Monday, January 23, 2006

The Virus of Anti-Semitism -- Trads Infected

The lead editorial in this week's Tablet assails what my paper calls the "Virus of Anti-Semitism."

Be reminded on this "Life Day" that anti-Semitism is a pro-life issue -- no excuses....
The report that the Vatican is reviewing the traditional Catholic attitude to Judas Iscariot is another sign of a welcome improvement in relations between Judaism and Christianity. Judas was for centuries treated as a symbol of the Jewish rejection of their Messiah, which in Catholic folklore, if not in official doctrine, justified the “teaching of contempt” towards Jews for all time. This was only fully repudiated in 1965, when the Second Vatican Council revived the Pauline doctrine that God had not abandoned his covenant with the Children of Israel, and hence that it was wrong to treat them as accursed or cast out.
Guess who has a problem with this, still maintaining 41 years later that "The Jews were consequently directly responsible for the crucifixion. Deicide is the name given to the crime of killing the person who is God, namely the Son of God in His human nature. It is those persons who brought about the crucifixion who are guilty of deicide, namely the Jews"?

That's right, you guessed it -- those who have cast themselves out of communion with the church.
Historically the roots of racial anti-Semitism lay in a perversion of Darwinism and nineteenth-century German nationalism, but Christianity had already poisoned the mind of Europe against the Jews on religious grounds. Christians have to approach the forthcoming Holocaust Memorial Day in a spirit of humility, therefore, but also determined that the lessons of history will not be forgotten. The virus of traditional anti-Semitism is not extinct, and that includes in Britain. It is even more alive elsewhere in Europe: the Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Alexei II, has recently called for action by the state to stem hate crimes after an anti-Semitic attack in a Moscow synagogue.
Wouldn't that be something, if a commitment to eradicating anti-Semitism were the thing that brought Moscow and Rome together at last?