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saved by the Mosaic Covenant, which was superceded by the New and Eternal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
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:
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.
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.
at least three things at work here.
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.
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
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.