Guide Purification of Memory: A Study of Orthodox Theologians from a Catholic Perspective

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The public however, during the intervening years, succumbed to constant repetition of the phrase separation of church and state. After a time, many Americans came to believe that their Constitution contained those words. Initially, the Jewish organizations argued that specifically Christian prayers breached the putative wall of separation between church and state.

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When school administrators carefully allowed only prayers consistent with Jewish teaching the Jewish organizations pressed farther to exclude all vocal prayer. Finally, they opposed even a minute for silent reflection because some student might use the time for prayer. As public institutions began to accept that objective, the major Jewish organizations began to extend the principle still farther to prohibit any public recognition of religion. By , in Planned Parenthood v. The Constitution had been transformed from a moral bulwark to a mere system of procedures that govern who gets what, when, and how.

A school board planning its high school graduating ceremony invited a rabbi to read brief prayers of invocation and benediction. Deborah Weisman, a nonreligious Jew in the graduating class, felt peer pressure to stand or show respect during the few minutes of prayer. The zenith came in the Kiryas Joel school district case. Kiryas Joel is a town of 12, Satmar Chassidic Jews. The Satmar sect, lacking resources to educate emotionally and physically disabled children in its private religious school system, arranged for these children to be educated in secular subjects by licensed public school teachers in their town.

Catholic Conference and the National Association of Evangelicals. The major Jewish groups all argued against helping Orthodox Jews raise their children as Orthodox Jews. The Christians supported the Orthodox Jews! The suppression weapon the Jews aimed at Christian life hit Jews even harder than it hit Christians.

When Jews argued consistently for suppression of religious activity in the public forum they meant Christian religious activity.


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When Jews stopped being Jewish on the street, they soon stopped being Jewish in their tents as well. Christianity, focused on the person of Christ, was better able to survive the suppression of outward appearance. Liberalism is Killing Judaism We cannot break a covenant. We break ourselves against it. Judaism, the covenant between God and an entire people, has been debilitated by liberalism, which separates a people from religious obligation.

Liberal Jews who support contraception, abortion and homosexuality are suppressing their own birth rates to far below replacement levels. One Harvard study predicts that if current demographic trends continue, the American Jewish community is likely to number less than 1 million and conceivably as few as 10, by the time the United States celebrates its tercentennial in However, in Israel where there is no Christian majority, the liberal Jew is as secular and reluctant to raise children as his American counterpart.

Most liberal Jews in Israel no longer go to synagogue or participate actively in Jewish religious life. In the United States, Christian anti-Judaism is a distant secondary cause of the debilitation. If it had been a primary cause we would see a great difference between liberal American Jews and liberal Israeli Jews. A given population at any time has two alternatives: It can devote its energies and resources to gaining influence or to raising children.

A population raising very few children has higher income and lower expenses, making more money available for gaining power through higher education, political contributions, activism, etc.

It is an effective strategy for gaining power in the present generation, but it leads inevitably to decline and disappearance during the following century. That same population can instead devote its resources to raising and home-schooling large numbers of children. It will have little influence in the present generation because all its resources are committed to child-raising. But during the following century it will become much more numerous. Salvation history acts through thousands of years. In the United States, among the 6.

From to it was 23 percent. By it reached 51 percent. Today among Reform Jews it is about 60 percent. Where once many American Jews lived in New York City and other areas of concentration, now 40 percent live in the south or the west. Temple affiliation is much lower in these areas than in the north and east. Where only a small percentage of the population is Jewish and few temples are available, it is far more difficult for young Jews to find Jews of the opposite sex to marry.

In those areas intermarriage rates are extremely high. Liberal Jewish groups, recognizing that the assimilation strategy and the paucity of temple membership have made intermarriage inevitable, have proposed outreach efforts that bring the Christian spouse into the temple. Elliot Abrams tells us that nearly 90 percent of Reform temples now grant membership to non-Jewish spouses.

But this brings its own risk. The risk is even greater outside the temple. The present generation identifies Judaism with the Shoah. But the living witnesses are aging; by the next generation they will be gone. The next generation will see Israel without romance. A generation bereft of links with Judaism will raise its own children with even less attachment.

