Jesus of Nazareth
Politics of Religion
THE MOST HEINOUS CRIME OF THE CHRISTIAN PERIODInternecine strife within the Roman Empire-renowned for its barbaric customs and cruelty-usually ended in a bloodbath. Not only were competing Caesars assassinated, but also their entire families were put to the sword. Females who were virgins were, by necessity, raped first regardless of their age in order to avoid the societal taboo associated with harming the pure; and babies, unworthy of a sword, had their brains dashed out. Such barbaric cruelty had a trickle down effect that landed four square among the subject peasantry of this Empire and manifested itself in the mass crucifixions of tens of thousand of their number.
If the actions of the Romans can be classified as genocide, then we need a new word, a brand new classification to describe the fate of the Jewish people over the intervening centuries.
and not do as I say?"
According to James Carroll in his illusion shattering history, Constantine's Sword - The Church and the Jews, the Jews comprised about 10 percent of the population of the Roman Empire, which means that-but for intervening factors-their numbers today ought to be about 200 million.
There are approximately 13 million Jews alive today. Who killed the other 187 million of God's chosen people, and why? Leon Wieseltier mourns, "All that the Jews of Europe asked was not to believe in Jesus, and to be left alone in Judaism. But it was too much to ask."
Let us proceed to examine the evidence. Over the millennia, there were those within the Church who tried desperately to follow Jesus' teachings; in particular, to show kindness to their neighbour whether Christian, Saracen or Jew. Frequently these good people were silenced-often brutally-and branded as heretics.
I believe that we can identify a conspiracy of hitherto unknown proportions, a conspiracy and an ongoing crime that has been directed personally by the perpetrators of race extermination over a period of seventeen hundred years.
The Historical Indictment
The Roman Empire
Emperor Constantine [287 - 337]It doesn't matter how you study this Pagan-turned-Christian Emperor, suffice to say that he was willing enough to murder his own wife and son and other close family members to consolidate his power base, so he was doubtless conniving enough to dream up his 'vision' at the battle of Milvian Bridge, an event that led to the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity. A Christianity that was and still is very much defined and shaped by Constantine himself. James Carroll says," When the power of the empire became joined with the ideology of the church the empire was immediately recast and reenergized, and the church became an entity so different from what had preceded it as to be almost unrecognizable." This is the birth of the Roman Catholic Church, as we know it today. Carroll continues, "When the death of Jesus, rendered literally, in all its violence… [And forever emblazoned in Constantine's spear turned cross] replaced the life of Jesus and the new life of Resurrection at the heart of the Christian imagination, the balance shifted decisively against the Jews."
Saint Ambrose [339 - 397] Bishop of Milanwas obsessed with the legend of the true cross; he accuses Satan's surviving agents, the Jews, of delaying the dawning of the Christian empire. The cross for Ambrose takes on its own identity by which the will of God can be accomplished. HJW Drijvers frames Ambrose indictment of the Jews thus: "They thought they had defeated Christianity by killing Christ, but by finding the cross and nails by which Christ died and Christianity had come to life again, they themselves were defeated." Carroll adds, "In Ambrose's hands, sweet Helena [mother of Constantine and legendary discoverer of the true cross] became the mother of real Jew hatred, and she was the canonizer of his open campaign to wipe out Judaism." Ambrose defied imperial policy in support of the mob, declaring himself ready to burn down synagogues; furthermore, he utilized the authority of the church including threats of excommunication to achieve his rabid anti-Judaic ideals.
Saint John Chrysostom [347 - 407], Bishop of Antioch:the patron saint of preachers and a master of the genre Adversus Judaeos. Anti Jewish propaganda spewed from the mouth of this 'Prince of the Church', here is a small example so that you can judge for yourself: "…a whore stands on display in a whorehouse. What is more, the synagogue is not only a whorehouse and a theatre; it is also a den of thieves and the haunt of wild animals…No better disposed than pigs and goats Jews live by the role of debauchery and inordinate gluttony." Reichfuhrer Goebbels would use similar diatribes fifteen hundred years later.
Saint Augustine's [354 - 430]position on the Jews was stated thus: "Let them survive, but not thrive." Love thy neighbour, but definitely not if he or she is Jewish. Augustine wanted the Jews available as witnesses to the Old Testament prophecies relevant to Jesus Christ. Carroll sums this up as follows, "[This] would underlie the destructive ambivalence that marked Catholic attitude toward Jews from then on…this is a legacy that haunts the [Catholic] Church into the twenty-first century, a perverse legacy from which, despite the twenty-first century's jolts, the Church is not yet free."Augustine's preaching also marks the effective awakening of supersessionism [which portrays Judaism as overlade by a superior Christianity] within the Church.
