Here Come the Hebrew Catholics

I just had a great time hanging out with Hebrew Catholics. I was blessed to spend Saturday in St. Louis at the Hebrew Catholic conference. I presented a talk on how and why the Hebrew prophets anticipated the move from Jerusalem to Rome as the center of God’s kingdom – the topic of my book The Eternal City.

Our Lady of the Miracle – An Apparition Beloved by Hebrew Catholics

First of all, what is a Hebrew Catholic? A Hebrew Catholic simply a Catholic who is ethnically Jewish. There are Italian Catholics, Irish Catholics, Mexican Catholics, Polish Catholics, etc. Yes, there are also Hebrew Catholics. They prefer, I am told, the title “Hebrew” because it distinguishes them from non-Christian “Rabbinical Judaism,” which is not the true “biblical Judaism” of Moses. “Rabbinical Judaism” is not the Old Testament faith completed and crowned by Christ and the Catholic Church, because Rabbinical Judaism formally rejects Jesus of Nazareth as the Messiah. As our Savior said concerning those Jews that rejected Him: “For if you did believe Moses, you would perhaps believe me also: for he wrote of me” (Jn 5:46).

Hebrew Catholics, My Initial Impressions

First, the Hebrew Catholics that I met love Christ passionately. Roy Shoeman broke out tears as he exhorted everyone to evangelize their Jewish friends and pray for their entry into the Catholic Church through baptism and the sacraments. Mankind can only find peace and salvation in Jesus, said Shoeman, even more so the Jew, whose Scriptures teach him to hope for a Messiah. If the Jew cannot have this desire quenched – he is to be pitied more than all other men. He expressed his fear that many Catholics wrongly assume that Jews don’t really need Jesus, and how dreadful it will be on Judgment Day for those of us who squandered opportunities to kindly evangelize our Jewish friends and neighbors.

Shoeman related that the Jews deserve the Gospel and the Catholic Faith from us as a matter of justice since it was through them that we received the Mary and the Incarnate Christ. Many speakers spoke of the eventual corporate return of all the Jews at the end of time as an eschatological sign of Christ’s fulfilled plan (something taught by Augustine, Aquinas, and the recent Catechism). I was deeply moved by all the speakers.

Also, I perceived a deep love for traditional liturgy. Their Holy Mass that I attended was mostly in Latin and chanted (block notes-medieval neumes in the bulletin). Only the readings and canon were in English–everything very reverent. The Jews are a liturgical people and this is expressed in their worship. The celebrant who was himself, I believe, ethnically Jewish, processed in and out in a biretta. He celebrated the Roman Canon and invoked all the saints of the canon without skipping over a single one. A truly beautiful celebration of the Holy Mass. The sermon was also excellent.

The Hebrew Catholics that I met at the conference love the Catholic Church and Pope Benedict XVI. I did not observe any so-called “Judaizing” or appeals to become a “Jewish Church within a Church.” Moreover, the “two-covenant” theology (i.e. “Jews saved by Law, Gentiles saved by Christ”) was rejected over and over. The Ecclesiology was sound. Love for the Pope. Love for the local bishops. The hope for fully integration in the Catholic Church, yet seek to retain their Hebraic ethnicity – just as an Italian Catholic might preserve Italian customs or a Polish Catholic might retain Polish traditions.

Hebrew Catholics also have a special love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is among them an intense devotion to the Miraculous Medal. It seems like everyone was wearing the Miraculous Medal. The reason for this is the miraculous conversion of the 19th century Jewish man Alphonse Ratisbonne who wore the Miraculous Medal on a dare. As he wore the Miraculous Medal, the Immaculate Mary appeared to him. Ratisbonne subsequently received baptism and was later ordained as a Catholic priest. Hence, our Immaculate Lady is integral to the Hebrew Catholic ethos.

I also noticed that Our Lady was beloved by the Hebrew Catholics especially under her title as Our Lady of Mount Carmel – for the obvious reason that Mount Carmel is in the Holy Land. Moreover, the Carmelite Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross’ (Edith Stein’s) attitude of suffering for the conversion of the Jewish people to Jesus Christ is essential to Hebrew Catholic identity.

Last of all, they love Sacred Scripture. Everyone seemed fluent in the Bible, and there was great attention paid to the Scriptures. Dr. Lawrence Feingold gave a profound presentation with Scriptural citations throughout. And they aren’t wishy-washy about the Bible by compromising with liberal (so-called) scholarship. They love the Bible and it is the air that they breathe.

I had a wonderful time and I hope to attend again in the future. A special thank you to all my new “Hebraic” friends. I was very blessed by your love, faith, and witness to Christ and His Church.

May our Immaculate Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

ad Jesum per Mariam,
Taylor Marshall

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  • Tito Edwards

    Brilliant post Taylor!

    Here’s more information on Hebrew Catholics that might pique your interest:

    http://the-american-catholic.com/2009/05/05/the-hebrew-catholics-of-israel/

    In Jesus, Mary, & Joseph,

    Tito

  • Suzanne Arruda

    This was movingly beautiful. God bless you.

  • Thomas Kuna-Jacob

    A truly blessed post, Taylor! I hope to forward it to many!

