An Archbishop’s Anti-Semitism

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The words chosen by Archbishop Bustros at the press conference surpassed political propaganda and entered into the realm of anti-Semitism. His statements repudiated the long and basic biblical understanding commonly held by Christians and Jews.  Bustros dismissed the covenantal relationship between God and his Jewish People and rejected the notion of the divine promise to restore the people of Israel to their land.  Moreover, Bustros contradicted the teachings of the Catholic Church established under Nostra Aetate which states: “Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures.”

In the Nostra Aetate declaration, it states clearly that God “does not repent of the gifts He makes or the calls He issues.”  This was also the view of the Apostle Paul: “the gifts of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29) and in the King James Version of the Holy Bible: “For the Lord will have mercy on Jacob and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land…And the House of Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord” (Isaiah 14:1-2). It is also repeated in Jeremiah 11:5: “that I [God] may perform the oath which I have sworn unto your fathers, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is this day. Then answered I, and said, so be it, O Lord.”  And again in Ezekiel 34:13: “And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel[.]”  The prophets Hosea (3:4-5), Amos (9:14-15), Obadiah (1:17), and Zechariah (8:7-8) speak of the Jewish people, not Arab-Palestinians.  The terms Palestine and Palestinians are not mentioned in the New Testament and, to use Bustros’s arguments, Jesus himself would have to be considered a “settler” and “occupier” since he was a Jew who lived in Bethlehem.

In a Huffington Post entry, Rabbi David Rosen, Interreligious Affairs director of the American Jewish Committee, reacted to the Catholic Bishops statements by saying:

The comments of Archbishop Bustros reflect either shocking ignorance or insubordination in relation to the Catholic Church’s teaching on Jews and Judaism. Rosen addressed the synod in its first week and said that the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s affirmed “the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish People, which is inextricably bound up with the land of Israel.

The Anti-Defamation League, in a letter addressed to Cardinal-elect Kurt Koch, head of the Vatican’s Commission on Religious Relations with the Jews, wrote, “Archbishop Bustros is effectively stating that Judaism should no longer exist. This represents the worst kind of anti-Judaism, bordering on anti-Semitism.”   The letter ended with the following statement: “We also respectfully ask that the Vatican clarify whether Archbishop Bustros’ interpretation of the final Synod report reflects the intention of the Synod on these profound theological matters.”

It is clear that the Christian Arab bishops and, in particular, Archbishop Bustros, have a problem with the existence of a Jewish State.  While they so transparently do the bidding of Palestinian Muslims, they have regrettably ignored the suffering of Christians in the Arab-Muslim world and in the Palestinian Authority.

Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister referred to Bustros’ statement as “a libel against the Jewish people and the State of Israel” and expressed “disappointment that this important Synod has become a forum for political attacks on Israel in the best tradition of Arab propaganda.” Ayalon added, “This Synod was hijacked by an anti-Israel majority.”

A Jerusalem Post editorial suggested that Pope Benedict XVI has a chance to distance himself from the Synod’s declarations, which deviate from the Catholic Church’s teaching.  “This is the right and necessary thing for the Pope to do – not just for Jewish-Catholic relations, but also for the sake of the Middle East’s persecuted minority.”

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  • http://wwwtwosetsofbooks.blogspot.com patti

    The Kennedy Jewish problem: The Ivy Legitimization of Stephen Walt
    http://wwwtwosetsofbooks.blogspot.com/2010_11_08_

  • Beverley

    The Vatican believes in 'Replacement Theology' please go to. http://www.ldolphin.org/replacement

  • Rob

    And what would you call Former Chief Rabbi Yosef"s comments that non-Jews were created, like donkeys, to serve the Jews and therefore can be killed with impunity. His Hitleresque view of a Jewish "master race" takes the "chosen people" mantra to the extreme. It is anti everyone but Jews.