Leo I [440 - 461]whose Petrine Doctrine, a doctrine which stated that the papacy continued in an unbroken line from Saint Peter combined with claims for a universal church sowed the seeds of papal infallibility and established the dogma of supersessionism.
The Dark Ages [The Medieval Period]
Peter Abelard [1079 - 1142]In a decent, just world Abelard would be remembered as a saint, so it should come as absolutely no surprise to discover that the Roman Catholic Church did not seek to canonize him. Carroll suggests, "Peter Abelard represented a positive turn in the millennial epic of Christian-Jewish relations, opening possibilities for Jewish-Christian mutuality, an end to hatred and the beginning of real respect." His works were discredited and burned by the Church, and its political machinations, chiefly in the person of Bernard of Clairvaux [discussed in detail later] who declared him a heretic, and finally destroyed Abelard. I believe that Jesus of Nazareth worked in Abelard and through him, and God's pure love flowed from him. I also believe that in rejecting Abelard, the Roman Catholic Church confirmed and ratified its rejection of Jesus Christ. Had Peter Abelard become pope, the history of that Church would be completely different, and today the world would be a significantly different and much more beautiful place.
Urban II [1088 - 1099]must be remembered as the original author of millennial madness in the form of the first Crusade. This was insanity of a kind that totally eclipses the crass stupidity of our own experience in the year 2000, and it blossomed at a meeting of bishops in Clermont in 1095. Carroll again: "Of the reconquest of Jerusalem Pope Urban cried, 'God wills it!' He sparked an awakening that has left an imprint on the consciousness of Western civilization to this day". Bubya Bush, incumbent president of the United States of America, called the Iraq war a 'crusade', an unfortunate choice of words without doubt, but one that might remind us of Christians killing the Infidel, an infidel widely assumed to be Islamic. Thanks to Urban II, the first victims, the majority of victims and the continuing victims of this blood-soaked evil that became known as "taking the cross", were the Jewish people. By the end of Pope Urban's first crusade the number of Jews murdered or forced to suicide comprised one third of the European Jewry. The road to Auschwitz-Birkenau, Clelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, Majdanek Stutthof and the other German death camps was now clear; Hitler-yet unborn-already had the green light.
Saint Bernard, Bernard of Clairvaux [1090 - 1153]was an Abbot and Papal Legate who preferred the persecution of Muslims to satisfy his blood lust. While supportive of the elimination of Islam, Bernard spoke out firmly against the actual killing of the Jewish people. Lest you think him soft-hearted, here is an extract of his writings, directed toward the people of England: "They [the Jews] are dispersed all over the world so that by expiating their crime [of murdering Jesus] they may be everywhere the living witnesses of our redemption." Robert Chazan sums it up with crystal clarity: "To label a group the most heinous of enemies and then demand for them tolerance (albeit limited) is probably to make demands that the human psyche, over the long run, must have difficulty in meeting."I will put this into the brutal language of 'Krystalnacht': the mob mentality is unable to function in the intellectual realm. The ability to reason is obviously short-circuited when people indulge themselves with a rampage of destruction and brutality, or rape, or murder whether in the name of Christ, Hitler or Hockey. The hierarchy-in this case the Roman Catholic Church-can not sit back complacently, like Pontius Pilate, and wash its hands of responsibility and guilt. Unfortunately this has been, and continues to be, the Church's modus operandi.
Callixtus II [1119 - 1124]issued the Papal Bull Sicut Judaeis, which prohibited the use of violence against Jews in order to force the acceptance of baptismal vows. Sicut Judaeis would be reiterated for various reasons and in sundry formats by some twenty popes over four centuries. It appears that Callixtus was horrified by the violence of the first crusade, and doubtless his intentions were good; unfortunately, the reality of his bull would be forever tainted by the dogma of supersessionism, Augustine's warped legacy [whose preaching was mentioned earlier as marking the effective awakening of supersessionism within the church], the absence of leadership or indifference of succeeding popes, and the actions and behavior of their subservient clergy and laity.
Saint William of Norwich [1132 - 1144]Poor William, a tanner's apprentice in the county town of Norfolk, England, was still an innocent child when he was murdered during Holy Week-in police parlance-by person or persons unknown. Pedophilia and murder have been part of the devil's work over the millennia. Someone, the murderer perhaps, took the opportunity to concoct a big lie to account for this particular crime. This became the first known instance of 'Blood Libel', a fictional horror story in which Jews were falsely accused of the ritual crucifixion of a Christian boy child and utilizing the child's blood in mock Eucharistic ceremonies. Of course Blood Libel quickly found fertile ground in the dung and manure that had accumulated since John Chrysostom first spewed forth his anti-Judaic venom, and it spread rapidly into Europe, reoccurring with alarming regularity into the twentieth century. Each incident of Blood Libel, quite naturally given the politics of the Church, gave rise to retaliations against Jews resulting in further death and suffering. Carroll tells us that, "…the Blood Libel was promptly and resoundingly rejected by the hierarchy of the Catholic Church." Here, I am at odds with Carroll whose writing I admire greatly, and without whom this treatise would be impossible. James Carroll, a fellow Irishman, ultimately shoulders a disproportionate amount of guilt for the death of so many Jews, while doing his best to give generations of Saints, Popes and Princes of the Church the benefit of the doubt. The responsibility for the proliferation of this totally false accusation rests with the people who canonized that poor little boy in Norwich: Bishop Turbe, who succeeded to the See of Norwich in 1146; Richard de Ferraiis, who became prior in 1150; and the monk Thomas of Monmouth who was the boy Saint's sacrist. The incumbent pope Lucius II and his successors who did nothing to set the record straight ratified their actions. At about the same time, another false accusation crawled out of Satan's sordid box of tricks: an accusation that Jews were killing Christians by poisoning wells. Sporadic executions, burnings at the stake and the usual mayhem followed until 1348 when the Black Plague struck Europe; at this juncture the Jewish well poisoning conspiracy became the illogical scapegoat for hysterical Christians who knew nothing of rats and fleas. The death toll from anti Jewish murder and mayhem would ultimately exceed that of the first crusade. And in those first years from 1144 until 1216, as these ghastly perversions spread throughout Europe, a succession of twelve Popes sat complacently-if sometimes briefly-upon the throne of Saint Peter and did nothing effective to stop it. The last of the dirty dozen was Innocent III.
Innocent III, Vicarius Christi [1198 - 1216]was yet another crusading pope, but his real focus was power and control. The Petrine doctrine now took second place to Innocent's position as God's right hand man here on Earth. Carroll sums it up accurately, "Now the pope would possess the universal authority proper to Christ's deputy." It has been said before: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely: and like President Bush, Innocent dispatched his armies-not to Iraq, but to Constantinople-and when they did his bidding, he like Bush decried their violent acts but claimed victory, having reunited opposing factions as per his original agenda. In reality, Innocent's actions made the east-west Christian rift between Orthodoxy and Catholicism permanent and acrimonious and, I suspect, Bush will reap the same harvest in Iraq. Innocent III founded two new religious orders, the Dominicans and the Franciscans; his goal was universal control over a universal church. On the surface, here were the peripatetic bands of benign brothers who would bring all to Christ. In actual fact, here was the original religious police, a sort of papal SS whose storm troopers would fan out over Europe torturing, burning and killing in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. You get one guess [sorry, no prizes] which group of people will feel the pain of the inquisition the most: yes, naturally, it will be the Jews.
Saint Thomas Aquinas [1225 - 1274]Aquinas' theological writings became regulative of the Catholic Church and his close textual commentaries on Aristotle represent a cultural resource, which is now receiving increased recognition. He was a Dominican and a member of the aristocracy: his patron was Dominic de Guzman the founder of the order under Innocent III. Much has been written of this influencial theologian; however, he is not usually implicated in the sordid matters related to the erradication of the Jewish people. Again, here is his position; please judge for yourself: Aquinas concluded that the Jews, confronted with the truth of Jesus, had not been ignorant at all. They knew very well that Jesus was the Messiah, Son of God, but they murdered him anyway. The twenty-first century critic might say: "What a waste of an expensive classical education when in the end dogmas and traditions overshadow all the other material that is available to the enquiring mind."
Nicholas III [1277 - 1280]Given the times it is perhaps not surprising that a member of a new order like the Domicians should become pope. Immediate modification of Sicut Judaeis followed mandating "sermons and other means for the conversion of the Jews." The momentum gathered pace until in a sermon the Dominican Giordano claimed that Jews steal the Eucharistic host to blaspheme it, resulting in the slaughter of Jews numbering 24,000 souls.
Black DeathBubonic plague swept northwards through Europe, the virus was carried by infected rats [not by Jews] and spread to humans by fleas [not by Jewish well poisoners]. By the time the plague had run its course one person in three living in Europe would be dead.