    A proposed Ensign (as foretold by Isaiah) for the Coming Union of Israel, Philastina and Jordan (as foretold by Exekiel and Isaiah) is visible under one of the tabs at http://www.w-e-r-co.com . Also, the title of the book to be published this Oct. 7 is visible (with discounts for clergy, relgious, students and the poor and very poor) at http://www.awpj.info

  • David H

    Wow. What a encouragement this post is. I am a Hebrew Catholic and recent convert/revert. Interestingly, I have been wearing the Miraculous medal (or carrying it in my pocket) even prior to my official conversion/reversion. I don’t have any contact with other Hebrew Catholics so this was the first I heard of their devotion to the Miraculous Medal. Honestly, I am not sure why I was drawn to it. I guess I know now! Thank you so much for this post.

  • Fr. Mathew Chandrankunnel CMI

    Dear Taylor, a very moving write up which has many effects! I am visiting the Holy Land Next week with a group from India, Banglaore and as we visit the Mount Carmel we will pray for the Hebrew Catholic like you! God bless you!
    chandrankunnel@gmail.com

  • K.S. James

    Way to go Taylor! Great post. (I am the white haired lady from the conference with whom you discussed Lawence Welk. :)  I also do the bulletin for my church and your post is perfect for a coming issue, and your own talk was a true highlight.  Keep up your super blogging!

  • Ariela LeGendre

    Thanks for the wonderful article regarding the conference in St.Louis.
    I was supposed to have been there but family illness kept me home.
    Yours is the first “report” I read so far.

  • steve dalton

    I’m sorry, but I don’t get this.  I can’t see how anyone can call him/herself a “Hebrew or Jewish Catholic”.  The Mosiac/ Pharisee sect and Christianity parted ways years ago.  The Jews( the followers of the rabbis) rejected Jesus and the Jews and Gentiles who believed in Christ became known as Christians. The Jews who believed in Jesus lost their identity as Jews, because they could no longer practise the old rites because Paul taught the Old Covenant was fading away, the temple was destroyed in 70AD, and after anti-Christian prayers were put into the synagogue liturgy, it became impossible to worship with non-Christian Jews. So I don’t understand why people who have left an anti/non-Christian religion would want to identify with it and its culture anymore.  After all there is, to my knowledge, no such things as the Association of JW Catholics, the Association of Muslim Catholics, the Association of Mormon Catholics et al.

    You claim that you saw no “Judaizing” among the people you were with, and I’ll accept that in good faith. However the AHC has published articles by one Atholl Bloomer that reek of Judaizing. His website is even worst. So I have a hard time believing AHC hasn’t promoted Judaizing.

    By the way, I’m a Marrano descendant. Because of my ancestory, I’m interested in Jewish history and genetics, but I do not wish to identify myself as a Jew, because as far as  I’m concerned, a Jew is only a Jew when he/she practises some aspect of Jewish culture. I identify with the Scot-Irish, whom my ancestors hid out among, and of course with the Catholic faith which is the end of the law.

  • Taylor Marshall

    Dear Steve Dalton,
    It is perfectly Catholic and acceptable to preserve pre-Christian ethnic
    traditions with Catholicism if they aren’t contrary to the Catholic Faith.
    We shouldn’t confuse “Jewish ethnicity” with the “Rabbinic Jewish religion.”
    For example, if Nordic Christians burn a Yule Log during the winter
    solstice, they aren’t necessarily returning to idolatry. If we decorate a
    our churches with greenery, we aren’t turning them into pagan temples, etc.
    If Roman Christians kept the Ember Days which resembled pre-Christian
    seasonal festivals, we can’t assume that they are returning to the pagan
    rites.
    If you read the traditional Catholic hagiographic account of Saint James of
    Jerusalem, you will see that his Jewishness was not fully rejected – only
    those elements and rites that denied the Messianic Kingdom of Jesus Christ
    our Lord and King.
    “Jews” are not the same as “Muslims” or “Mormons” since the former is
    ethnic, the latter are non-ethnic.
    So if a Hebrew Catholic wants to step on a glass at his wedding reception,
    so be it. He’s not denying Christ by retaining Jewish customs.
    Godspeed,
    Taylor Marshall

  • David H

    Steve,

    I am a Hebrew Catholic because I am a Hebrew who is Catholic. I am also part Scottish. It is as easy as saying Italian Catholic. Jews are ethnic and Religious. But “Hebrew” points to the ethnic and cultural so as not to confuse it with the religion. But still ethnic descendents of Abraham and Sarah still have to call themselves something, no?

  • MichaelP

    http://www.catholicintl.com/articles/Schoeman_and_Paragraph_674.pdf

    Taylor,

    I ask that you read this critique of Shoeman and his idea, not the Churches, that there needs to be a mass conversion of Jews before the 2nd coming of Christ.  I don’t know of any explicit reference to this is Catholic Teachings.  I know there are some very vague statements that have been made by people that have lead others to read into the statements an interpretation suitable to their cause, but nothing explicit if you really dive into it.  The article is quite long but it is very informational and counters what you and others have put forth about a mass conversion of Jews and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.

