Monday, May 11, 2015

From Cardinal George Pell

Vatican Radio) Cardinal George Pell has praised the efforts of participants in an historic international gathering of Christian and Jewish leaders in Israel to mark the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of the Conciliar declarationNostra aetate, on the Church’s relation to non-Christian religions.
Sponsored and organized by the Neocatechumenal Way, and conducted in Israel from May 4-7, the meeting brought together 120 Rabbis from all over the world, along with 7 Cardinals, 25 Bishops and 50 Priests, who met with initiators of the Neocatechumenal Way, Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez, and Fr. Mario Pezzi, as well as some itinerant catechists of the post-Conciliar movement founded by Argüello and Hernandez in the slums of Madrid in the mid-60’s.
The Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy offered his praise in a homily he delivered during Mass celebrated at the closing of the event. “Together we have a great mission in front of this generation who seems to have lost its way to truth and life,” he said.
Below, please find the full text of Cardinal Pell’s prepared remarks, in English
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
First of all, I am truly grateful to the Lord to share in this meeting with you, who come from all over the world, and, above all, it gives me great joy to be with our “older brothers”, as Pope John Paul II said in the synagogue of Rome, and our “fathers in faith,” as Pope Benedict used to say.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s document Nostra Aetate, which was a milestone in the relationships between the Catholic Church and the Jewish world.
The Church – we read in Nostra Aetate  cannot forget that she received the revelation of the First Testament through that people with whom God in His ineffable mercy established the First Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that good olive tree onto which have been grafted the branches of the wild olive-tree, the goyim. The Church keeps ever in sight the words of the Apostle Paul about his brothers: ‘theirs is the adoption and the glory, the covenant, the Torah, the worship and the promises’” and all these immense gifts, Pope John Paul II asserted in the synagogue of Rome, have never been revoked!
This concert, taking place during these days in which we remember also the 70 years that have passed since the end of the Holocaust, makes us to reflect on the many sufferings and injustices caused by false ideologies, which befell the innocent. Why so much pain? Why does all this happen, we ask? How has man arrived at this point? This is a mystery of iniquity! When, in a society, evil rises without any limits, we are reminded of the prophet Ezekiel’s sword, which has appeared many times in history.
While I was listening to this symphony I thought about the words which John Paul II – now a Saint – addressed on the 24th of March 2000 on this very mountain to thousands of young people from the Neocatechumenal communities of 72 nations. On that occasion, the Pope spoke of Mount Sinai, where the Ten Words of life were revealed to the Chosen people, and of the Sermon on the Mountain pronounced here by Jesus.
Today, we hear, again what the saintly Pope said: “Blessed are the violent, blessed those who prosper at any cost, who do not have any scruples, who are without mercy, dishonest, who make war instead of peace and persecute those who are an obstacle in their way… No, it is not true! Blessed are you who seem to be losers because you are the true winners…” and he concluded: “Now at the dawn of the third millennium it is your turn to go out into the world and to announce the message of the Ten Commandments and of the Beatitudes”.
For this reason, the water flowing on the words of life at the entrance to the library announce that these words are source of life for our times. Together we have a great mission in front of this generation who seems to have lost its way to truth and life.
I wish to tell you that I appreciate immensely this important initiative promoted by the Neocatechumenal Way. I have known the Way for many years from when I was in Melbourne and Sydney as Archbishop and I can verify personally to its great fruits.
The Neocatechumenal Way is born of the II Vatican Council, and at its centre, the brothers and sisters listen to the Word of God: Shema Israel, as we have just sung together. This immersion in the Scriptures leads to the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity and, therefore, to a great love of the Jewish people from whom all these gifts come to us.
I can assure you that Pope Francis also has a great appreciation and esteem for the Way as he demonstrated at the last meeting on 6 March in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican. On that occasion, he sent 32 groups missio ad gentes,formed from numerous families of the Neocatechumenal communities with many children to a host of Gentile nations in the five continents – including China, Vietnam, Cambodia – and he said “this Way is a true gift of Providence!”
The Pope reaffirmed the mission of the Way: “How much loneliness, how much suffering, how much distance from God in many peripheries of Europe, of America and in many cities of Asia. How much need has today’s man in every latitude to hear that God loves him and that love is possible… awaken the faith!
I think that this is the true meaning of this historic meeting: to help modern man open himself to Transcendence. We ask the Lord to send us His Spirit so that the Chosen People may be faithful to His call and, in this way, support the mission of the Church to bring to the whole world the blessing of Abraham: in you will be blessed all the nations of the world!


