A reader writes:

I guess you could call me a native Bostonian, but there are certain things about living here that cause me to hang my head in shame, (e.g., my senior senator is Ted Kennedy and my congressman is Barney Frank). One of those things is also the Boston Globe, which, while bending over backwards lest it offend the sensibilities of adherents to the Religion of Peace (like “Gulf-War vet John Williams” a.k.a. John Muhammad) gleefully takes any opportunity possible to slam the Catholic Church and champion those who do.

A very good and very intelligent friend of mine wrote the Globe with the following rejoinder:

I need to ask you, when you interviewed Daniel Goldhagen at his secret location, and you had access to this quote of his…

”In its Bible the Catholic Church continues to impart to all Catholics that Jews are the children of hell’s master.” ”The Catholic Church still promulgates a doctrine that explicitly holds the Jews, in their desire to remain Jews, to be the greatest obstacle to the well-being of Christians.”

Did you think to ask him exactly where this teaching is found? I have both the bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church and I can’t seem to locate the part about the Jews as the children of hell’s master. I have read the official documents of Vatican II as well as the teachings of John Paul II and I keep missing the part about the Jews being the greatest obstacle to the well-being of Christians. I’m sure it’s all there because I know that an institution as reputable as the Globe wouldn’t highlight something that outrageous without subjecting it to a least some scrutiny, so please let me know where that teaching can be found.

PS – and does he really believe that whether a Catholic Cardinal participated in a Nazi rally is really insignificant, or is he afraid that that that kind of sloppy research could be taken as a reflection on his work as a whole?

I think that sums it up nicer than I could do. However, I would also add that the Globe, in its deep concern for the citizens of Israel, must have missed the highest cleric in the Sunni Moslem world calling them the descendents of pigs. I’m sure their spotlight team is investigating.

On to lighter topics, your little knock on our treasured Peter Kreeft’s favorite baseball team did not go unnoticed! As you are well aware, Mr. Kreeft, is a brilliant scholar of Catholic thought and a tremendously witty writer. I think he has applied his vast study of Augustine’s writings on the redemptive power of suffering and the Church’s teaching on purgatory, all of which dovetail quite nicely with being a fan of the Boston Red Sox. I think many Catholics who passed on after Game 6 in 1986 may have found their purgatory considerably shortened by what they had already suffered on earth . . .

FWIW, Goldhagen is probably thinking of John 8:44, a favorite among the “Christianity is intrinsically anti-semitic” crowd. For the full story on what John (a Jew, recall) is really up to in this verse, go to my discussion of it here.

Guys like Goldhagen remind me of the scene in “Independence Day” when the President asks the alien “What do you want us to do?” and the alien replies “Die!” Goldhagen wants Christianity to die. Period. He’s not a subtle man.

Yes, Kreeft’s genius is no doubt due to wisdom won by being a Sox devotee. In the words of Rabbi Abraham Heschel: “The man who has not suffered: what does he know anyway?”

Oh, and yes, the American press, provincial as ever, continues to see bogeymen of Christian anti-semitism while Islamic fever swamps are passed over in silence. It’s much like the nitwits who investigated phantom suspicions that John Muhammed was involved in skinhead militia activity. Liberal bigotries die hard.


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