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April 29, 2004

Traditionally Hypocritical

The hypocrisy of Roman curial cardinals and of the American hierarchy knows no limits. With Pope John Paul II, a son of the Second Vatican Council, having delegated practically all governing power to the cardinals around him as he continues to wax enthusiastically about the "springtime of the Church ushered in by the events of a council that meant to open the Church up to the "world," his appointees and theological clones in Vatican dicasteries continue to stand the authentic patrimony of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church on its head. Examples abound of the statements emanating from Rome that contradict the living Tradition of the Church, to say nothing of contradicting themselves and bewildering the faithful who even bother to pay attention to them.

To wit, a April 25, 2004, report on ZENIT, which is run by the Vatican lapdogs known as the Legionaries of Christ (an outfit that would say that a pope who permitted women priests must be obeyed without question), sought to engage in historical revisionism concerning the conversion of Rabbi Israel Zolli to the Catholic Faith as a result of the influence of Pope Pius XII. A recently republished book on Zolli's conversion explains that the former Grand Rabbi of Rome took the baptismal name Eugene to honor Pope Pius XII, whose baptismal name was Eugenio Pacelli. Alas, a Vatican that is composed of cardinals who have said that Jews are saved by the Mosaic Covenant, which was superceded by the New and Eternal Covenant instituted by Our Lord at the Last Supper and ratified as He shed every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross (and symbolized by the tearing of the veil in the Temple in Jerusalem in two upon the death of Our Lord on the Cross), cannot stand to see such publicity given to a book about a Jewish rabbi's honest-to-goodness conversion to the true Church, outside of which there is no salvation. Thus, the April 25, 2004, report on ZENIT sought to make complex that which was not complex at all: Eugenio Zolli's complete conversion to Catholicism.

Consider the following passage from the ZENIT report, which featured an interview with Alberto Latorre, identified as a scholar who oversaw the Italian edition of the Zolli autobiography:

Q: What do you think of Zolli's conversion? You seem to imply that much took place before the meeting with [Pius XII].

Latorre: I answer, quoting Zolli, that it was not a question of a conversion, but of an adherence. The baptism of fire, namely, Zolli's profound adherence to the Gospel message, probably took place during his adolescent years.

Zolli, as he himself says, nourished from the years of his formation a profound love of Jesus -- an attraction attested subsequently by a historical-religious study published in 1938: "The Nazarene: Studies of New Testament Exegesis in the Light of Aramaic and Rabbinical Thought."

The baptism of water, received on February 13, 1945, was an act of formal adherence carried out when he was already clear about manifesting openly, "in primis" to himself, his religious faith.

I must emphasize that Zolli never abandoned Judaism; rather, following in the steps of St. Paul, he entered Christianity as a Jew. A Jew as was Jesus of Nazareth.

Q: Could the rabbi's meeting with the Pontiff have influenced the decisions that were brewing in Zolli's heart? In what way?

Latorre: I think it is impossible to establish objectively if the meeting with Pacelli influenced Zolli's decisions and in what way. How is it possible, in fact, to enter a man's heart and understand profoundly its movements and uncertainties? It is already very difficult to enter one's own -- can you imagine understanding another's?

Yet, on the basis of my studies of Zolli, I think that the meeting with the Pontiff did not influence him at all.

I would like to add that, in my opinion, the repeated rapprochement between Zolli and Pius XII, and vice versa, was not for the benefit of either one. The personal and historical situations of both ended, inevitably, by coming together, but I think that the analysis and historical judgment of the two personalities must be carried out autonomously.

Let's get this straight. A novel thing called "baptism of fire" is what actually converted Israel Zolli. The "baptism of water" was merely "an act of formal adherence." Huh? There is no such thing as baptism of fire. There is no such thing as an act of formal adherence. The Sacrament of Baptism is a sacramental act by which the very inner life of the Blessed Trinity is flooded into a soul by means of sanctifying grace as Original Sin is flooded out of that soul. To speak in such terms is to deny, almost heretically, the significance of the Sacrament of Baptism. The alleged scholar interviewed by ZENIT is pretty much saying that in Zolli's case the "baptism of water" is a symbolic act that merely ratifies an earlier baptism of fire. Further, Zolli never abandoned Judaism, according to scholar Latorre, and it is a matter of sheer debate as to whether Pope Pius XII had any influence over Zolli's conversion at all.