  • Ken Wilsker

    Taylor,
    Thanks so much for your wonderful “witness” at the AHC conference.  We loved meeting you and your teaching was outstanding.  We are looking forward to your next book and hope to see you again soon.

    As you can see from some of the posts here that there is much misunderstanding and jealousy that is aroused from some of our brothers and sisters who somehow think that the salvation of the Jews negates their place in the commonwealth of Israel.  This is unfortunate and should not be unexpected. 

    Thanks for your thoughtful and courageous responses and we will pray for God’s wisdom and protection for you and your family as you continue your studies and your discernment process.  We are blessed to have you in our Holy Mother Church. 

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Dave, since you are part Scottish, do you know anything about the Melungeon people of Appalachia? They are a part of the Scot-Irish culture of the mountains, but they’re actually of Spanish-Portugese Marrano descent. I’m not a Melungeon myself, but my American Marrano ancestors came to the Midwest from the same areas as the Melungeons.

    There are two books you might want to read about the Melungeons and their ancestors are “When Scotland Was Jewish” and “The Melngeons: The Last Lost Tribe In America”. By the way, I’ve met and talked to many Melungeon people in the last ten years at the Melungeon Unions that are held in the Kentucky-Tennessee area. You might want to go to one sometime. go to melungeon.org or melungeon.com and check it out.

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Taylor, you claim that,”Jews” are not that same as “Muslim” or “Mormons” since the former is ethnic, the latter is non ethnic”. Taylor, the Jews are not from a single ethnic group. Genetic studies in the last twenty years have shown that the ancestors of the majority of todays Jews were converts from non-Jewish backgrounds. The genetic testing I had done on myself shows my haplotype is a varient of R1b1, the most common haplotype of of Europe. The Jews are from every ethnic background that yo can imagine, jst like any other religious group.

  • David H

    Steve,

    Actually the genetics studies show just the opposite. The vast majority of Jews in the Diaspora share a common genetic heritage linked right back to the Israel/Syria/Jordan area. I will have to find the links for you, but the non-Hebrew Jews theory is a myth based on the throughly debunked Kazar theory. The fact that someone can look Jewish is also evidence of a Jewish ethnic heritage that most certainly exists and has been verified over and over again. There are also diseases unique to ethnic Jews such as Tay-Sachs with the Ashkanzi.

    I will check out the Melungeon. Thanks for the information. My Scotish side from the Isle of Lewis via Nova Scotia.

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Dave, I’m aware of the Khazar theory. I don’t buy the idea that all the Ashkenazim Jews are Khazar descendants. That idea is propagated by racist groups that I want nothing to do with because of their hatred and their misreading of scientific evidence. 

    I still have to disagree with you on the genetic thing. I’ve got several books on Jewish genetics in my library, and while there are semetic haplotypes such as the Cohen Modal Haplotype that are Middle Eastern in origin, the majority of Jews in the world today are converts from the Gentiles. By the way, I have genetic markers for Israel, Iraq, and Greece, all of them identified as Jewish, and all of them are varients of R1b1, a non-semetic haplotype.

    “The fact that someone can look Jewish is also evidence of a Jewish ethnic heritage” is bunk. I have no known semetic markers in my DNA, yet I look very “Jewish”. I have a Semetic nose, slanted eyes, dark skin, buck teeth, and a recessed chin. Hardly Scottish looking at all. But the Lemba tribe in Africa have the Cohen Modal Haplotype and a tradition of being Jewish, but they don’t look “Jewish” at all. They look like typical black Africans. Also, a large group of people in Rome have been found to carry the Cohen Haplotype, but have no tradition of being “Jewish”. So, I don’t think your “verifactions” are all that accurate.

    Yes, do check out the Melungeons. And do get a copy of those books I mentioned.

  • MichaelP

    Taylor,

    I heed your warning about Robert Sungenis.  From what I have read, he says nothing that I can recall that contradicts the Church Fathers.  He just sees the Jews being saved by default in the end because they were scattered and mixed in with the gentiles throughout their exiles.  Would it not be a violation of free will to save someone without them wanting to be saved?  Or does Romans 9:15-23 come into play at this point?  I am not defending Sungensis, I am simply looking for what the Church teaches on this topic.  I surely see how totally unnessary and contradictory to Catholicism it would be to rebuild a temple that GOD himself replace with His own Son.  Do you not see a problem with that point at least?

    Thanks,
    Michael

  • David H

    Sorry, Steve. I still have to disagree because the most recent Genetic studies of Ashkanazi and all the variation of the Sephardim are conclusive and it was big news as recently as June.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100603123707.htm

    http://www.sciencemagnews.com/jews-around-the-world-linked-by-common-genetic-ancestry.html

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/06/03/the-dna-of-abraham-s-children.html

    Check this out:

    http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com/2010/06/dna-wandering-jews-common-origin.html

    As you can see, I say this with absolutely no animus whatsoever, there is scientifically no question in 2010 of the Semitic origin of nearly all Jews, save Sammy Davis Jr.

