming in glory is a mere "right" that can be "lost"? Whose efforts to convert the Jews are you condemning? Saint Peter? Saint Paul? Saint John the Evangelist, as the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin specifically named ten years ago as the "source of anti-Semitism" in an address delivered at Hebrew University? Saint Matthew? Who?
Perhaps, sadly, it is Our Lord Himself, Whom Saint John records in Chapter 6 of His Gospel to say the following directly to the Jews (and thus to all men at all times in all places):
Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you; Moses gave you not bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life to the world.
They said therefore unto him: Lord, give us always this bread.
And Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall not hunger: and he that believeth in me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that you also have seen me, and you believe not. All that the Father giveth to me shall come to me; and from him that cometh to me, I will not cast out. Because I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. Now this is the will of the Father who sent me: that of all that he hat given me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day.
And this is the will of my Father that sent me: that every one who seeth the Son, and believeth in him, may have life everlasting, and I will raise him up in the last day.
The Jews therefore murmured at him, because he had said: I am the living bread which come down from heaven. And they said: Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then saith he, I came down from heaven?
Jesus therefore answered, and saith to them: Murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up in the last day. It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught of God. Every one that heareth heareth of the Father, and hath learned, cometh to me.
Not that any man hath seen the Father; but he who is of God, he hath seen the Father.
Amen, amen I say unto you: he that believeth in me, hath everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the desert, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven; that if any man eat of it. he may not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any mean eat of this bread that I will give, is my flesh, for the life of the world.
The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed: and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, abideth in me, and I in him.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread, shall live for ever.
These things he said, teaching in the synagogue in Capharnaum.
Many therefore of his disciples, hearing it, said: This saying is hard, and who can hear it?
But Jesus, knowing in himself, that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Doth this scandalize you? If then you shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth: the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I have spoken to you, are spirit and life.
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him.
And he said: Therefore did I say to you, that no man can come to me, unless it be given him by my Father.
After this many of his disciples went back; and walked no more with him.
Then Jesus said to the twelve: Will you also go away?
And Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God. (John 6:1-70)
"Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you." How can the Jews of the Talmud, Father Cantalamessa, have life in them if they do not eat of the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood? Is there some "interior process" that gives them the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of the One Whose Sacred Divinity they reject and despise and make war against with all of their might? Was Our Lord, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man in Our Lady's virginal and immaculate womb by the power of the Holy Ghost, wrong, Father Cantalamessa?
Father Cantalamessa went on to say that a Christian should want Jews to come to a knowledge of Jesus but not by any means of proselytism. Once again, though, was Our Lord Himself, who is, shall we say, the proselytizer par excellence, wrong when he addressed the following words to the Jews?
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him: “If you continue in my word, you shall be my disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
They answered Him: “We are the seed of Abraham: and we have never been slaves to any man. How sayest thou: ‘You shall be free’?”
Jesus answered them: “Amen, amen, I say unto you that whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Now the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the son abideth for ever. If therefore the son shall make you free, you are free indeed. I know that you are the children of Abraham: but you seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and you do the things that you have seen with your father.”
They answered and said to Him: “Abraham is our father.”
Jesus saith to them: “If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who has spoken the truth to you, which I have heard from God. This Abraham did not. You do the works of your father.”
They said therefore to Him: “We are not born of fornication: we have one Father, even God.”
Jesus therefore said to them: “If God were your Father, you would indeed love me. For from God I proceeded and came. For I came not of myself: but He sent me. Why do you not know my speech? Because you can not hear my word. You are of your father the devil: and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning: and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof. But if I say the truth, you believe me not. Which of you shall convict me of sin? If I say the truth to you, why do you not believe me? He that is of God heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God.”
The Jews therefore answered and said to Him: “Do not we say well that thou art a Samaritan and hast a devil?”
Jesus answered: “I have not a devil: but I honor my Father. And you have dishonored me. But I seek not my own glory: there is one that seeketh and judgeth. Amen, amen, I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever.”
The Jews therefore said: “Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: ‘If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever.’ Art thou greater than our father Abraham who is dead? And the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?”