Obviously, this is bad revisionist history writ large. Apologists for the Novus Ordo Vaticano cannot stand to see a conversion story, especially one dealing with a conversion from Judaism, stand on its own merits. Christopher Ferrara and Thomas E. Woods, Jr., document in The Great Facade that an Eastern Orthodox bishop was dissuaded by Vatican officials from converting to Catholicism. The bishop had to go outside of the Vatican to become a Catholic, angering Vatican officials in the process because he persisted in his quest to be received into the true Church. The efforts to reaffirm Jews in a now dead religion that has the power to save no one is heretical and a grave dereliction of duty that imperils the souls of those who insist that seeking to proselytize the people from whom Our Lord took His Sacred Humanity is wrong and therefore unnecessary. There is no other word than "shameful" to describe such a denial of received teaching. An article archived on this site, "No Other Name by Which Men Can be Saved," provides numerous Scriptural citations to prove that a refusal to work to convert Jews is contradicted by the words of Our Lord and the Apostles themselves.

Also demonstrative of the shameful hypocrisy and cowardice on the part of Vatican officials and the American hierarchy that have been part and parcel of the "tradition" of the past thirty to forty years is Francis Cardinal Arinze's statement, made upon the release of Instruction Redemptionis Sacramentum (a document I have critiqued for the May 15 issue of The Remnant), that priests could refuse Holy Communion to pro-abortion politicians who presented themselves for It during Holy Mass. Cautious politician that he is, however, Arinze undermined his own statement by leaving the ultimate decision up to the hierarchy. In the case of the American hierarchy, obviously, the decision will be in most instances to treat pro-abortion politicians of both major political parties in this country as Catholics in good standing who will be administered Holy Communion without any question or reservation whatsoever. Only two bishops, the Most Reverend Raymond Burke of St. Louis and the Most Reverend Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska, have said that they would refuse Holy Communion to a certain Catholic, Senator John F. Kerry, who is running for the highest office in the United States of America. Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, the Archbishop of Washington, and the Most Reverend Wilton Gregory, the Bishop of Belleville, Illinois, and the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, have both said that the bishops should use "persuasion" rather than discipline in such cases as Kerry's. McCarrick has gone so far as to say that Catholics are not "single issue" voters.

There are at least three things at work here.

First, Cardinal Arinze makes a bold statement that pro-abortion politicians should be refused communion while undermining his statement by declaring that it is the bishops who must make the ultimate decision. More rotten fruit of Vatican cowardice masquerading under the novelty known as collegiality.

Second, Cardinal McCarrick and Bishop Gregory treat pro-abortion officials with the utmost of respect and leniency while treating traditional Catholics as steerage compartment passengers unworthy of even a small cubby hole on the Barque of Peter. It was in McCarrick's Archdiocese of Washington that a planned offering of the Traditional Latin Mass by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter at the National Shrine of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception was canceled rather unceremoniously. Both McCarrick and Gregory would bend over backward and do all manner of actual physical contortions if they found out that the Society of Pope Saint Pius X operated within their midst without "ecclesiastical sanction." Catholics would be warned sternly that they run the risk of excommunication if they even breathed the air near such chapels. Ah, but one who supports the slaughter of little babies has not excommunicated himself by supporting in law and with taxpayer dollars one of the four sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance. Traditional Catholics, especially those who exercise their rights under Quo Primum to assist at the Immemorial Mass of Tradition wherever it is offered by a validly ordained priest, are bad and disobedient as they attempt to worship God in the Mass that best expresses and protects the fullness of the Catholic Faith. Dissenting Catholics are to be treated with respect and dignity, if not a forbearance of spirit that conveys to the faithful that abortion is merely one issue among many that should not separate a baptized Catholic from others at the time of the distribution of Holy Communion.