Judaism as political liberalism will soon appear identical with secular liberalism. For a generation or two the cultural cues inculcated by the last religious generation will remain, but all too soon the chicken soup will become wonton soup. Dershowitz, to maximize the number of Jews, is prepared to jettison all that makes a Jew. He rejects the religious requirement of belief in God and Torah, but also the racial requirement that one be born of a Jewish mother.

Now all that remains is an animus against Christians. Israel remains strong, for now. But the signs of change are ominous. Demographers anticipate that within the next 50 years a majority of Israelis will be Arabs, not Jews. If Israel remains a democracy its flag will no longer be blue and white with a Star of David but green with a star and crescent.

After thirty centuries Israel would remain Israel for only one century. The end of the Jewish homeland could come much sooner. Many Israelis, no longer energized by God and Torah, are tired of moral opprobrium, tired of military preparedness, tired of war. During the elections, with the Palestinians still mostly non-compliant, the issue had virtually disappeared.

The land for peace formula had always envisioned Israel giving up something concrete and permanent in return for something that could disappear in a flash. Now that the Palestinians have seen that they can renege with impunity, there will be no peace until Israel is renamed Palestine and gets its star and crescent flag. A clear majority of Israeli opinion now holds that Palestinians are also tired of war and want peace. Israel is prepared to return the Golan to Syria with scant reason to anticipate peace.

From their perspective, Israel is becoming less a geopolitical intrusion and more an affront to Allah. The great Jewish odyssey across four thousand years is unique in world history. All the other ancient tribes, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, and Philistines, are gone. Yet, despite three thousand years without earthly power, if Moses were to walk into an Orthodox Jewish synagogue today he would be in a familiar place. Salvation history teaches inexorably that God gives bountifully when we hold fast to his covenant, and that he takes back His gifts when we take back our promise.

There can be no turning back to the ghetto in which Judaism survived for so many centuries. The ghetto can never again be the cloister it was. Modern satellite technology means that hundreds of television channels can be received anywhere. Even the Jew who lives in a small apartment with no satellite dish has access to the Internet.

We have fallen far into the miry bog, but our heavenly Father can deliver us as He did King David. Jews and Catholics need to choose religious life, supporting one another as friends and allies. The Vatican has engaged in international relations since the fourth century and currently exchanges diplomats with nearly countries everywhere in the world. Within its territory the pope has absolute legislative, executive and judicial power.

From to the papal states covered much of central Italy. By the Lateran Treaty provided that the Vatican would recognize the state of Italy with Rome as its capital while Italy in return would recognize papal sovereignty over Vatican City. Most Vatican City residents are priests and nuns, although there are also several hundred laymen in the secretarial, domestic, trade, and service occupations. Switzerland has the same status, for a similar reason.

The Vatican speaks of principles rather than persons because it seeks to remain neutral so that it can serve all nations.


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  • Today the extremists seek to disallow and disenfranchise the Catholic community and their ideas. Often it is the Catholic presence which reflects our traditional Jewish teaching on respect for life and family. I call upon the UN and her members to reject this censorship, reject the bigotry, and reject this hate of the Vatican and of the Jewish pro-life and family [traditions] it expresses. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. The Vatican and Israel are not the only states in the United Nations with a special religious identity.

    The U. Islam is the official religion, and all citizens must be Muslims. The Government prohibits the public practice of other religions. Private worship by non-Muslims is permitted. The Government bases its legitimacy on governance according to the precepts of a rigorously conservative form of Islam. Neither the Government nor society in general accepts the concept of separation of religion and state. Conversion by a Muslim to another religion is considered apostasy. During the Gulf War, U. Due to the absence of a constitution and the ongoing civil war, religious freedom is determined primarily by unofficial, unwritten, and evolving policies of the warring factions.

    Differences Between Orthodox and Catholics (Pencils & Prayer Ropes)

    In most parts of the country, the Pashtun-dominated ultra-conservative Islamic movement known as the Taliban vigorously enforced its interpretation of Islamic law. Islam is the official state religion. The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs monitors places of worship, appoints the clergy, approves the building and repair of all places of worship, and approves the publication of all religious literature. Some non-Islamic countries are also hostile to religious freedom.