Jesus answered: “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that He is your God. And you have not known Him: but I know Him. And if I shall say that I know Him not, I shall be like you, a liar. But I do know Him and do keep His word. Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it and was glad.”
The Jews therefore said to Him: “Thou art not yet fifty years old. And hast thou seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them: “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham was made, I AM! (Jn. 8:32-59)
Father Cantalamessa said that
"what is most important is to do away with the obstacles we have placed to this reconciliation, the 'bad light' in which we have placed Jesus in their eyes. Also the obstacles present in language. How many times the word 'Jew' is used in a pejorative or negative way in our way of speaking!" Does this include Our Lord Himself? Does it include the first Pope, who spoke the following words on Pentecost Sunday following the descent of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity in tongues of flame upon the Apostles and Our Lady?
Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you, by miracles, and wonders, and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. For David saith concerning him: I foresaw the Lord before my face: because he is at my right hand, that I may not be moved. For this my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope. Because thou will not leave my soul in hell, nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to the the ways of life: thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.
Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David; that he died, and was buried; and his sepulchre is with us to this present day. Whereas therefore he was a prophet, and knew that God hath sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit upon his throne.
Foreseeing this, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ. For neither was he left in hell, neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear. For David ascended not into heaven; but he himself said: The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make they enemies a footstool.
Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified.
Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart, and said to Peter, and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren?
But Peter said to them: Do penance, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ., for the remission of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call.
And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation.
They therefore that received his word were baptized; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of the bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:22-42)
In effect, you see, Father Cantalamessa, echoing the ethos of the Second Vatican Council and all of the popes from the 1958 until our present day, is saying this: "That was then, this is now. Saint Peter did what he did in his day. It is no longer appropriate to speak as he did." In other words, the first pope, chosen directly by Our Lord Himself, did not give us the chief example, following his being filled with the Holy Ghost, of how to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people from Whom Our Lord took His Sacred Humanity and whose salvation He earnestly desires by their formal membership in the Catholic Church prior to their deaths.
Is the following passage from the Acts of the Apostles yet another example of an "inappropriate methodology" that had its place once in time but it is longer to be used given the "history" that has occurred between then and now?
But the author of life you killed, whom Go dhath raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses. And in the faith of his name, this man, whom you have seen and known, hath his name strengthened; and the faith which is by him, hath given this perfect soundness in the sight of you all.
And now, brethren, I know that you did it through ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God before had shewed by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. Be penitent, therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out. (Acts 3:15-19)
Ah, yes. Saint Peter used the "c" word, "converted." No longer appropriate? Men can be saved absent a conversion even after hearing the truth proclaimed? The Gospel of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour does not need to be proclaimed to every human being on the face of the earth? The missionaries were wrong to go to foreign lands to convert others?
Perhaps Father Cantalamessa would consider Saint Stephen's discourse to the Jews yet another example of the "history" that has put Our Lord "in a bad light" to the followers of the Talmud today:
Then the high priest said: Are these things so?
Who said: Ye men, brethren and fathers, hear. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charan. And said to him: Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I shall shew thee.
Then he went out of the land of the Chaldeans, and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father was dead, he removed him into this land, wherein you now dwell. And he gave him no inheritance in it; no, not the pace of a foot: but he promised to give it him in possession, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child. And God said to him: That his seed should sojourn to a strange country, and that they should bring them under bondage, and treat them evil four hundred years. And the nation which they shall serve will I judge, said the Lord; and after these things they shall go out, and shall serve me in this place.
And he gave him the covenant of circumcision, and so he begot Isaac, and circumcised him the eighth day; and Isaac begot Jacob; and Jacob the twelve patriarchs. And the patriarchs, through envy, sold Joseph into Egypt; and God was with him. And delivered him out of all his tribulations: and he gave him favour and wisdom in the sight of Pharao, the king of Egypt; and he appointed him governor over Egypt, and over all his house.
Now there came a famine upon all Egypt and Chanaan, and great tribulation; and our fathers found no food. But when Jacob had heard that there was corn in Egypt, he sent our fathers first: and at the second time, Joseph was known by his brethren, and his kindred was made known to Pharao. And Joseph sending, called thither Jacob, his father, and all his kindred, seventy-five souls. So Jacob went down into Egypt; and he died, and our fathers.
