Home | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising | El Centinela
Catholic Sentinel | Portland, OR Tuesday, February 9, 2016
CYO Football 2015 2015 Priest Reassignments, Archdiocese of Portland Cardinal Francis George dies Mothering with faith Sisters of the Holy Names, 2015 Live Nativity at St. John the Baptist 2014 Fall CYO results Catholic Charities Donor Lunch 2014 Year of Consecrated Life opening Mass Holy Spirit Sisters Jubilee 2014 Seaside youth conference Mount Angel 125th Northwest Hub Furlow at papal Mass 2014 Rosary Bowl NW Brother André 2014 Fall 40 Days for Life 2014 Inauguration of Fr. Mark Poorman Coffee shop at abbey First day of school, 2014 Regis High School 50th anniversary 2014 Crooked Finger Pilgrimage Mass with migrant farm workers Maronite Ordination Consecration to "Immaculate Heart of Our Lady of Fatima" CYO track Southern Oregon Evangelization 2014 Priest Ordination Christ the King youth 2014 priest reassignments Our Lady of Lavang Confirmation, 2014 Memorial Day 2014 2014 Transitional deacon ordination Padre Foster Granados visits Albany Bishop Smith ordination Canonization of Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII Bishop Peter Smith 2014 Easter Vigil 2014 Walk of Cross 2014 Chrism Mass CYO basketball 2014 St. Patrick of the Forest 150th Catholic Charities Celebration of Hope, 2014 Boys2Men Archbishop visits Oregon State Penitentiary 40 Day Vigil for Life, 2014 Pope Francis creates new cardinals St. Henry shelter 2014 CYO swimming Funeral of Fr. George Wolf Travel on a budget Lunar New Year, 2014 Tech in Catholic schools 2014 Right to Life Rally Archbishop visits Santiam Prison First Mass in Oregon Milwaukie Posada St. Francis, Sherwood, Toy Drive Central Catholic football Typhoon Haiyan Deacon Ordination/ Kresbach, Schmitt A Catholic fisherman St. Cecilia Centennial Southern Oregon Welcome Mass Shepherd of the Valley, Central Point, dedication Grotto Anniversary 2013 Champions of Faith Dinner Gardenripe farms Coleman hop farm Corvallis Year of Faith Archbishop Howard at St. Rose Hitchhiking priests Franciscan Spiritual Center Sacred Heart, Medford Migrant Mass Tanzanians' jubilee World Youth Day 2013 2013 Blessing of the Animals 2013 Freedom Mass Albany school closure Fabric art Megan graduates from Catholic school St. Vincent de Paul Hillsboro 2013 Deacon ordination Sister Theresa Lamkin St. Helen Mission, Brownsville Marist Brainiacs St. Mary, Eugene St. Francis eighth graders Ascension confirmation 2013 Pastoral Ministry Conference St. Joseph Salem — Year of Faith Archbishop Sample's Installation Mass 2013 Archbishop Sample Chrism Mass 2013 2013 Young Catholics Pope Francis inauguration Celebration of Hope Vlazny Farewell Mass Archbishop Vlazny Farewell St. Paul Church in St. Paul Valley Catholic Green Building Rite of Election 2013 Water summit 2013 Lunar New Year Alveda King in Eugene New Monsignors, 2013 2013 Right to Life Rally MLK Mass, 2013 St. Henry, Gresham, Centennial Jesuit High drama School uniforms Friar in the mall Holy Trinity food ministry January Book Covers St. Andre Bessette food Year of Faith Mass Nestucca Sanctuary Hillsboro Choirs Father Betschart installation Salem Religious Freedom Rally Year of Faith Vespers, Awards Roy's Catholic School Adelante Mujeres 10th anniversary New Blanchet House Missionaries of Holy Spirit Priest, religious photos Providence Nursing Schools Pioneros Fortnight for Freedom Mark Bentz Deacon Ordination OLL School Walk Through Gaga over science St. Philip Neri Centennial Ordination of Bishop Cary SVDP, Grants Pass Holy Cross School centennial Confirmation - Mount Angel Holy Land Pilgrimage Blanchet Watershed Chrism Mass, 2012 Bishop-designate Cary Pope in Cuba, 2012 SSMO 125th Jubilee Mass Pope Benedict in Mexico 2012 Catholic Charities Celebration 2012 Madeleine Mardi Gras Centennial Rally for Life, 2012 Martin Luther King Jr. Mass 2012 Day Laborers-Guadalupe Guadalupe 2011 Christ the King, Milwaukie, 50th Sesame Doughnuts Central Catholic Volleyball St. Peter Centennial Deacon Ordination, October 2011 St. Agatha Centennial Rosary Bowl 2011 St. Wenceslaus, Scappoose, Centennial Filipino celebration Polish Festival 2011 Holy War Football 2011 World Youth Day 2011 Sun Gold Farm Our Lady of Victory's New Church Freedom Mass 2011 St. Mary Church Steeple Removal Priest reassignments, 2011 Old Catholic Buildings Paige Rice, St. Mary's runner Graduation 2011 Easter vigils 2011 Pastoral Ministry Conference Basketball Holy War 2011 Search for Peace 2011