  1. Dear Diana,

    I hope you have the integrity to publish this comment as I believe it is important that each of us know exactly what our Church teaches. We can then discuss more fruitfully.

    Paragraph 2 of Mortalium Animos (Pope Pius XI 1928) - please read carefully

    "2. A similar object is aimed at by some, in those matters which concern the New Law promulgated by Christ our Lord. For since they hold it for certain that men destitute of all religious sense are very rarely to be found, they seem to have founded on that belief a hope that the nations, although they differ among themselves in certain religious matters, will without much difficulty come to agree as brethren in professing certain doctrines, which form as it were a common basis of the spiritual life. For which reason conventions, meetings and addresses are frequently arranged by these persons, at which a large number of listeners are present, and at which all without distinction are invited to join in the discussion, both infidels of every kind, and Christians, even those who have unhappily fallen away from Christ or who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission. Certainly such attempts can nowise be approved by Catholics, founded as they are on that false opinion which considers all religions to be more or less good and praiseworthy, since they all in different ways manifest and signify that sense which is inborn in us all, and by which we are led to God and to the obedient acknowledgment of His rule. Not only are those who hold this opinion in error and deceived, but also in distorting the idea of true religion they reject it, and little by little. turn aside to naturalism and atheism, as it is called; from which it clearly follows that one who supports those who hold these theories and attempt to realize them, is altogether abandoning the divinely revealed religion."

    1. Dear Anonymous at 1:33 pm,

      Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which was promulgated by St. John Paul II:

      The Church and non-Christians

      839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

      The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews "belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ",328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

      840 And when one considers the future, God's People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

      841 The Church's relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind's judge on the last day."330

      842 The Church's bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common origin and end of the human race:

      All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock which God created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namely God. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the day when the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331

      843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows and images, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things and wants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in these religions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that they may at length have life."332

      844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigure the image of God in them:

      Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, and have exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than the Creator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed to ultimate despair.333

      845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call the whole of humanity together into his Son's Church. The Church is the place where humanity must rediscover its unity and salvation. The Church is "the world reconciled." She is that bark which "in the full sail of the Lord's cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely in this world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured by Noah's ark, which alone saves from the flood.334

    2. "Who with obstinacy and pertinacity deny His divine nature and mission."

      The Pope is right! There are people who, although learned about Jesus Christ, reject the truth about His divine sonship. These words obstinacy and pertinacity are exactly describing this attitude. Those who reject Christ are obstinate because accepting Christ would mean to change their lives which they prefer not to do. Those who despise Jesus are pertinent because they do not want to know the whole truth about His divine sonship. Jesus Christ is the Son of Man. How can we best convince people who are obstinate and pertinent to acknowledge with good heart who Jesus is?

    3. Dear Anonymous at 3:49 pm,

      That was back in 1928. This is now the year 2015. Let us not be frozen in time. Look at the positive things the Jewish Rabbis said about the Catholic Church during this three day retreat. For a people whom you accuse of being obstinate, they have accepted the friendship of the Catholics. Don't you think that change can start there.......with friendship???

    4. This is true, dear Diana, time are a-changin! But people reject Christ for the same reason now as a hundred years ago. Secularization, obstination and pertinacity arte ever present in 2015 as in 1928 or any time earlier. They are "distorting the idea of true religion they reject it and little by little, turn aside to naturalism and atheism." How exact words describing the many ills of our time, Diana! Naturalism and atheism drive people to drugs, alcohol, porn, gambling, crime etc. destroying families and communities.

      If you think of any other remedy than acknowledging that Jesus is Christ, then please, share it quickly. You have to confess the jesus is the Lord, no other way around could ever help or heal. Because what the world badly needs is healing through Christ.

    5. Let me ask about the Shema Israel song, taken from Old Testament text, as a command for eternal life. If Shema Israel is the symbol of the One and undivided God, then what about the Holy Trinity? It is also One and undivided God, still it has 3 persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. But the Old Testament had never named Jesus as Lord! So how can Shema Israel, this song from the Old Testament, the symbol of One God include Jesus, who is the second person, Son on Man and Son of God?

    6. Dear Anonymous at 8:33 am,

      The Old Testament books are also part of the Holy Bible. We do not carry a Bible that has ONLY the New Testament. The God of Abraham is also the ONE TRUE God. God revealed Himself to the Jews in their history. But to the Christians, He revealed Himself through His Son. The Jews and Christians worship the same God. The only difference is that the Jews do not know the nature of God. Christians know His nature because He revealed Himself through His Son.