Clement VI [1342 - 1352]Between 1348 and 1351, the Black Death killed as many as 25 million people in Europe. As we have seen, the Jewish people were immediately assumed to be the 'willful cause' of this awful tragedy; the wholesale slaughter of Jews followed. Clement VI pressed the medical establishment to investigate the disease and at the same time pointed out that Jews were dying in proportion to the rest of the population. He ordered bishops to stop the mayhem. Unfortunately, only those provinces under Clements's direct control complied with his orders.
Sixtus IV [1471 - 1484]began the tradition of selling indulgencies. His indulgent nature extended towards the Jews, at least where it impinged upon his own health and well-being: Jews were physicians and councillors to the papal court. However, Sixtus, like so many other popes had a profoundly negative impact on the Jewish people. [One wonders what intrigues went on behind closed doors and just how many hidden agendas translated into pain, death and misery to the Jews?] Here's a fine example of his achievements: the establishment of ecclesiastical tribunals in Spain by the so-called Catholic Monarchs that threatened Jew and converted Jew [Conversos] alike. The pope was unwilling to stand against Isabella and Ferdinand, who opened the door to the Spanish Inquisition. Sixtus himself quickly trumped that success by appointing the first Grand Inquisitor, Tomas de Torquemada. [Like Nazi Reichfuhrer Goebbles, Torquemada was a man of Jewish blood: a 'closet' Jew whose hatred for his own would fuel his brutality.] Soon the disgusting spectacle of the auto-da-fe would satiate the mob thirst for Jewish blood. The Spanish Inquisition, which began in 1480 and lasted for over three hundred years, represents yet another period of terrible crimes against the Jews. The Roman Catholic Church authorized the Spaniards, Portuguese, and Brazilians to force Jews to accept the Christian faith under the threat of torture and death. They persecuted and murdered thousands of Jews who refused to accept the Christian faith. They forced many others to leave their homes and put them in concentration camp-like prisons. These events both demonstrated and reinforced the widespread mistreatment of the Jews just because Jews wanted to maintain their own faith.
Paul III [1534 - 1549]maintained the status quo, or from the mob perspective, kept up the good work started by Sixtus IV. In 1542, this pope appointed Gian Pietro Caraffa as Inquisitor and brought the Inquisition to Rome itself. Caraffa, it was said, would burn his own mother at the first whiff of heresy. Then Inquisitor Caraffa became
Paul IV [1555 - 1559]As cardinal he had urged Paul III to reestablish the Roman Inquisition, and now under his eager hands it leaped into high gear. When he extended its competence to cover moral cases as well as heresy, Rome trembled. The Romans, who threw down his statue and attacked the Inquisition Office to celebrate his death, resented his harshness. But this very harshness, it was said, cleared away any last remnants of the pagan miasma [the Jews], which afflicted Renaissance Rome. In 1555, Paul IV issued the papal bull entitled Cum Nimbus Absurdum. Malcolm Hay states flatly: "In no public document until the advent of Hitler have Jews been addressed with more unseemly language… What makes Cum Nimbus Absurdum a milestone of papal notoriety is less its language than its central ordinance: Jews… were to live in the ghetto." It must be noted that nearly five hundred years later Cardinal Edward Cassidy [an extremely rare twenty-first century Vatican supporter of the ecumenical movement] acknowledged the ghetto as, "The antechamber of the Nazi death camps." Paul IV's fanaticism and dedication to 'spiritual purity, is a harbinger and blueprint for Hitler's obsession with racial purity in Nazi Germany.
The Renaissance [The Reformation: Luther and Calvin]
Pius V [1566 - 1572]maintained the ghetto, but expelled Jews from the Papal States. The ghetto continued in misery, disease and squalor; with forced conversions by marauding monks and priests that continued for another three hundred years. Carroll puts it thus: "From 1555 until 1870 the popes of the Church, including Saints, forced a rigid and sometimes brutal imprisonment on the Jews of Rome… the keeper of the keys of the Jews, first and, until modern times, last and most squalid concentration camp was the keeper of the keys of Peter."
The Counter Reformationwas an failed attempt by the Roman Catholic Church to reform itself in the light of Reformation theology. Luther's books were burned, despite his pathological hatred of the Jewish people, and Calvin-fearing for his life-fled to Switzerland. Protestant Monarchs were excommunicated, and while Spain's failed Armada had dashed the Church's hopes of restoring its control of England, competition for souls fueled missionary work in the New World and the Far East and resulted in the deaths of millions of the indigenous people. The plight of the Jews continued to deteriorate.