  • Stephen E Dalton

    I took a quick read of all these articles and I noticed one thing in all the articles. None of these articles that claimed a common Middle Eastern Origin for most of the Jews told what the haplotypes were. As I’ve already explained, my haplotype is a varient of R1b1, the common European haplotype. Yet, some of my “Jewish” markers are R1b1 varients from the Middle East.  Unless the articles tell us what the haplotypes are, they are useless in telling us anything about Jewish origins.

  • David H

    That too have been thoroughly researched and validated. I will, when I find it, post you a link to a recent book by the lead geneticist on the project. Also there is very little evidence to suggest mass conversions of gentiles to Judaism across the world of the Diaspora. Cultural, Religious and ethnic preservation has always been the top priority of Jews for obvious reasons. Inter-marriage was extremely rare until 20th century America.

  • David H

    Correction:

    Steve, the last link I posted addresses you question and even addresses the specific assertion about gentile converts challenegs the leading proponent of it.

    http://tracingthetribe.blogspot.com/2010/06/dna-wandering-jews-common-origin.html

  • MichaelP

    Taylor,

    On the other point you made about the sun revolving around the earth being crazy, would you follow a man, say, a human author of the bible that says the same thing?  I offer you Humani Generis, paragraph 22.  How do you work around this with your thinking?  Seriously, I want to know because I can’t find away myself.  Even Dei Verbum, paragraph 11 makes it very clear that all of Scripture is to benefit our salvation.  As far as I know, there is no official Church document that says that the bible only contains truth when dealing with faith and morals.  If you know of one, please pass it on.

    22. To return, however, to the new opinions mentioned above, a number of things are proposed or suggested by some even against the divine authorship of Sacred Scripture. For some go so far as to pervert the sense of the Vatican Council’s definition that God is the author of Holy Scripture, and they put forward again the opinion, already often condemned, which asserts that immunity from error extends only to those parts of the Bible that treat of God or of moral and religious matters. They even wrongly speak of a human sense of the Scriptures, beneath which a divine sense, which they say is the only infallible meaning, lies hidden. In interpreting Scripture, they will take no account of the analogy of faith and the Tradition of the Church. Thus they judge the doctrine of the Fathers and of the Teaching Church by the norm of Holy Scripture, interpreted by the purely human reason of exegetes, instead of explaining Holy Scripture according to the mind of the Church which Christ Our Lord has appointed guardian and interpreter of the whole deposit of divinely revealed truth.

  • MichaelP

    from PROVIDENTISSIMUS DEUS

    20. The principles here laid down will apply cognate sciences, and especially to History. It is a lamentable fact that there are many who with great labour carry out and publish investigations on the monuments of antiquity, the manners and institutions of nations and other illustrative subjects, and whose chief purpose in all this is too often to find mistakes in the sacred writings and so to shake and weaken their authority. Some of these writers display not only extreme hostility, but the greatest unfairness; in their eyes a profane book or ancient document is accepted without hesitation, whilst the Scripture, if they only find in it a suspicion of error, is set down with the slightest possible discussion as quite untrustworthy. It is true, no doubt, that copyists have made mistakes in the text of the Bible; this question, when it arises, should be carefully considered on its merits, and the fact not too easily admitted, but only in those passages where the proof is clear. It may also happen that the sense of a passage remains ambiguous, and in this case good hermeneutical methods will greatly assist in clearing up the obscurity. But it is absolutely wrong and forbidden, either to narrow inspiration to certain parts only of Holy Scripture, or to admit that the sacred writer has erred. For the system of those who, in order to rid themselves of these difficulties, do not hesitate to concede that divine inspiration regards the things of faith and morals, and nothing beyond, because (as they wrongly think) in a question of the truth or falsehood of a passage, we should consider not so much what God has said as the reason and purpose which He had in mind in saying it-this system cannot be tolerated. For all the books which the Church receives as sacred and canonical, are written wholly and entirely, with all their parts, at the dictation of the Holy Ghost; and so far is it from being possible that any error can co-exist with inspiration, that inspiration not only is essentially incompatible with error, but excludes and rejects it as absolutely and necessarily as it is impossible that God Himself, the supreme Truth, can utter that which is not true………

    21. It follows that those who maintain that an error is possible in any genuine passage of the sacred writings, either pervert the Catholic notion of inspiration, or make God the author of such error…… The words of St. Augustine to St. Jerome may sum up what they taught: “On my part I confess to your charity that it is only to those Books of Scripture which are now called canonical that I have learned to pay such honour and reverence as to believe most firmly that none of their writers has fallen into any error. And if in these Books I meet anything which seems contrary to truth, I shall not hesitate to conclude either that the text is faulty, or that the translator has not expressed the meaning of the passage, or that I myself do not understand.”(60)

    Why can’t you just say the same as St. Augustine?  Not understanding something is perfectly compatible with faith.

