web analytics
October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Home » Sections » Books »

Title: A Moral Reckoning, The Role Of The Catholic Church In The Holocaust And Its Unfulfilled Duty Of Repair

Title: A Moral Reckoning, The Role Of The Catholic Church In The Holocaust And Its Unfulfilled Duty Of Repair
Author: Daniel Jonah Goldhagen
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, New York, N.Y.

 

When The Jewish Press reviewed the original (hardcover) edition of  “A Moral Reckoning” nearly two years ago, Daniel Goldhagen was already well-known for his first book, “Hitler’s
Willing Executioners”. His second book, “A Moral Reckoning”, engendered an unimaginably vitriolic response from the “defenders of the faith” whom Goldhagen chastised.

In light of the current popularity of Mel Gibson’s The Passion, as well as a newly updated edition of the book, we believe it worthwhile to take another look.

The paperback edition of A Moral Reckoning contains a new chapter and afterword not in the first edition. Much of our first review follows, with additional remarks:

Having grown up in America, together with many Irish and Italian Catholic friends, I never quite understood why my grandmother used to spit in the direction of a Catholic church
whenever she passed one on the street. After I read Daniel Goldhagen’s book, A Moral Reckoning, I am beginning to understand.

The short basis of the whole story is that Roman Catholicism and some Protestant denominations have taught their adherents a theory of supercessionism: that Jews cannot attain “grace” unless we submit to the acceptance of the worship of a Jewish carpenter as the “son” of G-d.

Many of us have never explored the canons of other religions and may be unaware of their teachings. Catholicism, which accepts our Bible only as their “Old Testament,” only adheres to
literal interpretations, vastly misconstruing many of the commandments and writings which have been explained and interpreted in the Oral Torah.

Even after the Shoah, Catholic schoolchildren were still being taught that the Jewish community of two millennia ago condemned Jesus of Nazareth to being crucified and killed by the Roman procurator, Pontius Pilate. According to Church teachings, they not only demanded his condemnation and eventual death but also accepted his blood on their own hands and on those of their still unborn children and their descendants. Aside from the
falseness of many of the details, this ignores the fact that the Torah, accepted by Christians as their “Old Testament,” explicitly exempts children from being blamed for the sins of their parents.

Goldhagen, who is also the author of Ordinary Germans and The Holocaust, places the primary responsibility for the Holocaust at the hands of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church for having created an atmosphere of intolerance toward Jews throughout Western history.

Not only has the Roman Catholic Church taught their adherents, and especially their young children, to hate and despise Jews; they promulgated special laws and rules that kept Jews
locked away in ghettos and treated them not even as second-class citizens, but as non-entities.

One of the first things that Goldhagen demands of the Church is admission of past errors as a first step toward remission.

Unfortunately, as A Moral Reckoning makes clear, so far the Church has an unfulfilled duty of repair. He says that there are some good people of the Church who would like to do the “right
things,” but that “politics” are preventing their efforts from coming to fruition.

He takes to task such halfhearted attempts to deal with their transgressions as “Vatican II,” and berates the Church for their steps toward at beatification and appointment to sainthood of
some of their luminaries such as Pope Pius XII (Eugenio Pacelli) – to whom Goldhagen attributes primary responsibility for sins of omission during the Shoah.

The book is divided into four parts: Part One delineates the issues; Part Two describes the actions and inactions (the acts of commission and of omission); Part Three weighs the responsibility of the players (“agents”) and Part Four calls for material, political and moral restitution.

There continues a steady stream of Holocaust literature, well after more than half a century after the close of the event, including many apologias sponsored by the Roman Catholic
Church and others. Strangely, there are few apologists for the primary perpetrators – the Germans who spawned the Nazi government which wiped out more than one-third of our people. Anti-Semitic speech and actions are civil and criminal offenses in Germany, which has provided many millions of dollars in restitution to the Jewish people (basically in the form of payments of support to Israel).