Paul V [1605 - 1621]brought the work of his namesake Paul IV to its logical and disgusting conclusion: in 1611 he formally embraced the Limieza de Sangre [literally: clean blood] standard which discriminated against anybody with Hebrew or Saracen blood. This would be a guiding principle of the Roman Catholic Church officially until the twentieth century, and unofficially to this day. Once again, the Church provided Hitler with the blueprint of the infamous Nazi Nuremberg Laws. It is worth mentioning Paul V's run in with Gallieo whose farseeing and accurate astronomy the pope declared a heresy. Gallileo did not think it worth burning for, and 'recanted'; even pothumously he is yet to receive a full and frank apology. The incumbent pope, John Paul II managed the usual papal 'non apology' in 1992, declaring misunderstandings on both sides. There is a terrible, fatal flaw in any hierarchy that cannot meet its mistakes and errors 'fair and square', and issue a simple forthright apology.
The Industrial Revolution [1750 - 1850]would have far reaching consequencies for the Roman Catholic Church; it was effectively 'the beginnig of the end' of the church's absolute power. It would not be until the Technological Revolution which began in the last decades of the twentieth century that the laity actually abandoned the Church in large numbers. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Roman Catholic Church was claiming adherents world wide as 1.2 billion, when in reality they could not produce even a third of that number. Like the Anglican Communion, churches were closing on an unprecedented scale.
Pius VII [1800 - 1823]who returned from exile in the wake of Napoleon's defeat in 1814 immediately revoked the civil rights that Napoleon had granted the Jews in the Papal States, the only territories directly ruled by the church. Among the practices sanctioned by Pius VII was what amounted to the kidnapping of Jewish children - usually because somebody reported having baptized them without their parents' knowledge or permission.
Pius IX [1846 - 1878]Papal control of the ghetto ended during Pius IX's papacy when the sovereignty of the area passed from the Vatican to the Nationalist Government of Italy. Carroll points out that, "Pius IX, a pope who referred to Jews as 'dogs' was beatified [the penultimate step to sainthood] by John Paul II in the year 2000." There is an old saying that 'birds of a feather flock together.'
World War I and IIplus the influenza panedemic that decimated a weakened population between the wars, accounted for the deaths of approximately 78 million people. If we add genocide in the USSR and Communist China, the total more than doubles to 160 million; finally, other deaths through conflict during the twentieth century inflate the final total to 200 million souls. Our bloodiest-and most recent-century exceeds, but by only a very small percentage, the number of Jews murdered since the death of Jesus of Nazareth [note that this number is adjusted statistically to include the normal and accepted potential for a Jewish progeny that we might properly label 'The Unborn Generations']. I trust that, in light of their declared intent to defend the right to life of the unborn, the Roman Catholic Church will not take offence at the statistical inclusion of unborn Jewish children; although I recognise that the focus of the Church's advertising campaign is upon its own laity. Today's signage outside Catholic Churches subliminaly reads: "Protect Roman Catholic Life."
Pius XI [1922 - 1939]In 1918, a junior Vatican official called Msgr. Achille Ratti was dispatched to Poland by Pope Benedict XV to report on the domestic situation there in the wake of World War I. A typical statement from Ratti reports: "One of the most evil and strongest influences that is felt here, perhaps the strongest and the most evil, is that of the Jews" ... and the reward for this libel? Because of his work in Warsaw, Ratti was named archbishop of Milan in 1921, and just seven months after that he became Pius XI. Here is another classic example of 'birds of a feather': in the 1920's a French priest named Ernest Jouin emerged as one of the more prominent of that European species, the professional anti-Semitic ideologue. This charming person was the first in his country to publish the classic forgery "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," which had been concocted by the Russian police two decades earlier to blame the Jews for the Czar's problems. Earlier Jouin founded a publication called International Review of Secret Societies that issued steady warnings about the supposed Jewish-Masonic conspiracy to dominate the world. "From the triple viewpoint of race, of nationality, and of religion, the Jew has become the enemy of humanity,"was one of many statements made by Father Jouin in his long career of Jew hatred. David Kertzer [The Popes Against the Jews], was given privileged access to the Vatican archives, where he found out how much Pope Benedict XV seemed to go out of his way to praise Father Jouin. "We know that you have conducted your sacred ministry in an exemplary manner," he wrote to Father Jouin in 1918. Later Pius XI honored him with a private audience. "Continue your review," the Pope told him [according to Father Jouin's own published account of this meeting] for "you are combating our mortal enemy [the Jews]." In the early thirties, working hard on a different front, yet another bird, a cardinal called Eugenio Pacelli, was negotiating exclusively on behalf of the pope to ratify the Reichskonkordat, a document that would cement relations between the Holy See and Nazi Germany. Hitler badly needed the international recognition that would accompany this deal; the Vatican's position is less clear, but what is certain is that this Concordat was the double green light that started as a single green with Urban II's first crusade. "Satan's plan had come full circle: the die was cast, and the fate of six million Jews was irrevocably decided. In his landmark book Hitler's Pope, John Cornwell states, "The negotiations were conducted… over the heads of the faithful, the clergy, and the German bishops." When Pius XI died in 1939, it was no surprise to see his protégée, Pacelli, ascend to the throne of Peter as Pius XII.
