“He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (Jn 1:11)…
Jewish Hanukkah celebrated at the Vatican
Nothing says ‘witnessing to Christ and the Gospel’ quite like celebrating the religion that officially denies Him, right on Vatican property!
On Dec. 12, 2017, a menorah was lit behind Vatican walls in a Jewish ceremony led by Oren David, who is Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See. A number of official Vatican representatives participated in a rite of prayers, hymns, and candle-lighting. As Vatican Insider reports:
Last week’s [interreligious] Vatican meetings concluded with a happy, inclusive moment of a celebration of Hannukah [sic]. This special ceremony sealed two days of fruitful meetings. Within the library of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews on Via della Conciliazione 5, Israel’s present Ambassador to the Holy See, Oren David, led a Hannukah candle-lighting ceremony with prayers, songs, and a table of excellent kosher refreshments that were enjoyed by the delegates and guests of the Vatican, the Jewish community, and the Israeli Embassy. Cardinal Kurt Koch and Father Norbert Hofmann (affectionately nicknamed “the rabbi of the Vatican” [!]), plus Pontifical University officials, Catholic scholars, Vatican journalists and friends of “the Dialogue”, mingled with Italian and Rome Jewish Community representatives and the IJCIC [International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations] delegates.
(Lisa Palmieri-Billig, “Jewish-Catholic Celebration of Hannukah inside Vatican Walls”, Vatican Insider, Dec. 20, 2017)
The feast of Hanukkah commemorates and celebrates the dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, so some readers may wonder: But how could this be a bad thing? Is the feast not mentioned in Scripture (see 1 Mach 4:36-59), and didn’t our Lord Himself celebrate it (see Jn 10:22-23)?
To answer this question properly, we must draw a few distinctions.
First, we must distinguish the Judaism of the Old Testament — which was the true religion at the time (see Jn 4:22) — from the so-called Judaism of our day, which is an apostate religion that has its true origin in Annas and Caiaphas’s definitive rejection of Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah (see Mt 26:63-66). This apostate Judaism (a.k.a. Talmudic Judaism) is not the legitimate heir of the religion of the Old Covenant: “If you be the children of Abraham, do the works of Abraham. But now you seek to kill me, a man who have spoken the truth to you, which I have heard of God. This Abraham did not….He that is of God, heareth the words of God. Therefore you hear them not, because you are not of God” (Jn 8:39-40,47; cf. Rom 10-11; Gal 4).
Pope Pius XI reiterated the true Catholic teaching in 1928 when he suppressed the Amici Israel association, which had begun to deny Catholic doctrine on Judaism:
…the Catholic Church has always been accustomed to pray for the Jewish people, who were the depository of divine promises up until [!] the arrival of Jesus Christ, notwithstanding their subsequent blindness, or rather, because of this very blindness. Moved by that charity, the Apostolic See has protected the same people from unjust ill-treatment, and just as it censures all hatred and enmity among people, so it altogether condemns in the highest degree possible hatred against the people once chosen by God, viz., the hatred that now is what is usually meant in common parlance by the term known generally as “anti-Semitism.”
(Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, Decree Cum Supremae; underlining added.)
Today’s Judaism, far from being the religion of the Old Covenant (which was fulfilled in Christ and His Church), is simply “the synagogue of Satan”, inhabited by those “who say they are Jews, and are not” (Apoc 3:9).
A second distinction that needs to be drawn is that of celebrating the Feast of the Dedication when the Old Covenant was in force, and that of celebrating it today, when the Old Covenant has long been superseded by the New Covenant, which was made by the Son of God to perfect and fulfill the Old: “Now in saying a new, he hath made the former old. And that which decayeth and groweth old, is near its end” (Heb 8:13); “…he taketh away the first, that he may establish that which followeth” (Heb 10:9).
Here is what the Council of Florence taught on this matter:
[This council] firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the law of the Old Testament, of the Mosiac law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; and that whoever, even after the passion, placed hope in these matters of the law and submitted himself to them as necessary for salvation, as if faith in Christ could not save without them, sinned mortally. Yet it does not deny that after the passion of Christ up to the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been observed until they were believed to be in no way necessary for salvation; but after the promulgation of the Gospel it asserts that they cannot be observed without the loss of eternal salvation. All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors.