And they were translated into Sichem, and were laid in the sepulchre, that Abraham bought for a sum of money of the sons of Hemor, the son of Sichem. And when the time of the promise drew near, which God had promise to Abraham, the people increased, and were multiplied in Egypt, till another king arose in Egypt, who knew not Joseph.
This same dealing craftily with our race, afflicted our fathers, that they should expose their children, to the end they might not be kept alive. At the same time was Moses born, and he was acceptable to God: who was nourished three months in his father's house. And when he was exposed, Pharao's daughter took him up, and nourished him for her own son. And Moses was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians; and he was mighty in his words and in his deeds. And when he was full forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.
And when he had seen one of them suffer wrong, he defended him; and striking the Egyptian, he avenged him who suffered the injury. And he thought that his brethren understood that God by his hand would save them; but they understood it not. And the day following, he shewed himself to them when they were at strike; and would have reconciled them in peace, saying: Men, ye are brethren; why hurt you one another?
But he that did the injury to his neighbor thrust him away, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge over us? What wilt thou kill me, as thou didst yesterday kill the Egyptian? And Moses fled upon this word, and was a stranger in the land of Madian, where he begot two sons.
And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the desert of mount Sina, an angel in a flame of fire in a bush. And Moses seeing it, wondered at the sight. And as he drew near to view it, the voice of the Lord came unto him, saying:
I am the God of thy fathers; the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses being terrified, darest not behold. And the Lord said to him: Loose the shoes from thy feet, for the place wherein thou standest, is holy ground. Seeing I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, am am come down to deliver them. And now come, and I will send the into Egypt.
This Moses, whom they refused, saying: Who hath appointed thee prince and judge? him God sent to be prince and redeemer by the hand of the angel who appeared to him in the bush. He brought them out, doing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the desert forty years.
This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel: A prophet shall God raise up to you of your own brethren, as myself: him shall you hear. This is he that was in the church in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on mount Sina, and with our fathers; who received the words of life to give unto us, Whom our fathers would not obey; but thrust him away, and in their hearts turned back into Egypt, saying unto Aaron: Make us gods to go before us. For as for this Moses, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we know not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifices to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. And God turned, and gave them up to serve the host of heaven, as it is written in the books of the prophets: Did you offer victims and sacrifices to me for forty years, in the desert, O house of Israel? And you took unto you the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god. Rempham, figures which you made to adore them. And I will carry you away beyond Babylon.
The tabernacle of this testimony was with our fathers in the desert, as God ordained for them, speaking to Moses, that he should make it according to the form which he had seen. Which also our fathers receiving, brought in with Jesus, into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David Who found grace before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob.
But Solomon built him a house. yet the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands, as the prophet saith: Heaven is my throne, and the earth my footstool. What house will you build me? saith the Lord; or what is the place of my resting? Hath not my hand made all these things?
You stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do you also. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have slain them ho foretold of the coming of the Just One; of whom you have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it.
Now hearing these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed with their teeth at him.
But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God. and he said: Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
And they crying out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and with one accord ran violently upon him. And casting him forth without the city, they stoned him; and the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, invoking and saying: Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
And falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: Lord Jesus, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the Lord. And Saul was consenting to his death. (Acts 7:1-59)
Why has no pope of the past forty-seven years been willing to give this discourse anew to the Talmudic Jews of our own day? Is not just as relevant now as it was nearly two millennia ago? The final lesson of this chapter from the Acts of the Apostles is stark: Stephen forgave his persecutors, thus contrasting the mercilessness of the men of the Old Dispensation, seeking to kill rather than to forgive, with the forgiveness of the New and Eternal Covenant that was ratified by the shedding of the Most Precious Blood of the Divine Redeemer atop the heights of Calvary on Good Friday. A Catholic forgives his enemies and his persecutors. He prays for them. He prays for the conversion of those who are outside of the Church. He wants to assist at Holy Mass with the ones who were once the enemies of Christ and His Holy Church. He wants to wait on line with them to enter into the hospital of Divine Mercy that is the confessional. He wants to pray Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary with those who had formerly pierced the sword of sorrow through Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart by means of their own hardness of heart and their attacks upon her Divine Son's true Church.
