Monday, January 14, 2013

A Question for John Vennari

The SSPX English-language website,, has recently done some backpedaling and published an essay by John Vennari titled, "Judaism and the Church: Before and After Vatican II." There is much that could be commented on in the article and its context, but for now we focus on one point in particular.

Mr. Vennari draws our attention to the pioneer of post-'Holocaust' subversion of Christendom, Jules Isaac and his attack on the Gospel and Church Fathers:

We cannot too quickly wilt before the charge of “anti-semitism” or “anti-Judaism” until we know exactly how these potboiler terms are defined. Keep in mind this same ADL, in line with Jewish historian Jules Isaac, consider St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Chrysostom, the Saints, Popes and Fathers of the Church, and the Holy Gospel writers themselves as “anti-Semitic”.
Mr. Vennari elaborates in a footnote:

The term “teaching of contempt” was actually coined by Professor Jules Isaac (1877-1963) the “French-Jewish historian” revered by Jews the world over. In his many writings, Isaac waged war against the Holy Gospels as the “true source” of anti- Semitism. According to Isaac: “the permanent and latent source of anti-Semitism is none other than Christian religious teaching of every description and the traditional tendentious interpretations of Scripture.” Since Jules Isaac rejected Jesus Christ as Messiah, he necessarily rejected the New Testament as the inspired, infallible Word of God. To him, the Gospels are fallible human writings that can be critiqued, corrected, or condemned. He is particularly virulent against the Gospel of Matthew: “It is a veritable competition as to who can make the Jews appear most hateful. Richly chequered and pathetic as is the narrator of the fourth Gospel (St. John), the palm goes to Matthew; his unerring hand unleashed the poisoned arrow that can never be withdrawn.” Jules Isaac: Jesus et Israel, p, 571. Quoted in Judaism and the Vatican, Vicomte Leon de Poncis, (first printed 1967, reprinted by Christian Book Club of American, Palmdale, CA, 1999), p. 4
Now, Mr. Vennari recognizes that the ADL and Jules Isaac before him "consider St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Chrysostom, the Saints, Popes and Fathers of the Church, and the Holy Gospel writers themselves as 'anti-Semitic;” that Jules Isaac "waged war against the Holy Gospels as the 'true source' of anti- Semitism."

I'd like to know Mr. Vennari's thoughts on Malachi Martin's virulent attacks against  St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Chrysostom, the Saints, Popes and Fathers of the Church, and the Holy Gospel writers themselves. I'd be interested to know where Mr. Vennari stands on Malachi Martin's collusion with Rabbi Abraham Heschel and the American Jewish Committee to publish the book, The Pilgrim, which augments Jules Isaac's attack on the Church and Christendom.

I ask Mr. Venarri what distinction there is to be made between Jules Isaac's war against the Gospel and that of Malachi Martin if not that Martin is more brazen and despicable given that he was supposed to be a representative of the Church:

There is yet another tension which is ominous for Christianity because its roots not only go back to the very origins of Christianity, but involve the historical act of Jesus Christ by which Christianity came into being as a principle. The tension is that between Jew and Christian, the historical act is the sacrifice and death of Jesus himself. The manifestation of this tension on the part of Christians is generally called anti-semitism or Hebraeophobia ...

... if we listen to the chorus of the ages, we find a strangely consistent note of disapproval, sometimes of hate, and always of unmitigated condemnation for the Jew, as such, echoing down the corridors of time and blending with latter day sentiments which can be recognized as nothing else but rank anti-Semitism. And these ancient voices are not merely those of secular or freelance thinkers: they are no less than the Fathers of the Church, an Irenaeus, a Tertullian, a John Chrysostom, an Augustine, as well as Aquinas, modern theologians and ancient exegetes, an Origen, Grotius, a Müller.

Somehow or other, the stream of this perennial Christian bias grates on our modern ears, and yet there is hardly any Christian or Catholic who cannot, in spite of himself, hear some echo in his own sentiments. 
... It  is true that we can set down a list of statements by popes theologians, saints, writers, to show that the extremer forms of anti-Semitism ... are not admissable. But none ever asserted the religious rights of Judaism in itself, nor declared that Judaism was a valid moral outlook, nor has any theologian or theological school courageously re-examined the millennial attitude of Christians and Catholics to the Jews.
From the 6th century onwards, we find that anti-Semitism is an integral part of Christianity. And down to our own day, it has taken various forms. It may assume the form of an accepted radicalism with sociological overtones, in business, in social life, at the club, on the beach: one does not marry into Jewish circles or consort with Jews, for they are a different race with different customs and differing mentality. It may take the form of mere isolationism: the Jew is somebody apart, somebody irrevocably separate from the truth. Here there is an instant refusal to treat them like others, a blind feeling that this person, the Jew, is marked out by divine decision as untouchable. It may, though, take on a more mobile form: the Jews are to be reckoned with as active enemies of the Faith, and therefore they must be restricted, watched warily. It may, finally, go further and translate such feelings into action: the Jews must be expelled, must be warned, must be punished, must be dispossessed, must be liquidated.