(Council of Florence, Decree Cantate Domino; Denz. 712; underlining added.)
Likewise, Pope Pius XII laid out quite beautifully the Catholic teaching on the relationship between the Old and the New Covenants in his encyclical on the Church, and it is worth quoting at length:
That [Christ] completed His work on the gibbet of the Cross is the unanimous teaching of the holy Fathers who assert that the Church was born from the side of our Savior on the Cross like a new Eve, mother of all the living. “And it is now,” says the great St. Ambrose, speaking of the pierced side of Christ, “that it is built, it is now that it is formed, it is now that is …. molded, it is now that it is created . . . Now it is that arises a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.” One who reverently examines this venerable teaching will easily discover the reasons on which it is based.
And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area — He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the house of Israel [see Mt 15:24] — the Law and the Gospel were together in force; but on the gibbet of his death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees, fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race. “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.”
On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head in His Church. “For it was through His triumph on the Cross,” according to the teaching of the Angelic and Common Doctor, “that He won power and dominion over the gentiles”; by that same victory He increased the immense treasure of graces, which, as He reigns in glory in heaven, He lavishes continually on His mortal members it was by His blood shed on the Cross that God’s anger was averted and that all the heavenly gifts, especially the spiritual graces of the New and Eternal Testament, could then flow from the fountains of our Savior for the salvation of men, of the faithful above all; it was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical Body; for they would not have been united to this Mystical Body through the waters of Baptism except by the salutary virtue of the Cross, by which they had been already brought under the complete sway of Christ.
But if our Savior, by His death, became, in the full and complete sense of the word, the Head of the Church, it was likewise through His blood that the Church was enriched with the fullest communication of the Holy Spirit, through which, from the time when the Son of man was lifted up and glorified on the Cross by His sufferings, she is divinely illumined. For then, as Augustine notes, with the rending of the veil of the temple it happened that the dew of the Paraclete’s gifts, which heretofore had descended only on the fleece, that is on the people of Israel, fell copiously and abundantly (while the fleece remained dry and deserted) on the whole earth, that is on the Catholic Church, which is confined by no boundaries of race or territory. Just as at the first moment of the Incarnation the Son of the Eternal Father adorned with the fullness of the Holy Spirit the human nature which was substantially united to Him, that it might be a fitting instrument of the Divinity in the sanguinary work of the Redemption, so at the hour of His precious death He willed that His Church should be enriched with the abundant gifts of the Paraclete in order that in dispensing the divine fruits of the Redemption she might be, for the Incarnate Word, a powerful instrument that would never fail. For both the juridical mission of the Church, and the power to teach, govern and administer the Sacraments, derive their supernatural efficacy and force of the building up of the body of Christ from the fact that Jesus Christ, hanging on the Cross, opened up to His Church the fountain of those divine gifts, which prevent her from ever teaching false doctrine and enable her to rule them for the salvation of their souls through divinely enlightened pastors and to bestow on them an abundance of heavenly graces.
If we consider closely all these mysteries of the Cross, those words of the Apostle are no longer obscure, in which he teaches the Ephesians that Christ by His blood made the Jews and Gentiles one “breaking down the middle wall of partition . . . in his flesh” by which the two peoples were divided; and that He made the Old Law void “that he might make the two in himself into one new man,” that is, the Church, and might reconcile both to God in one Body by the Cross.
(Pope Pius XII, Encyclical Mystici Corporis, nn. 28-32; underlining added.)
These dogmatic truths are naturally reflected in Catholic moral theology, which forbids the keeping of the Old Testament ceremonies and practices under pain of mortal sin against the First Commandment — the sin of false worship. Under a chapter heading of “On Superstition” and a section subtitle of “Wrong Ways of Worshipping God”, the Jesuit moral theologian Fr. Thomas Slater writes:
God may be wrongly worshipped either by false worship or by superfluous worship being paid him. … The ceremonies and practices of the Jewish religion signified that the Messiah was to come, and so now, after the coming of our Lord, they could not be employed without superstition [=false worship]. Inasmuch as falsehood in religion is a grave injury to God, this species of superstition is mortally sinful.
(Fr. Thomas Slater, S.J., A Manual of Moral Theology, vol. 1, 5th ed. [London: Burns Oates & Washbourne, 1925], p. 140; underlining added.)