    7. Diana, you say the Jews do not know the nature of God. Is this because they do not acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior?

    8. Dear Anonymous at 9:02 am,

      The Jews are still waiting for the Messiah to come. They do not understand that Jesus was the Messiah they had been waiting for.

  2. Anon 1:33-Jews are not infidels. They are followers of the divine revealed religion. Go read nostra Aetate.
    Oh, and please go send that reference you just quoted to cardinals pell and schoenburn.
    Once more, this criticism of the way is a covert attack on the church.

    1. Paragraph 2 of Mortalium Animos (Pope Pius XI 1928) this the best that you can do anonymous?

      I don't believe the Esteem Pope was writing about the NCW. Is there any mention of the NCW in Pope Pius X1 reflection?

      Please let us know if you need the reflections; the endorsements of the St John XXIII Papa IOANNES Vicesimus Tertius Obedientia et Pax ("Obedience and peace"); Bl. Paul VI Papa PAULUS Sextus Cum Ipso in Monte ("With Him on the mount"); Servant of God John Paul I Papa IOANNES PAULUS Primus
      Humilitas ("Humility"); Benedict XVI Papa BENEDICTUS Sextus Decimus Cooperatores Veritatis
      ("Cooperators of the truth") and Francis Papa FRANCISCUS Miserando atque Eligendo
      ("Lowly but chosen"--literally in Latin 'by having mercy, by choosing him'.)

      these Popes and Saints have experienced; have seen the Spirit of God working in mortal man.


    2. The Divine revealed religion only makes sense with Jesus Christ. If Christ is left out, the whole meaning and resolution is lost.

      Jesus said, "It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.

    3. Oh, and yes, I will be writing to Cardinal Pell - and will gladly cite that reference. But primarily I will be asking him how the NCW, being a means of Catholic Christian formation, and not being an organisation, association or order, and have "no assets of its own" (see the Statutes) can sponsor and pay for 120 rabbis, 7 Cardinals, 20 bishops, an orchestra and hundreds of laity to come on this holiday seminar.

    4. Dear Anonymous at 3:30 pm,

      Isn't it amazing how God can provide! :-)

    5. Yes it is, but this is not an example of that. I'm sure the devil provides for his own too. This is a merely another deception - and we know who is the father of lies

    6. Dear Anonymous at 8:34 pm,

      You are sadly mistaken if you think that the Devil will allow Christians and Jews to get together in a bond of FRIENDSHIP. The Devil never provides anything that would promote Christianity or friendship with others.

    7. The devil always hides in the details. The ways of the deceiver are inscrutable. But we can catch him in the "Catch 22" through prayer! This is how we fight back against evil intention. We must pray that the Lord Jesus is Christ and He shines His infinite mercy on us to bring reconciliation into the heart of the faithful.

      The Holy Trinity is the model of all true friendship: Father, Son and Holy Spirit act in tandem together to spin the needle, steer the wheel, roll the axis of the whole wide world, their own creation. It is One God and one creation! But the same God in 3 different persons so that the world becomes diverse to hold life, even eternal life, for all its inhabitants. The Father shared everything with the Son in true love and true friendship. St John says you did not choose me but I have chosen you. This is true friendship. The Son sent the Holy Spirit, the Advocate to accomplish the will of the Father and the Son on the earth. How big friendship you need to have among the persons to accomplish everything like that?

      Just as Abraham invited the 3 holy men, actually the 3 persons to his own table to eat with him. How great accomplishment is that! So God gave him as a divine gift, Isaac, the son of Abraham and the forefather of all Jewish people. Jesus was a Jew, but a different kind of Jew. He was one of the persons. Do you see my point? Friendship is the work of God and not the work of the devil.

    8. I'm sure the devil would be delighted that he has convinced you that "friendship" is the answer to evil in the world. If you honestly believe that this supposed "bond of friendship" between Jews and Christians is like a magic circle or holy water, keeping away the influence of the evil one, you are evidently in deep trouble. The devil is far more subtle and clever that you think, and taking pride in the works of man is the surest way to invite him in.

      Just as surely, if you deny Christ - for example, by hiding your crucifix for fear of offending someone - you are already doing the work of the devil, and no "friendship" will save you.