Pius XII [1939 - 1958]The authoritative work on Pacelli is Hitler's Pope by John Cornwell. Cornwell wrote originally with Vatican approval and with the intention of clearing Pius XII's name of accusations connected with his working relationship with Hitler, his pro-Nazi politics, his inaction and lack of reaction to the horrors of the holocaust, and his responsibility for the death of so many of the Jewish people during Hitler's 'Final Solution'. As Cornwell worked and researched, the truth of the situation became overwhelmingly obvious, and his book became a powerful indictment of Pius XII and his actions. The Roman Catholic Church has inspired several 'official' rebuttals to the final printed version, none of which are in the least bit convincing. Ultimately, being as kind as he could, Cornwell states that, "…at best Pacelli was an incredibly flawed individual." Jewish leaders like Meir Lau, Israel's Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi are entitled to the last word on Pacelli. Specifically, Lau had hoped that John Paul II would censure the wartime pope, Pius XII, for silence and inaction during the Holocaust. "It is impossible to correct a crime of the past, without any mention, for example, of Pius XII, who stood on the blood of the victims and did not say a word."
Here, I offer thanks to James Carroll without whose brilliant scholarly work I could not have seen the whole picture nor completed this treatise. The credit for this is his entirely, with the exception of John Cornwell's work, which opened my eyes to that which I knew in my heart. Both these Christian scholars need to be read in parallel, to be read thoroughly, and to be read by every decent honest person in the world.
Pope John XXIII [1958 - 1963]who succeeded Pacelli, is someone that many still alive remember and love. Angelo Roncalli was a compromise candidate for the papacy, someone whom the House of Cardinals thought would function as a simple figurehead. They were wrong. John XXIII jolted the establishment by calling the Vatican II Council, and-had he lived-the Roman Catholic Church might just have made its first real steps into the modern world. John XXIII was the first pope since the reformation to acknowledge that the Church was badly in need of reform, and his decision was not well received. Some cardinals did everything within their power to delay the council, hoping the old man would die and the whole idea could be dropped. The pope gallantly forged ahead, living long enough to preside over the first session of Vatican II in 1962. When John XIII's desire for reform is considered alongside his well-known pro Jewish sentiments [for example: not long before he died John XIII was allegedly asked by a Vatican official how the church should oppose revelations about his predecessor's responsibility for the for the church's passive endorsement of the holocaust. He replied: "Do against it! What can you do against the truth?"] We might wonder if he, like his successor John Paul I, was hastened to his demise by the direct intervention of his opponents.