The prayers of Saint Stephen from eternity won the conversion of his chief persecutor, Saul of Tarsus. Was Our Lord Himself wrong to have spoken to Saul as he was en route from Jerusalem to Damascus to engage in yet another persecution of Catholics? And while the Apostle to the Gentiles, Saint Paul, did indeed write in his Epistle to the Romans that the conversion of the Jews is an important sign of end times, that they would be grafted back onto the vine, he went on to say:
And so all Israel should be saved, as it is written: There shall come out of Sion, he that shall deliver, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
And this is to them in my covenant: when I shall take away their sins.
As concerning the gospel, indeed, they are enemies for your sake: but as touching the election, they are most dear for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance. For as you also in times past did not believe God, but how have obtained mercy, through their unbelief; so these also now have not believed for your mercy, that they also may obtain mercy. For God hath concluded all in unbelief, that he might have mercy on all. (Romans 11:26-32)
The people of the Old Covenant are dear to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He wants us, Saint Paul is saying, who have been the beneficiaries of His gratuitous Mercy to be the instruments by which the sons and daughters of Abraham may know that Mercy in their own lives as members of the Catholic Church, the true vine onto which all men at all times and in all places are to grafted. There is an urgency to convert each soul of each living human being. Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, whose feast day in the calendar of Tradition is today, October 3, "adopted" two missionaries to be her spiritual brothers, for whom she prayed before she died in 1897. She is a Patroness of Missionaries worldwide. Was Pope Pius XI wrong to have named her as a patroness of the missionaries seeking the conversion of all people to the Catholic Church?
Saint Paul put it this way in his Epistle to the Hebrews:
Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. Be not led away with various and strange doctrines. (Hebrews 13:8-9)
Saint Paul proclaimed Our Lord to the Hebrews, exhorting us to do the same. Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever. It is indeed a strange doctrine to contend that not proselytizing the Jews of the Talmud today is at all compatible with Jesus Christ, yesterday, and today; and the same for ever.
The Council of Florence (1438-1445) decreed the following:
The holy Roman Church believes, professes, and preaches that 'no one remaining outside the Catholic Church, not just pagans, but also Jews or heretics or schismatics, can become partakers of eternal life; but they will go to the everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels,' unless before the end of life they are joined to the Church. For the union with the body of the Church is of such importance that the sacraments of the Church are helpful to salvation only for those who remaining in it; and fasts, almsgiving, other works of piety, and the exercise of Christian warfare bear eternal rewards from them alone. And no one can be saved, no matter how much alms, he has given, even if he sheds his blood for the name of Christ, unless he remains in the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.
This is the de fide teaching of the Catholic Church. It is clear that the recent popes and men such as Father Cantalamessa reject, at least implicitly, this dogmatic teaching. One will look in vain for anything in the Second Vatican Council that deposes and thus overturns this decree of the Council of Florence, as if such an absurdity were possible, you understand, which it is not. The pastoral praxis of the Church in her human elements today rejects the decree, to be sure. The decree itself stands as the truth that it is, all contemporary pastoral praxis and the errors of ecumenism notwithstanding.
Making all of this very saddening is the fact that our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, does give addresses now and again that resonate with the Faith. Consider this excerpt from the sermon he gave at the opening Mass of the Synod of Bishops in Rome yesterday, October 2, 2005:
We come to the third element of today's [Novus Ordo] readings. The Lord, in both the Old and New Testament, announced the judgment of the unfaithful vineyard. The judgment that Isaiah foresaw has been realized in the great wars and exiles imposed by the Assyrians and Babylonians. The judgment, announced by the Lord Jesus, refers above all to the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70.
Yes, this is all true. Indeed, it is very well put (as far as it goes; it does ignore the non-salvific power of the Old Covenant). Why, though, could not the Holy Father have seen fit to say something like this when address Jewish leaders in Cologne, Germany, on August 19, 2005? Why could not the Holy Father have simply read Saint Stephen's discourse? Our Lord does not want us to speak as Catholics only to Catholics. We must speak as Catholics about Catholicism at all times, yes, even to Jews, as politically incorrect as that might be in the world today. It kind of cost all but one of the Apostles their lives. What we we afraid of? Bad press? A cessation to "inter-religious dialogue" that reaffirms living human beings in false religions that have the power to save no one?