Mt Angel Towers 8.13

Home : Arts : Arts and Entertainment News
11/1/2012 12:54:00 PM
Teachings on Judaism traced from grim past to Vatican II
This is the cover of
This is the cover of "From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-65" by John Connelly.
Catholic News Service

As the Catholic Church marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council, many are now revisiting and studying its proceedings over the years 1962-1965. The council and its 16 resulting documents addressed relations between the Catholic Church and the world.

The shortest of these by far, with a text of only about 1,600 words in English, was the Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions ("Nostra Aetate"). I suggest this small document as an illuminating entry point to John Connelly's timely and important book, "From Enemy to Brother."

This succinct document affirms the importance of "discussion and collaboration with members of other religions." Particular emphasis is given to encouraging and furthering "mutual understanding and appreciation" in relations between Christians and Jews as they share "a common spiritual heritage."

The council and this document, and their clarion call to unity and charity across peoples and nations, is where Connelly's book ends; the book begins at a grim point in history when many in the church and the world violently delineated common heritages of religion, race and nationality.

Connelly, a historian of Central and East-Central Europe and professor of history at the University of California at Berkeley, traces the complicated progression from the church's long anti-Semitism and persecution of Jewish people to its recognition of Jews as brothers and sisters created in God's image.

Investigating the progression of political, social and religious events, scientific, scriptural and theological research, and individual relationships across countries and traditions of faith, Connelly presents a dense story, noting in his introduction: "Rather than force linear elegance upon a crooked historical path, the narrative that follows occasionally pauses to wonder about ideas that led nowhere or roads that were not taken."

The first chapters provide the background for the hatred and suspicion in pre- and interwar Europe. Understandings of race, identity and the natural order were given different emphases in different places in these years, according to Connelly. "Catholicism can vary significantly across boundaries, and some national variants proved more open to racism than others."

And while he notes that church leaders proceeded with caution when the science of the times upheld "race" as a biological reality, the German cultural climate and its mixing of science with theology was not without its influence on the church. One avowedly anti-Nazi Catholic preacher could still declare that "baptism was powerless to cure Jews of moral defects that they carried in their genes."

The book's middle chapters introduce the politically active Catholics outside of the Vatican, and living outside of Germany. A thread throughout the narrative is the role played by a small group of Catholic converts, most of whom were born Jewish. Connelly provides the history showing that "virtually every figure of note in the Catholic battle against anti-Semitism was a convert."

Their study of the Christian tradition and of modern science provided the materials that refocused intellectual and theological debates across international and ecclesial circles. They fought to uphold a new vision of understanding and reconciliation between Catholics and Jews, and of cooperation with Protestants and Jews. They practiced "de facto ecumenism, an extraordinary phenomenon on the European continent of that time. ... But because these Catholics were converts it was difficult to tell them to shun contacts with the outside. The outside, after all, was their homeland."

These converts, "border-crossers" as Connelly calls them, were still considered alien in the Catholic Church since they were considered racially Jewish. These encounters with racist Christianity in Germany prompted their work to "convert their new Christian world to a true lost faith; to move discussions about race and anti-Semitism beyond stale, self-contradictory patterns; to return to original texts and bring the fold back to original understandings."

How the church is brought back to "original understandings" is the material of the book's last chapters, as the groundwork for Vatican II is laid, the church's relation to the Jews is reframed, and the painstaking crafting of "Nostra Aetate" is accomplished. "By answering the question 'Who are the Jews?' the Catholic Church had found its way across previously insurmountable boundaries to tolerance, to recognizing that God extends grace to all humans."

"From Enemy to Brother" is an exceptional resource, deeply thoughtful, carefully written and extensively documented. Making one's way through the 300 pages of text, with another 60 pages of endnotes, is a worthy project.

This nuanced and extraordinary new entry into Catholicism's past might serve to strengthen the orientation of its future, and bolster an unwavering commitment to this statement from "Nostra Aetate": "Therefore, the church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against people or any harassment of them on the basis of their race, color, condition in life or religion."

Advanced Search

Mary Jo Tully ~ The Path to Resurrection

News | Viewpoints | Faith & Spirituality | Parish and School Life | Entertainment | Obituaries | Find Churches and Schools | About Us | Subscriptions | Advertising
E-Newsletter | RSS Feeds

© 2016 Catholic Sentinel, a service of Oregon Catholic Press

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved