Monday, July 2, 2007

Benedict Recommends Catechesis of St. Cyril

Catholic News Agency reports:

The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, greeted the thousands of pilgrims gathered in the Vatican’s Paul VI auditorium this morning, continuing his cycle of catechesis on the Church Fathers by commenting on a master of catechisis himself - St. Cyril of Jerusalem. (Pope Benedict XVI focuses on St. Cyril: a master of Catechesis, Catholic News Agency, Jun 27, 2007)

A sample of St. Cyril's catechesis on the topic of Catholic-Jewish relations:

"Heed not therefore what the Jews say, but what the Prophets say. Do you wonder that they who stoned and slew the Prophets, set at nought the Prophets' words?" (St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechetical Lecture 10;2)

Now compare that teaching from one of the great Church Doctors, St. Cyril, with this teaching from Benedict XVI:

... Christians can and ought to admit that the Jewish reading of the Bible is a possible one ...

... Christians can, nonetheless, learn much from Jewish exegesis practised for more than two thousand years ...

(The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible, Pontifical Biblical Commission, Vatican, May 24th, 2001)

... Jewish biblical scholarship in all its richness, from its origins in antiquity down to the present day, is an asset of the highest value for the exegesis of both Testaments ...

(The Interpretation of the Bible in the Church, Pontifical Biblical Commission, Vatican, March 18, 1994)

Quite obviously, these diametrically opposed positions can't both be correct. Since Cyril's position is virtually a verbatim quote of Christ's words in the Gospel and since Benedict's position has no scriptural support, and is in fact completely at variance with the Gospel, I'd say it's quite simple to tell which position is incorrect.

That's good advice from Benedict though, regarding the study of St. Cyril. I do hope that people will look to the Church Father, Cyril and the other Church Fathers as well and learn what a mockery Benedict's "elder brothers in the faith" mantra truly is.

It's also worth noting St. Cyril's opposition to Zionism. Cyril lived in Jerusalem at the time that the Emperor Julian the Apostate attempted to falsify the prophesies of Jesus and Daniel by aiding the Jews in rebuilding the Temple of Jerusalem, a project which ended in failure reportedly due to supernatural causes. Cyril wrote that the Temple would remain in ruins as Christ prophesied until the Antichrist would attempt to rebuild it.

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