What can we do in the light of comments such as those made by Father Cantalamessa and the refusal of the Holy Father to speak as a Catholic to Jews? Pray. Pray fervently. Pray fervently unceasingly. Make acts of reparation to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart for such infidelity to Our Lord and the Apostles. Pray with special fervour and concentration the mysteries contained in Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. October is the month of the Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary. Use this month, in which took place eighty-eight years ago the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal, to pray for the conversion of all souls to the Catholic Church and for the conversion of our ecclesiastical authorities to the received Tradition contained in the Deposit of Faith without any hint of ambiguity or murkiness.
What can we do with those who belong to one or another of the divisions of Talmudic Judaism? Pray for them, to be sure. Of additional importance is to be pro-active in our efforts to do precisely that which Father Cantalamessa and Pope Benedict XVI say that we should not do: seek to convert them to the true Faith. Never cease talking about the Faith to our Jewish friends and neighbors and co-workers. Most importantly, though, is this: we must give them blessed Miraculous Medals. The Miraculous Medal brought about the conversion of Alphonse Ratisbonne in the Nineteenth Century. As I noted about four weeks ago:
Our Lady wants the conversion of people to the Catholic Church. She gave Saint Catherine Laboure the image of the Miraculous Medal to be an instrument of the conversion of souls. One of the most prominent men to have been converted by the Miraculous Medal was the Jewish atheist, Alphonse Ratisbonne. As a story about his conversion relates:
"I had come out of a dark pit, out of a tomb...and I was alive, completely alive. I thought of my brother Theodore with inexpressible joy. But how I wept as I thought of my family, of my fiancee, of my poor sisters. I wept indeed, as I thought of them whom I so loved and for whom I said the first of my prayers. Will you not raise your eyes to the Savior shoe blood blots out original sin? Oh! How hideous is the mark of this taint, and how does it alter beyond recognition the creature made in God's own likeness!"
When priests wanted to delay his Baptism for a time, Alphonse Ratisbonne said:
"The Jews who heard the preaching of the Apostles were baptized immediately, and you want to put me off, after I have 'heard' the preaching of the Queen of the Apostles?"
As is recounted in Mary's Miraculous Medal:
News of this miraculous event spread quickly all over Europe, especially in diplomatic and financial circles, when Ratisbonne, de Bassierers and de La Ferronays were widely known. The city of Rome itself was in a stir and a special Church commission was established to study the astonishing conversion. Faced with the overpowering evidence, the court fully recognized the signal miracle wrought by God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the spontaneous conversion of Marie Alphonse Ratisbonne from Judaism to Catholicism. It was a major triumph of the Miraculous Medal.
Alphonse Ratisbonne became a Catholic priest, serving in the Holy Land.
So great was the love he had for his people, that he dedicated the remainder of his life, as did his brother, Father Theodore, to work for the conversion of their immortal souls. Among the converts of these two priest brothers were a total of twenty-eight members of their own family.
A misplaced zeal for souls that belongs to another era in Church history? Or the model that everyone, including Pope Benedict XVI and Father Raniero Cantalamessa, must follow, yes, even with the Jews and Mohammedans?
There is an urgency for all souls to convert to the true Church. There is an urgency for each one of us to convert on a daily basis away from our sins to try to cooperate more fully with the graces won for us on Calvary to scale the heights of sanctity.
Consecrated totally to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, may we seek to continue the work of the Apostles to be some small instrument in the conversion of others, including the people of Talmudic Judaism, into the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church founded by the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity made Man Himself, Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, upon the rock of Peter, the first pope, who sought the conversion of his own people on the very birthday of the Church, Pentecost Sunday.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Catherine Laboure, pray for us.
Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, pray for us.
Saint Philomena, pray for us.
Saint Therese Benedicta, pray for us.
Blessed Francisco, pray for us.
Blessed Jacinta, pray for us.
Sister Lucia, pray for us.
Father Alphonse Ratisbonne, pray for us.
Father Theodore Ratisbonne, pray for us.