A Mind That Suits What doesn't kill me, makes me laugh... usually.

Wednesday, February 18, 2004 :::
A short note worth making: in the flurry of articles leading up to the release of The Passion of the Christ , somehow the phrase "Blood Libel" gets thrown in. The Blood Libel is something very specific: it is the myth spread in such pornographically anti-semitic works as the Protocols of the Elders of Zion that Jews slay a Christian child and mix his blood in the Passover matzoh. What they are calling the Blood Libel was the shout of the Jewish mob before Pilate, when he declared that Christ's blood would not be on him, because he was opposed to the crucifixion being demanded by the crowd. They shouted back, "His blood be on us, and on our children."

Now it must be said that this was the shout of the mob. The Pharisees are nowhere to be found during the whole horrifying business, and it is indeed the official instruction of the Church that any dramatization of the Crucifixion must distinguish between the mob and the Pharisees. It can't be a libel because the crowd actually said it. It also can't be properly applied to all the Jews of history, not even all the Jews there were in Jerusalem that woeful day. There is no doubt that there have been Christians who have twisted that verse to their own horrifying ends, but it is not and has never been the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

Nor has it, until now, in the hands of the popular press, been called the Blood Libel.

A quick check of the invaluable MEMRI website reveals that it is officially called the "Damascus Blood Libel," and has a woefully large number of citations from the Arab press spreading it, including quotes from the "script" and one actual clip showing a depiction of that.

Reports also say that a decree of the Second Vatican Council called Nostra Aetate somehow "cleared" the Jews of allegations that they had killed Christ. It would be an odd and unnecessary thing if they had, because it had been official Catholic teaching since llllooonnnnggg before that, as the Council of Trent reminded everyone sometime between1545 and 1563. The fathers of Vatican II can only have been reminding people. The fact that there have been some scandalously biggoted individual Catholics, including far too many members of the hierarchy, should be talked about openly and condemned, as it has been. But their actions should not obscure the fact that they were violating Church doctrine since long before the Blessed John XXIII got the idea to hold a council.

::: posted by A Mind That Suits at 8:07 PM



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