Must we ask any less from the Roman Catholic Church? First – an abject admission of guilt and an authentic apology; then, restitution. Perhaps they could even give us back our Temple
Menorah and other objects that were stolen from Jerusalem, and which are reputed to currently reside in a Vatican warehouse.

In the paperback’s Afterword, Mr. Goldhagen describes some of his experiences after the publication of A Moral Reckoning, including attempts at interfaith dialogue with representatives and officials of the Catholic Church. He comes away very disappointed
that although he has found many people of good will, many prelates and Church fathers still maintain positions and anti-Semitic attitudes he considers to have been a basic cause of
the Shoah.

Basically, Goldhagen accuses the New Testament gospels of untruthful testimony. He notes that the Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations have continued to rely on these
false testimonies to engender the continuation of prejudice and hate against the Jewish people. Whatever agenda the early Church fathers may have had in their attempts to gain supremacy
for the new Christian faith, that agenda should certainly be rescinded as dishonest in its implication of the entire Jewish people in the crucifixion, torture and death of Jesus.

Similar to our need to be able to reply to other false testimonies, such as The Protocols of The Elders of Zion (see Dismantling The Big Lie, Jacobs & Weitzman, 2003, Wiesenthal
Center, New York, NY), we need to be prepared to respond to the lies perpetrated by the gospels of the New Testament. It is unfortunate that when a Christian promises to tell “the Gospel truth” he or she is relying on a metaphor of truth based upon a falsehood.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Title: A Moral Reckoning, The Role Of The Catholic Church In The Holocaust And Its Unfulfilled Duty Of Repair”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel (L) meets with Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon in Halifax, Canada on November 22, 2013.
Ya’alon Scraps Purchase of US Aircraft
Latest Sections Stories
Part of the reconstructed Gwozdziec Synagogue.

The Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews is designed to tell the whole thousand-year story of the Jews in Poland.

Nimchinsky-102414-Flag

This past summer was a powerful one for the Jewish people. I will always remember where I was on June 12th when I found out that Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were kidnapped. I will always remember the look on my sister’s face on June 30th when she told me that they were found. I will […]

Schonfeld-logo1

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

The Presbyterian Church USA voted to divest from three companies that do business with Israel.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

My eyes skimmed an article on page 1A. I was flabbergasted. I read the title again. Could it be? It had good news for the Miami Jewish community.

Students in early childhood, elementary, and middle school were treated to an array of hands-on projects to create sukkah decorations such as wind chimes, velvet posters, sand art, paper chains, and more.

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

More Articles from Aharon Ben Anshel
book-alex's-wake

Goldsmith himself went on his own “voyage of discovery” to the places where his grandfather and uncle landed and were sent.

book-The-Last-Commission

Green was an American volunteer in Israel’s 1948 War of Independence, but something happened In Israel that has haunted him ever since.

Witnessed by Theodore Herzl, who was a journalist for a Viennese newspaper covering the trial, the cause célèbre became the spark that eventually caused the rise of the State of Israel in modern times.

These eleven nursing home residents and their accompanying staff from the Connecticut nursing home could represent any of us or our own loved ones…

There are three kinds of travelers: there are tourists, there are businesspeople, and then there are historians like Ben G. Frank.

The last kind doesn’t simply go from here to there. They try to relive history and find the real meaning behind what they experience.

Behind “the news” there’s almost always a story that isn’t being reported, and certain kinds of phenomenon occur almost simultaneously all over the world in almost every era.

Whether this is a memoir or autobiography or whether this book was written as an article of regional diplomacy, King Abdullah does come across in this book as a quite sincere person making a valiant effort at regional diplomacy, who is trying to quell terrorism in the Mideast and raise the social and economic levels of his countrymen.

As any psychologist can tell you – no two people who see an event come away with the very same experience. Criminologists and detectives who question people who may have witnessed a crime experience the fact that several different people will report various versions of the event.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/title-a-moral-reckoning-the-role-of-the-catholic-church-in-the-holocaust-and-its-unfulfilled-duty-of-repair/2004/05/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: