Recent ecclesial events over the last few years compel us to pay close attention to what St. Paul tells us in the Epistle of today's Mass. "The promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring," he says (Galatians 3:16), and he indicates that "offspring" refers to Jesus Christ. The Sinai Covenant and the giving of the Law through Moses four hundred and thirty years later do not annul the Covenant promises made to Abraham. The purpose of the Law, Paul explains, was to bring to light the reality of sin, but it had no power of itself to take away sin or to give grace. He concludes, "For if a law had been given that could give life, justice would truly be from the Law. But the Scripture shut up all things under sin, that by the faith of Jesus Christ the promise might be given to those who believe" (Galatians 3:21-22).
In the Gospels themselves, which were written under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost and cannot contain error, Jesus is revealed as the Messiah, the "offspring" of Abraham Who inherits the promises. "These (things) are written," says St. John, "that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name" (John 20:31).
Based on the teachings of St. Paul and the other Apostles, who received their instruction from Jesus Himself, and from His Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church has always taught that in order to be saved one must have faith in Jesus Christ and be baptized in the name of the Blessed Trinity - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. According to the Church's teaching this applies to all men, and there are no exceptions. The Church established by Jesus Christ is to preach the Gospel of salvation to all men, so that they might believe and be baptized. "Go into the whole world," said Jesus to the Apostles, "and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized shall be saved, but he who does not believe shall be condemned" (Mark 16:15,16). The Sinai Covenant is no longer necessary or valid, since Jesus Christ established the New Covenant in His Blood poured out upon the Cross.
In Hebrews we read of Christ: "And this is why he is mediator of a new covenant, that whereas a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the former covenant, they who have been called may receive eternal inheritance according to the promise" (Hebrews 9:15). We read further: "…and then saying, 'Behold, I come to do Thy will, O God,' He annuls the first covenant in order to establish the second" (Hebrews 10:9).
That there is, and can be, only one valid Covenant, that which Jesus Christ established and sealed by His Precious Blood, is Catholic doctrine, taught by the Apostles and Fathers of the Church, and solemnly defined by Popes and Councils. There is no escaping it. This is the "faith of our fathers," for which we would willingly give our lives.
It is with profound sadness, therefore, that the document jointly released by the American Bishops, and the National Council of Synagogues, entitled Reflections on Covenant and Mission, dealing with the new teaching of the Catholic Church concerning the Jews has only muddied the divine truths.
Reporting on the document a few years ago, the Boston Globe stated: "Citing teachings dating back to the Second Vatican Council, and statements by Pope John Paul II throughout his papacy, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops declared unequivocally that the biblical covenant between Jews and God is valid and therefore Jews do not need to be saved through faith in Jesus" (8/13/2002).
Notice that the teachings are said to date back only to Vatican II and the statements of John Paul II. Says the Boston Globe: "Catholic teaching began to shift dramatically in the early 1960s." It seems all the more clear as we look back that the downhill slide towards apostasy began with the usurpation of the papacy in 1958 by Angelo Roncalli, known as John XXIII, and the council which he convoked, known as Vatican II. "By their fruits you will know them," said Jesus (Matthew 7:16). We are now tasting the fruits of Vatican II, sweet to the taste perhaps, but bitter in the stomach, indigestible (Apocalypse 10:9). The Bishops' document traces its ancestry back to the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate, which deals with the Church's relationship with non-Christian religions, although a recent Vatican document makes the recognition of the validity of the Jewish Covenant official "church" teaching. What we are faced with is a completely new doctrine not found in Scripture or Tradition.
The altering of Catholic doctrine is ascribed by the Bishops to the gifts of the Holy Spirit: "The gifts brought by the Holy Spirit to the Church through the Second Vatican Council's declaration Nostra Aetate continue to unfold… The post-Nostra Aetate Catholic recognition of the permanence of the Jewish people's covenant relationship to God has led to a new positive regard for the post-biblical or rabbinic Jewish tradition that is unprecedented in Christian history." The conclusion drawn is that "Rabbinic Judaism, which developed after the destruction of the Temple must… be 'of God.'" Jesus would say, "If God were your Father you would surely love Me. For from God I came forth…" (John 8:42).
The document also stated: "A deepening Catholic appreciation of the eternal covenant between God and the Jewish people, together with a recognition of a divinely-given mission to Jews to witness to God's faithful love, lead to the conclusion that campaigns that target Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church."
The document, Reflections on Covenant and Mission, was a cruel blow against the faith of American Catholics. Already shaken and saddened by scandals and burdened with the "reforms" of Vatican II, as we can now so readily see the faithful are now being asked to deny, as the U.S. Bishops have done in this document, that Jesus Christ is the unique Savior of the world, the only way to the Father, the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:5).
We can see from past reports that Mel Gibson's benchmark film "The Passion" took the brunt of the attack by these very revisionists who have introduced new doctrine into the Church. In alliance with the Zionists who, in truth, bear no true link to the Jews of Christ's time, the U.S. Bishops waited and watched the progress with a skeptical eye. They were afraid of two things: First, of offending their Zionist brethren for that would greatly harm the ecumenical course John Paul II so stubbornly barged onward on, and secondly, and most importantly, Gibson's film and Gibson himself were a threat to the Novus Ordo establishment and the false teachings introduced since Vatican II. By placing the truths of the holy Scriptures accounting for the Passion and Death of Christ, Gibson was exposing the charade of ecumenism and the false prophets which St. Paul warned against and declared "anathema" (Galatians 1: 8-10).
Perhaps sometime in the future the nebulous 'Covenant' document and the fruits of Mel's movie may prove to be a watershed, separating the faithful from this new Judeo-Catholic "church" to become part of the faithful remnant, to realize the unchanging veracity of the words of the Apostles' and Nicene Creed. We may still dare to hope that some of the Bishops will have the courage to speak out and denounce this heresy. But being Vatican II bishops without legitimate jurisdiction, and therefore lacking the grace of office, this might be too much to expect. May God soon send us our St. Athanasius or our St. John Fisher.