    Michael

  • Taylor Marshall

    The Holy Bible doesn’t teach that the sun goes around the earth!
    Godspeed,
    Taylor
    On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 12:53 PM, Echo <
    js-kit-m2c-TKDRP94EHF0HNKO6TVMFOTIO8P7Q33I381G2IJGA734LFK35T900@reply.js-kit.com

  • Taylor Marshall

    The Fathers and Doctors teach that the Jews will be saved corporately at the
    end of time, ergo, there must be a group of people who are the Jews.
    I can’t believe that on one hand your denying the existence of the Jewish
    people, and on the other hand you are affirming that the sun goes around the
    earth.
    Godspeed,
    Taylor
    On Wed, Oct 6, 2010 at 11:45 AM, Echo <
    js-kit-m2c-TKDRP94EHF0HNKO6TVMFOTIO8Q9DVD7V4ICPLP462LAEI5HDGU8G@reply.js-kit.com

  • MichaelP

    Taylor,

    Sacred Scripture teaches that the earth does not move.  How does this fit in with the secular heliocentric model, since this model teaches that the earth revolves around the sun and spins?  Is that not movement?

    And I never said the Jews did not exist.  The religion of Judaism in the Old Covenant does not exist but ethnic Jewish people do.  I said that they have been scatter among the nations, same as what scripture tells us.

    Would it be a good thing for the Catholic Church if the Jewish temple was rebuilt and Old Covenant sacrifices were once again offered, yes or no?  That is one of the goals of the movement, is it not?  It is the same goal as all the protestant movements that think the land today known as Israel is still owed to them under the old Abrahamic covenant.  The new Jerusalem is not of this world.  The Jewish temple means nothing to Catholics and if a Hebrew Catholic is looking to resurrect the Jewish temple, then he or she is not very good Catholic.  How can you argue against this?

    Are you purposely dismissing Church teachings?

    Michael

  • MichaelP

    Taylor,

    I like your site.  I think you do a great job and I know you are truly a man of God.  I do not wish to quarel about things off topic.  Geocentrism vs. Heliocentrism is not what I what to debate because it is pointless.  Science can neither prove Heliocrism or disprove Geocentrism because of its limitations.  No matter which way you look at it, it is still the perspective of the person viewing the event.  Only God knows for sure and that is that.  No Church document states that the earth moves, but yet there is one that says it doesn’t.  I will stick with God’s decrees over man’s.

    Regarding the Jews.  I share your love for them and am well versed in the roots of our faith as it pertains to Old Testament worship.  I hope and pray that all come to love Jesus the Messiah.  I just see a very dangerous road ahead that many will stray down regarding the Jewish temple.  Jews (meaning ethnic Jews) are very stiff necked people (from the Bible- Exodus 32) and very nationalistic.  They see themselves still as a certain group of chosen people when in reality, they have been incorporated into a larger group of chosen people, e.g. all of mankind.  Salvation is surely from the Jews, but it is not just reserved to them.  They will be saved in the end, but who won’t?  All people that come to Christ will be saved.  Jews are included in that and I do think the veil will be lifted and may have already been lifted.  I just don’t think the coming of Christ hinges on a mass conversion.  You even quoted the Fathers saying “at the end of time”.  Do they say the end is delayed specifically because of the wait for a mass conversion of Jews?  There is a big difference between being “at the end of time” and triggering the end of time.  We already know we live in the “last days” so what else is there that needs to happen before our Lord’s glorious return?

    The early Church used to cry out Maranatha.  Why?  Did they not realize that the Jews needed to be converted in mass before this could happen?

    Pax Christi,
    Michael

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Dave, I looked at that article, and again I have to tell you, that article and the rest of them do not mention the haplotypes that those Middle Eastern Jews have. Unless these scientist mention the haplotypes of the tested Jews, all we have is a dogmatic statement not backed by facts.  By the way, my DNA was tested by Family Tree DNA, the same company that the scientist works for.

  • David H

    Steve, I will drop it after this. But I honestly don’t see how you can interpret the haplotype data, that is clearly looked at if you follow the links to the actual scientific publications, differently than most of the scientific community. This one goes all the way back to 1999 and comes to similar conclusions: http://www.pnas.org/content/97/12/6769.full

    Just to reiterate the haplotypes have been researched long before this and the data is as close to conclusive as you can get in this type of genetic research. In fact there is more evidence for this common semitic ancestry than most modern day Greeks can enjoy and they remained in Greece.

    I will apologize to Taylor for this hijack.

    Blessings to you, Steve.

  • Athol Bloomer

    Dear Taylor,

    I found your post very interesting. It is interesting that someone here is accusing me of Judising- I guess he would say that Archbishop Burke is also a Judaiser as everything I have taught or said on these topics has been confirmed by Archbishop Burke in his interview shown at the confernece. see http://cantuar.blogspot.com/2010/10/here-come-hebrew-catholics.html

    I however must take acception to your comments abour Rabbinic Judaism and Mosaic Judaism. Some Hebrew Catholics may think this way but certainly many do not. Rabbinic Judaism is Mosaic Judaism. Rabbinic Judaism is a development of Mosaic Judaism that began during the Babylonian Exile and Our Lord practiced Rabbinic Judaism- he was a Rabbi himself. The present Pope when a Cardinal spoke of the continuing role in salvation history of Rabbinic Judiasm during the time of the Gentiles as guided by the Holy Spirit. All Hebrew Catholics today receive their Jewish identity through Rabbinic Judaism. Arguments from genetics means nothing. Genetics is in its infancy and what we think is true today may not be seen to be true tomorrow. The community mediates Jewishness not just genetics. Being a Hebrew Catholic is not just a question of ethnicity- it is the Election of God which is given to the individual Hebrew Catholic through a collective calling as part of the Jewish or Hebrew Community that has continued as a faith  community since the time of Abraham. As Hebrews in ethnicity the community goes beyond Abraham to his ancestor Heber. This community was pagan until Abraham when this community then became not just a ethnic community but a faith community with a unique vocation from God.