    • MixMChess

      No one here is denying that Rabbi Yosef's comments are idiotic and offensive. All of the mainstream Jewish organizations in Israel and the U.S. have condemned his comments. Pointing out that one Rabbi is an extremist doesn't help make Archibship Bustros any less antisemitic.

      • Brian

        MixMChess – No valid source has been cited to show what Rabbi Yosef actually said. I believe you owe an apology to Rabbi Yosef for accepting and promoting libels against him. If you knew anything about the rabbi, you'd realize that you don't stand up to his ankles (if that high) in terms of scholarship or piety.

        • MixMChess

          Brian, I'm not about to defend Rob's idiotic comments, I am probably one of the biggest defenders of Israel, Jews and Judaism on this board. However, unfortunately there are valid sources such as the JTA, Jerusalem Post and Haaretz which have covered stories about some of Rabbi Yosef's outrageous comments (just google or youtube em). Even the ADL responded to some of the Rabbi's comments.

          That said, just because one elderly Rabbi makes hurtful remarks, does not give morons like Rob the right to condemn all of Israel or all Jews. Nor does it give anyone a right to claim that Judaism has inherent insidious qualities (it clearly does not). Clearly, this is a strong aberration from what Judaism teaches.

          • Brian

            MixMChess – Your sources are uninformed or biased. They don't cite a single witness, no first hand accounts, no audio and no video. The secular Israeli press frequently attack prominent rabbis (by misquoting them) in order to undermine the role of Judaism in public life and to reduce the influence of the religious political parties.

            You still owe the rabbi (or at least the readers of these comments) an apology for giving credence to the libels against him. Learn a bit about him, and you will realize your mistake.

          • Brian

            MixMChess – I haven't read your other posts, but I do appreciate your defense of Israel, Jews, and Judaism. However, please note that one lesson of Judaism is that one should not denigrate a Torah scholar. Another is not to spread slander. Another is not to believe slander against a generally good person (i.e. give him the benefit of doubt). Best Regards.

    • alan g

      Rob, Are you still spewing that crap about Rabbi yusaf? Like you, he has a right to his opinion, stupid as it is. But it doesn’t reflect anybody else’s opion. Like you, anybody can make all the claims that they want. But that is all it is.

    • ziontruth

      "And what would you call Former Chief Rabbi Yosef's comments …"

      Not all discussions about Israel are centered around your private hobbyhorse, Rob.

      "…Former Chief Rabbi Yosef's comments that non-Jews … can be killed with impunity."

      See, this is why I believe the quote you harp on about is fabricated. The Torah's command, now that the original Canaanites no longer exist, is ethnic cleansing (expulsion en masse), not genocide. A rabbi of Yosef's stature knows that for sure. Like all anti-Zionists, you lie.

    • ajnn

      There is a whole literature of 'phony jewish quotations'.

      This fits in nicely with them. People who repeat these falsehoods are acting in furtherance of racism.

  • jbtrevor

    Yes, Catholicism has a single address for doctrinal and dogmatic correctness & it is not in Boston (an epicenter of non-Catholic rhetoric as evidenced by the statement by Bustros).
    Not mentioned in the article is the outcry from within the Catholic church from the laity, correctly insulted by Bustros statement.
    If the laity, including the author of this piece know the Catholic teaching on Israel & the Jews, no doubt the Pope does.

  • Skandinav

    The pope also need to react for the sake of the Catholic church herself – can these guys not get over dragging her name through the mud? This is so intellectually dishonest or under-educated (theologically, historically and all present day social sciences), chilling and morally unacceptable, and I believe if some of these guys are sent to their pensions as a response the PR disaster in which the CT insist on staying in will only deepen further.
    Catholics have been forced by these ridiculous leaders to be identified as sort of semi-pedophiles for several years and now they will have to defend themselves against the accusation of being anti-Semites wherever they turn. Honestly, what is wrong with these old guys?