    Leaders of unauthorized groups are often the targets of harassment, interrogations, detention, and physical abuse. Even England has an official religion. Israel too has suffered exclusion as a nation associated with a particular religion. It is also the only nation that belongs to no regional grouping; the Europeans, Asians, and Africans will not accept it as a partner.

    Iran was allowed to use its Lion and Sun. The Arab countries simply do not want Israel to be a full member. The restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council … But the Lord of Ages wisely and patiently follows out the plan of grace on our behalf, sinners that we are.

    Purification of Memory: A Study of Orthodox Theologians from a Catholic Perspective

    Ecumenism is coming together for combined strength on principles held in common by each faith. Jewish and Catholic teaching are both authentic revelations from God at different stages of salvation history, so they overlay one another exceptionally well. Identifying elements common to both faith traditions helps them to love one another. However, both Jewish and Catholic authorities are determined to avoid syncretism, which takes some from this religion and some from that. If Jews say God is one divine person while Catholics say three, syncretism might propose two.

    Syncretism will be rigorously excluded. The Church recognizes that ecumenism entails the risk that it will be unrequited or even ridiculed. Therefore, it is hoped that they will be carried out reciprocally, though at times prophetic gestures may call for a unilateral and absolutely gratuitous initiative. From both faith and long experience, the Church knows that her Shepherd will lead His flock to safe pasture. In the dialogue with cultures, one must, above all, keep in mind the complexity and plurality of the notions of repentance and forgiveness in the minds of those with whom we dialogue.

    Judaism is both a religious faith and a people with a distinctive culture. The first three Decalogue commandments teach us how to love God while the remaining seven teach us how to love one another. However, at the cultural level the situation is more complicated. Judaism does not have a counterpart to the Vicar of Christ, one man who can lead the whole people of faith. Some, such as Rabbi Neusner49 and Rabbi Klenicki,50 have been receptive. Others have been less so. This common effort is itself already a positive witness of docility to the truth.

    Over time, a generous outpouring of true and consistent charity embarrasses and isolates those who obstinately withhold charity. When it is proposed that Jews work together with Christians for common social and political objectives, the Jewish side often anticipates that its interests would be submerged. But it would not merely be survival by wits.

    Christian social principles, rightly understood, support the right of Jews to live as Jews.

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    Since Protestant Christianity, beyond a few well known principles, does not have a coherent social philosophy, we may turn to Catholic social teaching for a vision of Christian statecraft. Catholic Social Teaching [More recent: Catholic Social Teaching] Catholic social teaching is proclaimed primarily through letters from the pope that apply the eternal principles to a changing world. These rights are prior to society and must be recognized by it.

    The Church does not impose its will on government. We Are Called to Help the Poor The third great precept is that every human being has a right to economic initiative. The Church teaches that we are certainly to help those in need. We learn to love one another, and receive blessings from God for it, when we freely give our own resources to the poor.

    Purification of Memory – James Clarke & Co

    State redistribution, whether by collectivism, confiscatory taxation or allocation by race or ethnicity, forcibly takes from us the resources we might have offered charitably to others and often leaves us resenting the very persons that the Church ardently desires we love. The usual objection is that the total volume of gifts freely given would not be enough to cover the cost of sustaining the poor.

    From a Catholic perspective that is evidence that we all — Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Muslims, etc. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. The Family is the Sanctuary of Life The fourth great precept is that the family, not the individual, is the basic unit of society. The Church emphasizes that family means a man and woman wed in holy matrimony and raising children. John Paul II explained,. Here we mean the family founded in marriage, in which the mutual gift of self by husband and wife creates an environment in which children can be born, develop their potentialities, become aware of their dignity and prepare to face their unique and individual destiny … It is necessary to go back to seeing the family as the sanctuary of life.

    The family is indeed sacred: it is the place in which life — the gift of God — can be properly welcomed and protected against the many attacks to which it is exposed, and can develop in accordance with what constitutes authentic human growth. Catholic insistence on absolute truth is precisely what would protect Jews in a land governed by Catholic principles.

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