  • Taylor Marshall

    Athol Bloomer,
    Yes, but doesn’t the “faith community” of Rabbinic Judaism officially
    “deny that Jesus is the Christ.” According to the Holy Spirit and
    Saint John the Apostle, anyone that denies Jesus is the Christ is the
    Antichrist and of the spirit of Antichrist.
    Those are strong words…
    So how then can Rabbinical Judaism be the religion of Moses since
    Moses “wrote of” Jesus and believed in Him?
    Mosaic Judaism is NOT Rabbinic (i.e. Talmudic) Judaism. Moses
    confessed Jesus as Christ. Rabbinic Judaism denies Jesus as Christ.
    ad Jesum per Mariam,
    Taylor

  • Athol Bloomer

    Here is my understanding based on the church’s teaching.

    see

    http://aronbengilad.blogspot.com/2009/03/hebrew-catholic-vocation.html

    cheers Athol

  • Athol Bloomer
  • Andre Villeneuve

    greetings to all!    
       
    I was also a speaker at the AHC conference and agree with Athol.    
    (BTW the correct link to the interview with Archbishop Burke is http://www.israelcatholic.com/content/view/132/119/ )  
    Taylor – the Jewish community at the time of Paul also largely denied Christ.  This is obviously a serious thing, but it doesn’t automatically invalidate everything in Judaism.  Also, I find the separation between ethnic Judaism and the Jewish religion a bit artificial and impractical.  There is not much left of Jewishness if one considers just its ethnic element.  Steve Dalton: with all respect, your attitude of dismissing the preservation of Jewish heritage in the Church is precisely one of the main obstacles that has kept the Jews out of the Church for 2,000 years.    
    There is a lot of confusion regarding the term ‘Judaizing’: in the book of Acts “Judaizing” has to do with trying to turn Gentiles into observant Jews.  When Jews enter the Church and wish to keep their own Jewish traditions, they are not judaizing anyone but merely remaining faithful to their own identity!    
       
    Andre

  • MichaelP

    Andre,

    You can’t enter the Church of Christ whiling holding to “works of the law”.  This is condemned and forbidden by the early Church.  Look at the rite of circumcision and how it became a hot topic for St. Paul.  Tomorrow’s reading from Galations deals directly with this.

    Gal 5:1-6
    Brothers and sisters:
    For freedom Christ set us free;
    so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
    It is I, Paul, who am telling you
    that if you have yourselves circumcised,
    Christ will be of no benefit to you.
    Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised
    that he is bound to observe the entire law.
    You are separated from Christ,
    you who are trying to be justified by law;
    you have fallen from grace.
    For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness.
    For in Christ Jesus,
    neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything,
    but only faith working through love.

    It is one thing to hold on to minor traditions, but you can’t incorporate Rabbinical Judaism into Catholicism, nor Mosaic Judaism for that matter.  My question for you and Athol is this.  Why rebuild the temple if Rabbinical Judaism is the natural progression of  Mosaic Judaism?  What purpose would the temple serve if there is no desire to revert back to aninmal sacrifices and observing out dated Mosaic Law?  Authentic Judaism has never been practiced since 70AD and Taylor is absolutely correct in saying they are totally different.  I am glad that Jews have found their Savior in Christ but you can’t redefine the Church once you enter into it.  The Church has been what it is for 2000 years.  You have to enter in with a disposition of submission, submission to the very Body of Christ.

    Michael

  • Andre Villeneuve

    Michael,
    I probably didn’t make myself clear: I am not advocating a rebuilding of the Temple (and neither are most Catholic Jews, I think).  However you are falling for the classic mistake in reading Galatians, lumping  Jews and Gentiles together. In a nutshell: the key to understanding Galatians is to remember that Paul is writing to Gentiles.  Considering all of his writings together with Acts, Paul holds that 1) *gentiles* are not obligated to keep the Torah; 2) Jews cannot be *saved* by Torah observance.  But he is NOT saying that believing Jews should not observe the Torah.  On the contrary, in Acts 16:1 he has Timothy circumcised, in Acts 21:20 James is extatic that many Jews have come to faith and are all *zealous for the law*, and in Acts 21:21-24 Paul takes a vow to refute false accusations that he is leading Jews astray from the Law and to prove that he himself still lives in observance of the law!
    Please view the interview with Archbishop Burke and you will see that he is much more positively disposed towards the Torah than you are.  Will you yourself hold to your proposed “disposition of submission” after hearing the highest judicial authority in the Church?
    Andre

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Andre, what has kept the Jews out of the Church for 2000 years is their hatred of Christ. I “dismiss” the so-called “heritage” for the same reason I’d reject the “heritage” of a Muslim. Everything in the “heritage” revolves around the religion which is anti-Christian. But what I find interesting is why the sudden interest in “Jewish Heritage”. No other era of the Church bothered to be concerned about this, so why now? When this stuff popped up in the past, it was rightly reguarded as Judaizing. Wheather it happened among gentiles or crypto-Jews, it was abhorred and it was censored, as it should be now.

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Taylor, I told yo AB was a Judaizer!

  • Athol Bloomer

    Some Catholics are seeking to genuinely understand these things others are just blinded by their anti-Judaism prejudices and the only thing that will shift them is prayer for their conversion of heart. If they ignore Pope Benedict and Pope John Paul II’s writings on the Jews and their condemnation of all anti-semitism and all negativity towards Jews and Judaism then what is Archbishop Burke to them?

    For those seeking more understanding I think Cardinal Ratzinger’s Reconciling Torah and Gospel is foundational

    http://www.ewtn.com/library/catechsm/gostorah.htm

  • Richard Reinhardt

    Christianity has two dimensions: it is the Perfection of Judaism (“I have come to perfect the Law, not to abrogate it”) and the Universal Church. As the Perfection of Judaism , it addresses the Jews, deepening the experience of Jewish observance and reaffirming the religious value of the very particular ways G-d calls the Jews to His Service.  As the Universal Church, it is addressed to the Gentiles, and universalizes the very particular way of life G-d gave the Jews so that all mankind can participate in G-d’s Covenant with  Israel.

    Until very recently, the Jew who came to recognize the truth of Catholic Faith could join the Church only if he was willing to abandon the particulars of Jewish worship and join the Universal Church. Even if, for whatever reason, he continued to observe the Law of Moses, the Universal Church did not support his Jewish devotions, and, on the contrary, often regarded them as a sign of deficient Christian faith.

    Archbishop Burke, whose position in the Church gives him great authority, has given legitimacy to the Church as a Perfection of Judaism. He has affirmed the positive value, the desirability, of Jews keeping their traditions even after they have been baptized. He has given them a unique place in the Church, in keeping with the special place of Israel among the nations as G-d’s Chosen People, the people through whom G-d brought salvation to the world.  That, he points out, was not a role that is no longer relevant, a role that was fulfilled when the New Covenant was revealed, and, but rather, a Divine appointment which is valid for all time.   Of course, he emphasizes the necessity of practicing the commandments in a way that affirms and concretizes Catholic faith, but that’s exactly they wa that Judaism is perfected:  by the grace and the power for salvation which issues from the Cross.  Archbishop Burke has established the foundation for a paradigm of Catholicism which is distinctively Jewish, a Catholic Faith which is interwoven with Jewish faith and observance, a Catholic Faith in which the difference between Judaism and Catholicism is lost, because Catholicism becomes a way of being most perfectly Jewish, a Jewish-Catholic devotion which exemplifies the principle that there is really only one Divine Covenant, even if Christians speak of an old one and a new one.  

  • MichaelP

    Andre,

    I am still open to the idea that ceremonial laws are ok to follow.  When I use “works of the law”, I mean the Moral Law. I have no problem as stated originally that following simple tradition, e.g. ceremonial laws, is perfectly fine, as far as I know.  The passage I used from Galations was used to show that following simple laws, thinking they are salvific, is not acceptable and that new faith in Christ is what is necessary.  Once the faith is there, being circumsized or not is a non-issue.

    Michael

  • Stephen E Dalton

    Richard, your post shows why so-called “Hebrew-Catholicism” is not a good thing for the Church.

    One, it is ethno-centric. The scriptures teach we are one in Christ. The emphasizing of an ethnic identity will only cause racial and nationalistic friction in the body of Christ. It will cause anti-Jewish feelings to flare up where they didn’t even exist. That won’t help the Jews who want to become Christians one bit.

    Two, Jews have a very long history of promoting Judaizing and other heresies within the Church. One only has to read the Chrch Fathers to realize this. The Jews admit this too. Rabbi Louis Newman’s “Jewish Influence On Christian Reform Movements” brags about how Jews and their shabbat goi’s were responsible for founding or supporting the heresies (the reform movements) that bedeviled the Church for the last 2000 years. It was this support of these subversive “reform movements” that was one of the causes of anti-Jewish feelings in the Church hierarchy and laity.
    This is why “Jewish devotions” where reguarded as a sign of “deficient Christian faith”. It was heresy.

    Bp Burke’s support of the AHC doesn’t impress me. Neither do some of the statements that has come out of the Vatican in the last 50 years. The statements and declaractions from past Popes and Church councils either regional or universal that were orthodox and understood the nature of the Jewish people and their religion and culture carry far more weight  than the liberal foolishness that has dominated our Church life for the past 50 years.