    What every sound minded person immediately realizes is: why did the Archbishop choose to bring this up so out of context? The middle eastern Christians are not being persecuted in Israel, and there is no need to discuss Israel at a meeting about these matters at all! Not while the Christians are fleeing in hundreds of thousands from other countries. So why did he bring it up? Trying the dhimmi-strategy and letting out anti-Antisemitic steam he had been building up?

    The Archbishop has just succeeded in turning attention away from the systematic murdering, kidnapping, discrimination, raping etc of Christians in the Middle East and assured that everybody are talking only about Israel – Maybe he is being paid by Ahmadinejad?

  • Éamonn

    There are misguided people in every religion. Please do not misinterpret an off-the-wall comment, such as that by Monsignor Bustros, to be indicative of Catholic teaching, understanding by lay-Catholics, or, God forbid, as dogma. Bustros' statement was stupid, period. Let it stay where it is, in the gutter. Or do we all wish to be like the perpetually "offended" Islamists? What next, burning and pillaging by Christians and Jews, simply because some upstart shoots his mouth off? Take a moment to say a prayer ………Peace to ALL! Éamonn, Dublin, Ireland.

  • http://www.LifesHaven.net GaryMcAleer

    "The LORD thy God turned the curse into a blessing unto thee, because the LORD thy God loved thee." Deut.23:5.

    Where's the blessing in all this? Those who have read the Bible have asked the simple questions: Where is the Ark of the Covenant that has been hidden since the Babylonian invasion of Judah? And will it ever be found and displayed before the world?

    Here's the best answer I have found, and I won't be a tyrant about it: GOD raised up modern Israel to bring forth the Ark of the Covenant from Jeremiah's grotto (at the appointed time) because the whole world stands in the belligerent posture against the Ten Commandments: from Islam to Christianity: from Judaism to Atheism, by claiming their version of religious and social law stands above the only Utopian Law given to man: the only Law where we are safe in one another's care: the only Law that when fully embraced within the soul no willful harm will ever come again. No more wars or locks on doors.

    GOD weighs the heart (I Sam.16:7), and Christ's sinless sacrifice covers all ignorant sins (Nu.15:27,28; Acts 17:30). But those who exalt their wisdom above GOD'S have no desire for Utopia: only their personal power and gain. That's all this global conflict is about: King of the Hill! Nothing more.

  • Muchiboy

    My God,it isn't enough to accuse your President and the Democrats,liberals,the EU and many Anti Zionist Jews and Time of being Antisemitic,now it's the Catholic Church! You might as well give up and die before Disney and NASA turn on you.Do you lot know what PARANOID means.Look it up.Just absurd.I think that saying about "can't fool all of the people all of the time "is appropriate here.Maybe you should listen to what so many respected people and organizations are saying to and about you.You may not be living in the biblical ages but you sure are acting like you are.And you really are living among your own kind.e.g.Iranians,Iraqis,Syrians,etc.Muchiboy

    • Sashland

      I notice where you address your comment; do you think God is amused with your accusations? Well, you are addressing "my" God, so maybe that makes sense in your reality…

    • ajnn

      Muchiboy posts frequently on FrontPage.com and always in support of some jew-hatred or another.

  • waterwillows

    It would be interesting to know how Bustros managed to rise in the Church hierarchy. It is my expectation that an Archbishop should have a rudimentary knowledge of the Holy Scriptures. As a matter of fact, it is profoundly important that this be so.
    Yet he has demostrated almost total ignorance of his life's work and application. It may be an error was made in his selection.
    But it is an error that can and should be corrected. He has tarnished the image of the Church with his blatant lack of learning in Theology.

  • waterwillows

    Munchiboy,

    This is a matter of which you have little understanding of. The issue is not about his personal feelings about Jews.
    The issue is about his demonstrated lack of knowledge about the Holy Scriptures. Many feel the Church should have higher standards than what Bustros brings to the table.

    • ajnn

      "The issue is about his demonstrated lack of knowledge about the Holy Scriptures. "

      Exactly. RC theology is being violated by this synod. Will the Pope respond to this outright heresy or will the fact that it is directed against jews excuse it? Most importantly, the authority of the Pope to establish doctrine is being undermined from a variety of persons in pursuit of their own favorite hobby-horse. A few years back we had a group of nuns in Germany defying the Pope. This is a serious problem for the RC church.