John Paul I who "died in his sleep" [very likely, he was poisoned] after 33 days of papal rule, was another unwelcome reformer who made many enemies, even within the walls of the Vatican. The Fisherman's ring had been on his finger for a matter of hours when he demanded a full audit and investigation of the IOR [Institute of Religious Works - the Vatican Bank] in the wake the blossoming scandal surrounding Roberto Calvi's Banco Ambrosiano. The "disappearance" of millions of Church dollars into Calvi's black hole ultimately cost Calvi his life [a "suicide" that required a considerable ability in self-hanging, as well as knowledge of Masonic ritual murder]. The resulting Italian political scandal found that national leaders in the fields of finance, the army, parliament, and industry were members of a super-secret Masonic lodge: Propaganda Due [P2]. The Roman Catholic Church stood accused of allowing its money for 'charitable works' to disappear into dummy companies, Mafia organized crime, and even drug money laundering. It was further discovered that Cardinal Marcinkus, as chairman of the IOR, had written letters of confidence to enable the insolvent Ambrosiano to stay afloat, and that the Vatican had in fact owned eight of the many 'ghost' companies Calvi had created for transferring money covertly. In his last interview with the press before fleeing Italy, Calvi said, "It is a question of surviving in a climate that is becoming like a religious war... It is an atmosphere that favors every sort of barbarism." Finally, half-mad, he fled Italy to London--and his mysterious death. What did all this have to do with the Jews? The Roman Catholic Church has always considered the Masonic movement to be simply another arm of its greatest enemy: the International Jewry, [a position enthusiastically adopted by Hitler and Mussolini] albeit that any real or convincing evidence to support this is virtually impossible to find. There is reason to believe that the convoluted mess that became the Vatican Bank Scandal started with an earlier deal with the devil himself, when in 1929 the Vatican and Mussolini signed the Lateran Treaty and Concordat. As a result, Vatican City became a sovereign state within the confines of Rome and independent of the Italian government, and the Church received a windfall of millions of lira from "Il Duce." In return, certain quietness on Italian political affairs-especially the growth of fascism-was expected from Church leaders. Mussolini promptly introduced the Charter of Race: anti-Jewish legislation the content of which should by now sound familiar. The charter took away the Italian Jews' right of Italian nationality. Italian Jews were not allowed to teach, they were not allowed to have state jobs, they were not allowed to be in the Fascist Party, and no Jew could work for a bank or insurance company. Jews were forbidden from marrying non-Jewish Italians and they were not allowed to join the army. The incumbent pope, Pius XI was inclined to a public display of diplomatic protest in 1938, but as we have seen, Mussolini's anti-Judaism was absolutely and totally compatible with the pope's earlier public sentiments when, as a junior Vatican official, Pius XI stated: "The strongest and most evil influence… is the Jews." Rumours of the IOR's involvement in criminal activity during WWII coalesced in the US Federal Court system in 1999 when Nazi concentration camp survivors filed suite against named defendants that currently include the Vatican Bank, Franciscan Order, and the Croatian Liberation Movement. These defendants combined to conceal assets looted by the Croatian Nazis from concentration camp victims, Serbs, Jews, Roma and others between 1941-1945.
John Paul II [b. 1920]walks an invisible tightrope, which is supported by anti-Semitism at one end and anti-Judaism at the other. His public face toward the Jewish people is well known and well documented, culminating as recently as May 2004 when he yet again condemned anti-Semitism in a message read [unfortunately, not by the pope himself] in Rome's central synagogue. The synagogue's soaring dome dominates Rome's Old Ghetto neighborhood, the dreadful home to one of the world's longest suffering and continuously inhabited Jewish communities. Clearly visible from the Vatican [and by Pius XII in 1944] 2,091 Jews were rounded up in this ghetto when the city was occupied by Germany in World War II and sent to Auschwitz: all but about 200, including every child, were gassed on arrival. "The Church has restated in a clear and definitive way the refusal of anti-Semitism in all its expressions," the pontiff said. His message referred to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. Anti-Judaism is, I fear, a completely different kettle of fish, and this pope has done nothing to erase the damage of the millennia. [See Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger for further information.] According to Carroll, John Paul II echoes the claims of Boniface VIII [1294 - 1303], whose bull Unam Sanctam laid claim to absolute papal authority, in his [John Paul II's] restoration of a medieval monarchy as the model for Church authority with tremendous [negative] consequences for its relations with other faiths. In 2004, anti-Semitism is on the rise yet again and world wide, why? One clear reason is that the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church in the person of John Paul II talks the talk, but never, ever walks the walk. Sicut Judaeis: let them survive but never thrive. In the presence of ambivalent leadership the mob will always fasten upon the lowest and vilest common denominator, and it will act accordingly. The hidden agenda in this case is 'hidden' in plain view.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger [b. 1927]a German citizen and member of the Hitler Youth movement; at age 17 in November of 1944 with para-military training already under his belt, he went into basic training for the Wehrmacht infantry. In 1945 he was interned in a POW camp as a German soldier. Cleared of significant connections with the Nazi party, he was released and ordained as a Catholic priest during the post war period. In recent years he became prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly known as the Holy Office of the Inquisition, a fitting position for a man and cleric who has done more to ease the Roman Catholic Church back into the Dark Ages than anyone, even the incumbent pope. Ratzinger is the dangerous, dark power behind the throne of Saint Peter: destroying ecumenical movements and blocking any hope of inter-religious faith. Misogynous by nature, he is the champion of an all male priesthood, the oponent of birth control and-doubtless if it were in his power-the burnings of midwives [witches one and all] would blacken the paving slabs of Saint Peter's Square. Fortunately, the worst punishment that Ratzinger can offer today is "extreme excommunication"; I hate to rain on his parade, but I suspect that most of his would-be victims have already left the Church of their own volition. On the heels of a recent document asserting that followers of other religions are in a "gravely deficient" situation compared to Catholics, Ratzinger has added that the church is waiting for the moment when Jews will "say yes to Christ." This is more of the same superssesionist fare that has polluted Christianity for two thousand years. John Allen, Jr. writes, "Ratzinger… is a rigid totalitarian who sold his soul for power." Committed to a rule-bound, abstract notion of Christianity, Pope John Paul II's right-hand man has spent 20 years in Rome providing theological cover for capitalists who exploit the poor, bigots who oppress women and gays, and zealots who make war in the name of God." Carroll adds, "In the secular world, only dictators silence their opponents and demand unquestioning obedience." If Ratzinger succeeds John Paul II to the papacy, it seems likely that some of the more bizarre predictions made in the popular press might actually come to pass.