    Fourth, their is no way the difference between Judaism and Catholicism can ever be lost. Judaism, in it’s Mosiac form, is dead. Christianity has superceded it for all time. It’s rituals are fullfilled in Christ. Judaism, in it’s Talmudic form, is the commandments of men, not God. Jesus himself condemned the Pharisees, the founders of what became known as Rabbical, Talmudic Judaism for being blind guides, hypocrites, self rightous, children of the devil etc. , so why even bother going there?  The Jews who come into the Church need to make a complete break from the Jewish cult, just like former Muslims,  JW’s, Adventists and other sectarians do. Otherwise, they will risk going back to what they came from. That was one of the reasons the epistle to the Hebrews was written, to encourage Jewish converts to stay Christian and not to slip back into Judaism. 

  • Richard Reinhardt

    Hi Stephen,

     

    I thought of addressing your points one by one, but when I saw that you regard the teachings of such saintly and learned popes as Blessed John XXIII, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI as foolish, I realized that there was no point. If you reject what they say, you’ll certainly reject anything I would say.

  • Andre

    John Paul II said “He who meets Jesus Christ meets Judaism.” Likewise, he who rejects Judaism like you do, in a certain sense rejects Jesus Christ, who in His humanity was fully Jewish in ethnicity and religion.

  • Andre

    Michael – yes, I think we all agree with that – St. Paul is indeed quite clear that the works of the law are not sufficient for salvation and that faith in Christ is necessary for all.
    However I’m not so sure that circumcision is a “non-issue” for Jews who wish to join the Church.  After all, Paul had Timothy circumcized.  Who are we gentiles to judge on the desire of Jews to remain faithful to the Abrahamic covenant?

  • Andre

    I agree with Richard below.  Stephen is apparently more Catholic than all the popes of the last half-century together.  A sad example of the replacement theology and gentile arrogance that has kept Jews out of the Church for now 2,000 years.  Sometimes I think that the salvation of the Jewish people is in large part awaiting the prior conversion of Catholics still hanging on to such attitudes.

  • Stephen E Dalton

    To Richard and Andre, I don’t believe I’m more Catholic than the Popes of the last 50 years. What I do believe is that the approach that the Church hierarchy has used toward the Jews since the early 60′s hasn’t worked. The work of the Church is to save souls. Calling unconverted people (the Jews in this case) our elder brothers in the faith, claiming they are still the chosen people, when they have rejected Christ, is not going to give them any incentive to convert. The only Jews who are “the elder brothers” are those who believed in Christ. As Paul put it, “Not all who are Israel are Israel”. Christ himself warned the hateful, unbelieving Jews who rejected him that the kingdom would be taken away from them and given to another people.. Yep, Jesus himself was the author of replacement theology. No Andre and Richard, it’s not “Gentile arrogence” and “replacement theology” that kept Jews out of the Church for 2000 years, it was the hatred toward Christ and the Church that was taught to them by the anti-Christ Talmudic rabbis, and their own stiff-necked attitudes toward the pagan and Christian Gentile world. The Church always kept the doors of the kingdom of heaven open to the Jews, but they would not enter in (with a few rare exceptions here and there) because they wanted heaven on their terms, not God’s. In closing, I’m glad both of you are in the Catholic Church, but I hope both of you lose your Jewish superiority complex, or you’ll  might end up back in the synagogue withot Christ.

  • Athol Bloomer

    Hear hear well said. With the image these kind of people give the Church and Jesus is it any wonder that so many Jews have not seen the beauty of Jesus and the teachings of his Church?

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  • Taylor Marshall

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  • Taylor Marshall

    Street Trouble analyst withExplore links Patron or images? View surveying this message new online.
    Thu, 18 Nov 2010 20:30:33 +0100
    Dear js-kit-m2c-tkdrp94ehf0hnko6tvmfotio8p7q33i381g2ijga734lfk35t900, Wall
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  • Allen

    Is such a thing as a Hebrew Catholic possible? Absolutely. Just as a Gentile (Irish, Italian, German, etc.) Catholic is possible. But when Hebrew Catholics insist on claiming some kind of “special status” within the Catholic Church, they cross the line into Judaizing. Ethnic Hebrews should be allowed to maintain aspects of their Hebrew culture, just as ethnic Europeans have been allowed to maintain aspects of their own ethnic cultures. No problem there. But if a Hebrew wants to practice as a Catholic and then, for example, have his son circumcised in pious observance of the law of the Old Covenant, that’s to be considered a mortal sin. The Council of Florence (1439) made the following declaration:

    “[The Catholic Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the Old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our Lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the Passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ’s passion until the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the [Jewish] sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practice circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.”

    From the position of the Apostle Paul, we gather that Hebrew Christians were permitted to continue observing Old Covenant law. But he – as well as the Council of Florence – make it perfectly clear that practicing those laws has no salvific power. No more than burning the Yule log, kissing under mistletoe, or hunting for Easter eggs (all originally Heathen/Pagan practices) has any salvific power. Salvation comes from Christ alone. If a Hebrew Catholic – or any Catholic, for that matter – thinks that by following the laws of the Hebrew Torah (or the Germanic Hávamál or the Greek Erga kai Hēmerai, etc.) he is somehow “special” or “elevated”, he’s fooling himself and disrespecting Christ. While ethnic differences can and should remain, all Christians are to be one in spirit, united in the Holy Catholic Church under Christ.