Third, the willingness of the American bishops of today to do the bidding of careerist politicians of both major political parties while scandal is given to the faithful continues a long tradition dating back to the Nineteenth Century. Richard Cardinal Cushing, who was the subject of a recent article of mine on the Seattle Catholic website, went so far as to enable the widow of an assassinated president who had announced plans to marry a divorced Greek Orthodox multi-billionaire. As Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy noted in her own memoirs about her daughter-in-law's plans to marry Aristotle Onassis in 1968, Cushing made a public statement of complete support. "This woman [Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy] is entitled to whatever happiness she can get." Never mind the indelible seal of the Sacrament of Matrimony. Never mind the Sixth Commandment. Never mind the salvation of souls and the proper formation of her children as Catholics who must accept the entirety of the Deposit of Faith without one whit of dissent. No, what mattered to Richard Cardinal Cushing, the longtime Archbishop of Boston, was a sentimental concept of "happiness" divorced from any sense of conforming one's life to the Commandments revealed by God and taught definitively by Holy Mother Church. Thus, the readiness of McCarrick and Gregory to dismiss the importance of the slaughter of the unborn and to refuse to sanction a pro-abortion politician just continues a pattern of obsequiousness to career politicians that is an absolute and complete betrayal of the authentic patrimony of the Catholic Church.

Dr. John C. Rao noted in a brilliant article that is now posted on the Seattle Catholic website that it is frequently more effective to speak of the beauty of the Faith than to point out specific problems, noting how many bishops of the Sixteenth Century responded to exhortations about the horror of sin and the need for personal conversion rather than to polemical litanies of the problems that existed in the Church. There is certainly much merit to that observation if one is dealing with bishops who actually believe in the Catholic Faith. Our problem, I believe, is that we are dealing with men who have clearly rejected the patrimony of the true Church, men in the hierarchy from the Holy Father on down who believe that the traditional, unambiguous language of the Church is counterproductive and harmful in our "civilization of love," men who do not believe that it is of the Church's very mission to convert everyone alive to become her members, men who promote sin under the aegis of "sex instruction" and "diversity" and other slogans, men who look the other way and who refuse to discipline brother bishops and priests who engage in and who persist in unrepentant sinful activity, whether natural or unnatural, men who do not accept and who do not want to listen to those who insist that all of the problems of the world are caused by Original Sin and our own actual sins and that is it is only the teaching and the sacraments the God-Man entrusted to the Catholic Church that can save souls and thus restore and maintain as much order as is possible in a fallen world. Much of the Church's hierarchy is engaged in material heresy. Some, such as the Bishop of San Jose, California, the Most Reverend Patrick McGrath, who noted at the time of the release of The Passion of the Christ that the Gospels are not historical accounts of the events they narrate, dabble in formal heresy on occasion. Such men are not prone to listen to arguments about the beauty of a Faith that they have quite actively disfigured and continue to disparage.

The answer, as always, is to pray and to make sacrifice for the conversion of our bishops and priests. Nothing much will change until Russia is actually consecrated to Our Lady's Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart, which will result in the cessation of the spread of the errors of Russia that plague both the Church and the world. Our Lady will, however, use the fruit of the merits of the prayers and actions we give to her as her consecrated slaves in ways that will be made manifest only in eternity. And we must be content to wait until then, please God we die in a state of sanctifying grace, to see how she has used what we have thus given her so freely and with such complete confidence in her intercessory power as the Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix of all graces, and Advocate. We must be concerned about the state of things within the Church and the world. We must never lose the supernatural virtue of Hope, understanding that our Immaculate Queen wants us to trust in her so that we will cooperate more fully with the graces won for us by the shedding of her Divine Son's Most Precious Blood so that all things will be restored in Him through the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart. It will be the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart that will end the "traditional hypocrisy" of the regime of novelty within the Church of the past four decades.

With the month of Mary, May, fast approach, may we rely more tenderly on Our Blessed Mother to assist us to grow in sanctity so that we be at least a small part of the solution to what plagues Holy Mother Church by our attentiveness to Eucharistic piety, prayerful recitation of Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary, frequent confession, and our offering of everything we have and do to the Blessed Trinity through the Immaculate Heart.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.



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