Says we should “honor one another’s religions”…

Novus Ordo Bishop celebrates Interfaith Hanukkah with Jews and Protestants

Michael James Sis (b. 1960) is the Novus Ordo bishop of the so-called Roman Catholic diocese of San Angelo, Texas. He was appointed to his putative office by the Argentinian apostate Jorge Bergoglio (‘Pope Francis’) in 2013.

This past Wednesday, Dec. 13, ‘Bishop’ Sis spoke at an interreligious Hanukkah celebration that he himself had helped put together. The event was included in the pseudo-bishop’s online calendar as “Interreligious Hanukkah service” to be held at Heritage Hall of the local First Methodist Church.

“Present at the celebration were more than 75 people, including Jews, Catholics, Methodists Baptists, Church of Christ members, and non-denominational believers, Sis said. The celebration was held in the hall of a Methodist church in the heart of downtown San Angelo”, writes John Lavenburg in the only article on the event so far:

The Diocese of San Angelo had advertised this blasphemous syncretistic spectacle on its web site as follows:

Bishop Sis to join faith leaders in Hanukkah celebration and menorah lighting

December 7, 2023

Bishop Michael J. Sis of the Diocese of San Angelo will speak at an interfaith Hanukkah celebration at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 13, at the Heritage Hall of First Methodist Church in San Angelo, located across the street from Sacred Heart Cathedral at 37 E. Beauregard Ave.

The celebration will include remarks from Pastor Scott Bradford of First Methodist Church, Bishop Michael J. Sis of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Angelo, and Ami Mizell-Flint, President of Congregation Beth Israel. Gathered faith leaders from the community will also participate in a menorah lighting ceremony at the conclusion of this interfaith celebration.


Along with the text, the diocese also published the following blasphemous interreligious image that clearly suggests it doesn’t matter what religion you are — they are all more or less the same or at least equally valid and deserving of respect:

The same text and interfaith image were also posted on the diocesan Facebook page.

The interreligious-ecumenical encounter had been advertised beforehand also on television. The following clip is from a local TV channel, and it includes a few seconds of ‘Bishop’ Sis justifying his participation in it:

Given Sis’ comments, it is clear that the Neo-Modernists are now long past the stage of honoring others who happen to practice a false religion. This was always just to get the foot in the door to prepare the way for what they are saying now: that we must honor not simply the person unhappily caught up in another religion but the false religion itself.

But, as the 19th-century Catholic priest Fr. Michael Müller wrote: “It is impious to say, ‘I respect every religion.’ This is as much as to say: I respect the devil as much as God, vice as much as virtue, falsehood as much as truth, dishonesty as much as honesty, Hell as much as Heaven” (The Church and Her Enemies [New York, NY: Benziger Brothers, 1880], p. 287). This is a perennial truth founded on reason and divine revelation. It does not and cannot change with the times.

Pope Leo XIII made this same point in one of his encyclical letters against Freemasonry, issued in 1892:

Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to Masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God.

(Pope Leo XIII, Encyclical Custodi di Quella Fede, n. 15; underlining added.)

Active participation in the religious ceremony of a false religion is intrinsically evil and may therefore never be done: not to save one’s life, not to help the poor, not even to save souls from hell or to convert the entire world to Christ. Oh yeah, and not to demonstrate solidarity with members of another religion or counteract antisemitism either.

Why We Cannot Celebrate Hanukkah Today

Since the feast of Hanukkah commemorates and celebrates the dedication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, some readers may wonder: 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). These apostate Jews, St. Paul relates, “have persecuted us, and please not God, and are adversaries to all men; prohibiting us to speak to the Gentiles, that they may be saved, to fill up their sins always: for the wrath of God is come upon them to the end” (1 Thess 2:15-16).

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 the 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 DominoDenz. 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 observe the Old Covenant rites or practices today — under pain of mortal sin.

The Old Covenant was but meant to point to and foreshadow the greater reality, and because that reality has since been revealed and come to pass, 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 an absurd mockery of God, akin to preferring the Old Testament manna to the true Body and Blood of our Savior (cf. Jn 6:59; Mk 14:22), or abandoning Christ in order to follow St. John the Baptist (cf. Mt 3:11; Jn 3:30).

Hanukkah in the Vatican II Sect

Alas, celebrating the Talmudic-Jewish Hanukkah is not even an uncommon thing in the Vatican II Church. San Angelo’s neighboring archdiocese of San Antonio, for example, just did the same thing, and of course we remember Hanukkah being celebrated with the Talmudic Jews also at the Vatican, in 2017.

Francis himself is notorious for his endorsement of the Talmudic-Jewish religion, both as ‘Pope’ in Rome and in his time as ‘Cardinal-Archbishop’ of Buenos Aires. Just last year, Francis allowed the World Jewish Congress to have an office in Vatican City. A year prior, he had ‘Cardinal’ Kurt Koch reassure Jewish rabbis that observance of the Mosaic Law is the “way of salvation for Jews”, as if Christ were not their Messiah also. Multiple times in the past Bergoglio has said that his favorite painting is White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall, which contains a blasphemous curse of Jesus Christ. He has hosted a kosher lunch for a Jewish delegation at the Vatican, has promoted the idea that today’s Talmudists are God’s ‘Chosen People’, has allowed an anti-Catholic, pro-Jewish document to be released by his Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews; and a Vatican exhibit of Jewish menorahs also took place under his watch. His own celebration of Hanukkah as ‘Archbishop’ of Buenos Aires thus fails to surprise.

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).

It is important to understand, however, that this sort of ecumenical-interreligious practice is ultimately a Vatican II thing, going back to the 1960s. Esteem for false religions, especially that of apostate Talmudic Judaism, is one of the chief characteristics of the Vatican II Sect. At the same time, this counterfeit church has probably never had a greater cheerleader for the professed enemies of Christ than Jorge Bergoglio, ‘Pope Francis’.

Catholics celebrate Christmas, not Hanukkah. In the Nativity of the Divine Infant at Bethlehem we celebrate Him who is “the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world” (Jn 1:9).

The mission of Catholics is not to light candles with unbelievers. It is to share the light of Christ with the world, especially the Jews, so that they too can be saved and enjoy everlasting Beatitude in Heaven, seeing the God who created, redeemed, and sanctified them face to face for all eternity.

Image source: composite with elements from YouTube (screenshot) and 
License: fair use

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