Thus it is clear that one is not permitted to still observe the Old Covenant rites or practices today, under pain of mortal sin. The Old Covenant was but meant to foreshadow and point to the greater reality, and because that reality has since been revealed, it is now gravely sinful to turn back again — as though one would prefer the shadow to the reality of which it is but the sign. It would be akin to abandoning Christ in order to follow St. John the Baptist — an absurd mockery of God (cf. Jn 3:30).
For more information about the Vatican celebration of Hanukkah, including lots of photos, please see the following link:
“Pope” Benedict XVI in a Jewish synagogue in Cologne, Germany (Aug. 19, 2005)
“Cardinal” Joseph Ratzinger lights a menorah during
John Paul II’s “Day of Pardon” (Mar. 12, 2000)
Rabbi Marvin Hier rewards “Pope” John Paul II with a menorah
for his support of apostate Judaism (Dec. 1, 2003)
The truth is that this is not a Francis issue, it’s a Vatican II issue. Esteem for false religions, especially that of apostate Talmudic Judaism, is one of the chief characteristics of the Vatican II Church. At the same time, it cannot be denied that the Novus Ordo Sect has probably never had a greater cheerleader for the professed enemies of Christ than Jorge Bergoglio, “Pope” Francis.
Consider, for example, Bergoglio’s kosher lunch for a Jewish delegation at the Vatican; his promotion of the idea that today’s Talmudists are God’s “Chosen People”; the anti-Catholic, pro-Jewish document released by his Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews; his scandalous hiding of his pectoral cross in the presence of the Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem; the Vatican exhibit of Jewish menorahs under his watch; his celebration of Hanukkah in Buenos Aires; his being included in a list of America’s most important Jews (!) in 2013; and so forth, ad nauseam.
Against this background, two warnings of St. John the Evangelist immediately come to mind: “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father…” (1 Jn 2:23) because “…every spirit that dissolveth Jesus, is not of God: and this is Antichrist, of whom you have heard that he cometh, and he is now already in the world” (1 Jn 4:3).
Notice, by the way, that the Novus Ordo Sect carries out its interreligious activities with Judaism under the umbrella of ecumenism, not of interreligious dialogue. That is why one of the official Vatican representatives at this event was “Cardinal” Kurt Koch of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity — and not “Cardinal” Jean-Louis Tauran of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
The so-called Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU) states this explicitly on its profile page on the Vatican web site: “On 22 October 1974, Pope Paul VI established a Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews as an office distinct from but closely linked with the PCPCU” (source). A Dec. 1, 1974 document of this commission explains that its body was set up “joined to the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity” so as to “encourage and foster religious relations between Jews and Catholics – and to do so eventually in collaboration with other Christians…” (source).
Himself a convert from Judaism, St. Paul the Apostle warned the Gentiles not to become arrogant regarding their inclusion in God’s Eternal Covenant, since just as the Jews had once been included but then rejected because of their unbelief, so too would the Gentiles be cast off if they failed to persevere:
Thou wilt say then: The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well: because of unbelief they were broken off. But thou standest by faith: be not highminded, but fear. For if God hath not spared the natural branches, fear lest perhaps he also spare not thee. See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
Alas, we have come full circle. Just as our Blessed Lord was once spurned by His own (see Jn 5:37-40), so it is once again today: He is rejected by those who (falsely) claim to be His legitimate representatives and ambassadors (cf. 2 Cor 5:20), those who have the duty of witnessing to Him: “He came unto his own, and his own received him not” (Jn 1:11). What more evidence is needed to demonstrate that the Novus Ordo Sect is not the Roman Catholic Church of Pope Pius XII and his predecessors but rather an apostate religion that mocks and denies Jesus Christ?
“Cardinal” Koch and his friends are busy lighting candles commemorating something that has long been fulfilled in the Eternal Covenant sealed with the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ, who is “the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world” (Jn 1:9). By doing so, the Vatican apostates are denying the very Lord who bought them: “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there shall be among you lying teachers, who shall bring in sects of perdition, and deny the Lord who bought them: bringing upon themselves swift destruction” (2 Peter 2:1).
By the way, can you imagine the Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem throwing a Christmas party?