    9. Dear Anonymous at 11:17 am,

      Friendship with Christ can save you. And when one is friends with Jesus, he/she knows that love of the enemy comes from God, not the Devil. The Devil does not form friendships at all. Why? Because friendship has its basis on Love. And God is Love. The Devil forms hatred.

    10. Ok, that's just stupid. God is light too, but we are warned that "even Satan disguises himself as angel of light". IN fact its worth reading the surrounding verses (2 Corinthians 11):

      12 And what I do I will also continue to do, in order to deny an opportunity to those who want an opportunity to be recognized as our equals in what they boast about. 13For such boasters are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14And no wonder! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15So it is not strange if his ministers also disguise themselves as ministers of righteousness. Their end will match their deeds.

      Of course the devil does not love. But he imitates love, and therefore it requires discernment. How do we know? By looking for the signs - signs, for example of denying Christ; of excessive ego; of flattery and pride.Hmmmn

    11. Dear Anonymous at 12:33 pm,

      Then you missed the signs. God never told us to hate anyone, most especially the Jews for they are still God's chosen people. The Jews were never the enemy. The enemy had always been Satan, who deceived not only the Jews, but also Catholics.

      The NCW is capable to forming a bond of friendship between Catholics and Jews. Satan only knows how to cause division.

    12. Now when did I recommend hating the Jews? Or even seeking to justify hating the Jews? Where did I say that the Jews were the "enemy". Certainly the Jews lack of faith in Jesus is an error though. All I have said is that Catholics ought to be faithful to the teaching of the Church. Friendship is perfectly fine, provided that it is not the reason to abandon your principles and make compromise with error.

    13. Dear Anonymous at 12:57 pm,

      Were you not the one who made this statement: "Just as surely, if you deny Christ - for example, by hiding your crucifix for fear of offending someone - you are already doing the work of the devil, and no "friendship" will save you."

      Pope Francis also hid his crucifix. Would you say he was denying Christ because of that action? Have you not read the Bible where St. Paul circumcised Timothy in order not to offend the Jews and cause conflict????? Would you say that St. Paul denied Christ because he had someone circumcised especially after preaching that circumcision was not necessary???

    14. "Would you say he was denying Christ because of that action?"


    15. Dear Anonymous at 3:36 pm,

      See my comment in the following weblink:

  3. Dear everyone,

    We can only know if an event is inspired by the Holy Spirit based on its fruits. Communion (love and unity) is always the work of the Holy Spirit. And dis-communion the work of the Evil One.

    The participants gathered there not to discuss the differences between Christianity and Judaism and unify it. They went there in order to have communion by strengthening the similarities of both religions. Look at the discussions: transmission of faith, Judeo-Christian anthropology vs other anthropologies, etc.

    This event would not take place if it is just a deception because I do not know any reason for them to do it. The cardinals, bishops and rabbis, spared some of their days for a meeting in order to be deceived or to deceive? That's illogical and impractical.

    How did the Neocatechumenal Way sponsor 120 rabbis, bishops and others? Probably, they did not especially if the Neocatechumenal Way has "no assets of its own". Can it be that all the participants shared the expenses generously among each other in the spirit of communion (just like a retreat in the parish where everyone pays his due)? Probably yes. But we can't really know unless someone asks a participant like Cardinal Pell.

    Was there communion during the Meeting of the Rabbis? Did the bishops deceive the rabbis and vice versa? Was there an anomaly in the expenses? You judge objectively.

    And the simplest answer is probably the truth.

  4. and as we are so engrossed in the arguments of theology; divinity; history....who is right or wrong and everything else that we must do to justify; appease our goes on.

    I believe we had two young men committed suicide last week.

    Wasn't this one of the purpose for this meeting with the Jewish community? To transmit FAITH.

    We have evidence of the absence of Christ in our own families here on Guam. Why can't this be the basis for our attention and focus?

    Please do write to Pell; you may not get the answer you expected. I just pray that we have time...the Lords grace to find the answers here on Guam.

    Yes God provides.......and he provided the NCW for this period in our time.

    1. There is no faith apart from Jesus Christ.

    2. AnonymousMay 12, 2015 at 6:52 PM

      There is no faith apart from Jesus Christ.

      So why are people so against the NCW?

      If they are living a life of FAITH; why the meaness??? why the malice???

      This is not FAITH


    3. Jews will never believe in Jesus Christ as long as they remain Jews. However, as soon as they accept and believe in Jesus Christ, they stop being Jews, they became Christians! Welcome home, brothers, I open up my arms for you!