    • Fray222

      I know nothing about theology so I can't really comment on that, but you seem to be conceding that this has nothing at all to do with anti-semitism. Will you go on to admit that perhaps Frontpage Mag is screaming 'anti-semite' a bit prematurely once again?

      • MixMChess

        I think the point of the article is to point out that this Bishop is violating Catholic law on purpose to further his own anti-Israel/antisemitic ends.

        • Jim C.

          There is NOTHING in what the Bishop said that is contrary to Catholic teaching, NOR is it in the least "anti-semitic."

          It is obviously critical of Israel–but that is the huge error of this site–conflating criticism of Israel with anti-Semitism.

          Clearly, some people are anti-Semites. And we should be vigilant about such people. But criticizing a political entity for political actions (and particularly for using the Bible to justify these actions) is legitimate politically and doctrinally.

  • Muchiboy

    Maybe we can trade your President for my Prime Minister.Muchiboy

    "Harper: 'I've got bruises' for pro-Israel stance"
    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2010/11/08/harper-

  • Pompey II

    I wonder what Msg Bustos has to say about the 58 Catholics killed, last week in Iraq, by Islamic terrorists?. The members at the synod should be more concerned about the millions of Catholics being persecuted throughout the Middle East than the insoluble Israeli-Palestinian problem. Have you heard any cries of anger from the Catholic heirarchy? They would rather waste their time delegitimizing Israel.

  • Jim C.

    “There is no such thing as a chosen people,” declared Archbishop Bustros. “Israel cannot use the Bible as a reason for claiming Palestinian lands.” The Lebanese native continued, “This promise [to Jews] was nullified by Christ. There is no longer a chosen people—all men and women of all countries have become the chosen people.”

    There isn't a Catholic alive who understands what Christianity means who would disagree with this. It's not "anti-Semitism," at all–it's Christ's covenant.

  • Brian

    It's futile to engage Rob in debate. He can't cite any valid sources because he has none. He's simply a sad loser who jumped onto the jew-hating bandwagon in an attempt to get attention for himself.

  • Craig

    The problem is that Catholics don't understand the Bilble, they aren't allowed to. See
    Vatican II for details, only the Church heirarchy is allowed to interpret Scripture and tell
    the people what it means. To do so yourself would make you anathema. Scripture
    clearly states in many places that God's covenant with the Jews is an everlasting one.
    Either everlasting is not everlasting or God lied. I think He means what He says.

    Christ's covenant has to do with salvation, for everyone, Jew and Gentile alike!

    • http://www.LifesHaven.net GaryMcAleer

      Amen, Bro!

      What saddens me is the crippling pride of men. When we look at the family of Abraham, that GOD would choose his family to be the chosen family for the Messiah to be born and redeem ALL MEN from sin and death (through their freewill choice), one would think that the Jewish leaders would weep tears of humility and thanksgiving for the heavenly honor bestowed on them. Instead, they only used it to foster pride and arrogance, which led to their rejection of Jesus Christ because He didn't fit the mold established by the "scholars" who were nothing more than the enemies of GOD and His salvation. This pride seems to be common these days among most religious leaders: in Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, Atheism, etc. Check out the Laodicean church, the last of the seven churches of Revelation (Rev.3). The self-righteous pride of the spirit of Laodicea is responsible for every crime against life and men. And Christ has no part of this pride because as you know the spectrum of His humiliation: from a Holy God to the death of the sinner, nailed to a tree, can never be measured. Man’s pride in his reputation doesn't take into account the infinite beauty of the words, "He made Himself of no reputation…"

      Again, I say, Amen; and the LORD bless you and those you love.

    • Jim C.

      The point is that God's covenent is not exclusive. That is the Gospel. Using that Old Testament covenant as cover for political actions is being, rightly, condemned as unconscionable.