In these extremest forms, we meet some phantasmagoric developments: the Protocols of Sion, The Nazi Final Solution, the massacres by their Catholic Majesties of Spain, the so-called Judeo-Communist world plot against Christianity, and the unholy alliance between the Grand Lodge and the Synagogue to subvert Christian principles. In whatever form or shade or colouring we meet this anti-Semitism, its peculiarly Christian characteristic is clear.
...  Between the burning and plundering of all Jewish synagogues in Mesopotamia in 388 A.D. on the order of the Bishop of Callinicum and the destruction and desecration of all synagogues under the recent Nazi regime, we cannot but see a relationship of origin. And no one conscious of what has made modern Europe can deny that the pyres and the crematoria, the mephitic smoke and stench of the extermination camps in Nazi Germany, were, if not the logical conclusion, at least one extremist consequence of the normal Christian attitude to the Jews. Here we see Christianity standing at the thin edge of self-destruction due to this admitted tension, moving to what Laurence Dobie has called aptly the anus mundi [i.e. anus of the world], the ultimate in excretion of the badness which Christianity never undertook to extirpate. (Malachi Martin aka. "Michael Serafian," The Pilgrim, pp.44-52)

The CV from Malachi Martin's other books confirms that he was the author of The Pilgrim


Anonymous said...

They need to keep back-pedaling and so get back to where they started from. And I too would like for John Vennari or someone over there to speak to the question you posed.

California Professor said...

I wonder if you should be raising the profile of a virtual non-entity like John Vennari. He’s a creature of Fr. Gruner, who long ago replaced the Israeli-Talmudic state with Christian Russia under nationalist hero Putin (who is despised by the NY Times, Wall St. Journal and the US Congress and government) -- as planet earth’s most sinister nation. Guys like Vennari have a tunnel vision that I don’t think will ever be penetrated, short of a divine miracle.

Malachi Martin, meanwhile, has influence only among the Vennari types and I say, who cares what they think?

Move beyond this little ghetto of theirs. Appeal to more attractive personalities and intellects than these calcified relics.

SFC Steven M Barry USA RET said...

Hoffman introduces a straw man, named Martin./ Nowhere in Vennari's article is Martin mentioned or even referenced./ Yet Hoffman attempts to demolish Vennari by injecting the irrelevant Martin and then knocking down the Martin straw man./ I believe Hoffman learned his trade in AP./ Hoffman goes to great lengths to appeal to Catholics./ One must to wonder why./

Anonymous said...

to California Professor: U.S. foreign policy is nearly insane.And we know the main reason don't we.Yes I meant to use a PERIOD. And regarding did you say these old relics?Oh yes,calcified relics.Obviously the problem is that these CR's have had a devastating and ongoing effect upon the Church.In earthly terms that is.

Dutch Boy said...

It is Malachi Martin who is the nonentity. Mr. Vennari should be congratulated for reminding us of the perennial doctrine of the Church regarding Jews and Judaism.

Maurice Pinay said...

SFC Steven M Barry USA RET, why do you suppose there is a Hoffman involved in this writing when that is not the case?

In regards to your other confusion, we can simplify the matter as such:

"A" attacks the Gospel and Church Fathers as antisemitic and posits a line of transmission from Christianity to Nazi 'extermination' camps.

"B" attacks the Gospel and Church Fathers as antisemitic and posits a line of transmission from Christianity to Nazi 'extermination' camps.

"A" is reviled by traditional Catholics.

"B" is venerated by traditional Catholics.

What is wrong with this equation?

Michael Hoffman said...

I see from a comment herein that a rumor-monger is circulating the insinuation that I am the author of this article, “A Question for John Vennari.”

And again I assert, as I have in the past, that I am not the author of either this article or of the Maurice Pinay blog, although often Mr. Pinay's reports are so distinguished that I wish I were.

My disavowal will probably have little effect on the one-track minds who proclaim their Catholicism from the housetops even as they peddle malicious gossip. But for those who have the spirit of Christ, let them know the truth.

P.S. Mr. Pinay was right to publish the comment in question. This sort of scurrility needs exposure, both as a spiritual work of mercy in admonishing the one who disseminated it, and to reinforce the vigilance of his intended audience against such canards.

Malleus Haereticorum said...

While not quite as egregiously poltroonish as Michael Matt's "The Remnant" (and how could it be?), John Vennari's "Catholic Family News" is also periodical non grata in my household.