Who killed 187 million Jews?Sadly, the answer is simple and the evidence is overwhelming: the Roman Catholic Church is the perpetrator of this monstrous crime. The reasons are threefold: over the centuries the continuing existence of the Jews testified to the Church's darkest nightmare, namely that Jesus had not risen from the dead and subsequently there might be no victory over the grave; the pervading Christian focus on the cross itself as a symbol of triumphal conquest overshadowed the ministry and person of Jesus of Nazareth and the love and compassion He preached; and finally the unmitigated charge of deicide [deity murder] that has been leveled against the Jewish people over two millennia. Saint Paul, unintentionally I think, was the first to raise the cross as a powerful symbol of Christianity when he so masterfully turned Rome's tool of terror against the empire itself by proclaiming it as the effective agent of salvation. Paul, who is so often blamed for Jewish-Christian conflict saw, in fact, the potential for internecine strife in the polarization of Rabbinic Judaism and Christian Judaism, and as a Jew [like Jesus] moved to stop it. Alas, he failed in the attempt. Many others have jumped eagerly onto this vile bandwagon: Luther, in particular, whose hatred of Jews was manifested even on his deathbed; however, the overwhelming responsibility rests solidly upon the shoulders of Pope after Pope, Saint after Saint, Catholics every one, their words, policies and intrigues stained dark red with Jewish blood.
Finally, what can be done? Can humanity indict the Roman Catholic Church in the person of Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II, for Crimes Against Humanity and Violations of The Laws or Customs of War? I would suggest that this is the proper way-indeed the only way-to proceed. This is why we, the people, have access to the International Court at The Hague. Before someone says, "But the pope is a frail old man…" That's not the point, and in any case John Paul II would not be required to attend in person: that would be the realm of Vatican lawyers. In addition, it would take years, to prepare the briefs of a landmark case that might span several papacies. It needs to happen for two reasons, firstly because a crime of this magnitude cannot go unpunished and secondly because the Roman Catholic Church is incapable of a full, frank and honest apology to the Jewish people; sadly, the Roman Catholic Church is incapable of an apology, at any level, to anyone.
The murder of countless Jews, and the denial of life to those Jews' progeny, is a crime of unspeakable proportions; in particular, when the perpetrator is the Roman Catholic Church, a church that claims to hold the sanctity of life above all things. Jesus of Nazareth would say: "Away from me you evildoers [hypocrites], I do not know you!"
The last word to Voltaire [1694 -1778], and again a final thank you to Carroll for his book and his research. Voltaire has a vision that takes him through a desert covered with piles of bones. The bones are of the thousands slaughtered in the conflicts we have covered plus others, divided in heaps for the centuries, right up to the twelve million native Indians killed because they had not been baptized. When finally Voltaire comes face to face with Jesus, he asks about the bones; Jesus denies responsibility, and Voltaire boldly presses his suite:
"You did not contribute in any way by your teaching, either badly reported or badly interpreted, to this frightful pile of bones which I saw on my way to consult with you?"
…[Finally] I asked him to tell me in what true religion consisted."
"Is it necessary for me to take sides either for the Greek Orthodox Church or the Roman Catholic?"
"Well, if this is so, I take you for my only Master." Then he [Jesus] made a sign with his head that filled me with peace. The vision disappeared and I was left with a clear conscience.
For Karol Wojtyla, Pope Jean Paul II, the horror also needs to disappear. Make it so, that he may be left with a clear conscience.
Article Date: 28 May 2004