  • waterwillows

    Fray222,

    What you are saying is what would be expected from someone who does not know what is written in the Scriptures. One can not critque the matter unless one is familiar with the Book. The same being true for even a magazine article.

    • Fray222

      You are correct, I know nothing about the scriptures, Ive never even read the Bible. I am not at all interested in theology or in having a theological debate. My problem is with Frontpage Mag calling the man an anti-semite. If they had titled the article "Arch-Bishop makes theological error" then I wouldn't give a damn, but instead they needed to go screaming ANTI-SEMITE once again.
      As an agnostic I personally believe that a) the Bible should not be used to support your political positions on the Middle East and b) Jews are not the Chosen people.
      Does that make me an anti-semite?

      • MixMChess

        Do you even know what Jews being the "chosen people" means? Under Jewish law it simply means Jews are chosen to follow all of gds 500+ laws. It is not a declaration of supreme Jewish awesomeness, however those ignorant (or simply bigoted) often interpret it as such.

        • Fray222

          According to wikipedia:
          "In the Book of Deuteronomy, YHWH proclaims the Nation of Israel, known originally as the Children of Israel, as his "treasured people out of all the people on the face of the earth" (Deuteronomy 7:6). "
          I personally do not believe that God treasures Jews above all others, once again does this make me an anti-semite?

          • Jim C.

            Looks like MixMChess and waterwillows need to bone up on their Scripture! LOL

          • MixMChess

            Not quite, see my reply to Fray.

          • MixMChess

            "I personally do not believe that God treasures Jews above all others, once again does this make me an anti-semite?"

            You don't have to, I am just explaining how Judaism treats and interprets gds words, simple as that.

  • MixMChess

    "He said firstly that Israelis shouldn't be using the Bible to justify their political positions in regard to the Palestinians."

    And Israelis don't use the bible to justify their political positions. Zionism is a secular ideology founded by secular Jews (Theodore Herzl).

    "It is hardly anti-semitic to deny that Jews are a race favored above all others by God."

    That is not at all what "chosen people" means. I would expect someone who is ignorant of religion to not understand this, but a bishop who is well versed in religion and religious ideology should know better. Being the "chosen people" simply means that Jews are to follow all of gds laws. It is not a term of superiority.

    • Fray222

      Again, some Israelis justify their political positions using the Bible, other don't. Are you saying that no Israeli has ever justified Zionism on the basis of Hole Scripture? Are you saying that every last settler in the West Bank is a devoted secularist?

  • exmp

    Hmm, comments made by christians in muslim countries. I wouldn't be surprised if someone is holding a knife to his family's throat.

  • waterwillows

    exmp,

    Yes, that thought also came to me. When dealing with Islam, anything is possible.

  • pennswoods

    What great faith was the major inspiration for today's Western Civilization and it's philosophy, ethics, art, architecture, music, history, much of it's literature and even for the creation of the college system as we know it which was created by the Church in the Middle Ages? The Roman Catholic Church. You can trash the Catholic Church for it's hypocrisy and it's persecution of heretics and Jews and others through the ages but please also give it credit for it's enormous contributions to the creation of modern Europe and the modern world. The Italian Renaissance which the Catholic Church supported in Rome and all that grew from that great creative movement which gave us The Enlightenment and The Age of Reason didn't come out of thin air did they? The loathing of "Xians" by Jewish philosophers and scholars all through the Talmud is hardly an example of tolerance and certainly nothing to celebrate is it?

  • weRscrwed

    If all the effort expended trying to prove which religion/Book/Ideaology is right were put into living on this Planet today we'd all be MUCH better off.
    Religion is the biggest waste of Human Potential ever devised

    God is, and that should be enough.

  • Stephan

    Why didn’t Archbishop Butros say the following:

    “ There is no such thing as a greatest god. Muslims cannot use Islam as a reason for claiming a global caliphate. This promise was nullified by Enlightenment.”