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The Jewish Cardinal

by Steve Ray on November 16, 2014

I met a new hero today, but only through the medium of a movie. It was entitled The Jewish Cardinal. After returning home exhausted from the Raising Rebels Conference in Manchester NH where I gave three talks yesterday, I was ready for a good movie tonight. My wife found this one on Netflix. 

This drama details the true story of Jean-Marie Lustiger, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, who became a leader in the Catholic Church. An exciting story rated 5-star on Netflix (to which I would agree), the only slight difficulty was the fast-paced dialog in French which made it difficult at times to keep up with the captioning. Maybe this was because I was tired.

After the movie I read his story on Wikipedia, after which I loved him all the more. He was born in 17 September 1926 and died on 5 August 2007. He converted to the Catholic Church at 13 years old after having discovered the New Testament.

His mother was deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp where she died a year later. This is where Edith Stein and Maximilian Kolbe also died. Lustiger’s father tried unsuccessfully to have his son’s baptism annulled, and even sought the help of the chief rabbi of Paris.

His tomb is in a crypt in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. I will visit his tomb in July while leading a group to Lourdes, Santiago di Compostela, Fatima and Paris. (Join us!)

His epitaph, which he wrote himself in 2004, can be seen in the crypt of Notre-Dame Cathedral, and translates as:

I was born Jewish.
I received the name
Of my paternal grandfather, Aaron
Having become Christian
By faith and by Baptism,
I have remained Jewish
As did the Apostles.
I have as my patron saints
Aaron the High Priest,
Saint John the Apostle,
Holy Mary full of grace.
Named 139th archbishop of Paris
by His Holiness Pope John Paul II,
I was enthroned in this Cathedral
on 27 February 1981,
And here I exercised my entire ministry.
Passers-by, pray for me.

† Aaron Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger
Archbishop of Paris

When we stand before his crypt in July we will pray for him and we will honor him — a fulfilled Jew and an example to us all.

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Jimmy Akin writes:

It’s getting near Christmas, and you know what that means. That’s right! It’s time for another book to be released telling us the sensationalistic “truth” about Christianity.

This time we have The Lost Gospel: Decoding the Ancient Text that Reveals Jesus’ Marriage to Mary the Magdalene by Simcha Jacobovici and Barrie Wilson.

You may remember Jacobovici from his involvement in previous biblical-archeological shenanigans like the discredited “Jesus family tomb” claims of a few years ago—in which Jacobovici similarly claimed that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.

So what do he and sensationalist co-author Barrie Wilson have in store for us this time?

Zecharias Who?

The key text used in their new book is preserved in a set of writings attributed to Zecharias Rhetor (i.e., Zecharias the Rhetoritician), also known as Zecharias Scholasticus (i.e., Zecharistias the Scholar), also known as Zecharias of Mytilene.

He was a native of Gaza who lived in the late A.D. 400s and early 500s and who became the bishop of Mytilene.

He wrote a number of works in Greek, including a work on Church history that was later translated into Syriac (a dialect of Aramaic), with various editorial changes.

It is this Syriac text, brought to the British Museum in 1847, that Jacobovici and Wilson are using in their new book.

Simcha Jacobovici

What They’re Claiming

Among other things, Jacobovici and Wilson claim that they have discovered a lost gospel that is written in code and, when properly decoded, states that Jesus was married, likely to Mary Magdalene, and that they had two sons.

None of this is true.

 Not Lost.

First, the text in question is not “lost.” It is not some newly discovered work that scholars were previously unaware of.

The particular manuscript that Jacobovici and Wilson rely on was brought to the British Museum for more than a century and a half ago, and the same text has been known through other sources for centuries.

The scholarly community has been well aware of it, and translations of it in English and other languages are common.

To give you an idea of how not-lost this work is, it’s been in print for centuries,I have it in my own library, and here’s a version you can read online from a book printed in 1918.

Not a Gospel.

The work is also not a Gospel. Although some scholars use the term “Gospel” in surprising and misleading ways, a Gospel (in the literary sense) is a book about the life and/or teachings of Jesus.

That is not what this text is. This text is not about Jesus. The story it tells is not even set in the first century, when Jesus lived.

It’s set more than a thousand years before the time of Christ.

To read the whole article, click HERE.

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The Bishop with all our Clergy in Thessaloniki

The ancient Christian writer and theologian Tertullian once asked the Church, “What does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?”

He asked the question as Christianity spread from Israel into the Greek world; and as Greek intellectuals looked for deeper insight into the Christian mystery. Tertullian was asking whether pagan Greek culture—philosophy, poetry, the arts, history and literature—had anything of value for those first missionaries proclaiming the Christian gospel.

Two weeks ago, on a plane landing in Athens, I asked myself Tertullian’s question.  I was in Athens to begin a spiritual pilgrimage to Greece and Turkey “in the footsteps of St. Paul.” I was with a group of pilgrims celebrating the 15th anniversary of Spirit Catholic Radio: eight priests from Lincoln and Omaha; three deacons;140 lay Catholics from across Nebraska and beyond. 

We were led by Steve and Janet Ray, expert pilgrim leaders, and Jim and Karol Carroll of Spirit Catholic Radio. It was a joy and a grace for me to walk as a pilgrim in the footsteps of St. Paul, the great Apostle to the Gentiles, with fellow disciples of Jesus Christ from our state.

Our Ship Docked on Island of Patmos

By cruise ship on the Aegean Sea, we visited and celebrated Holy Mass in Thessoloniki, Philippi, Istanbul, Pergamon, Ephesus, Patmos, Athens and Corinth. We heard talks at these holy sites, given by Steve Ray, Catholic convert, author and film maker, who leads Catholic pilgrimages all over the world.  We heard inspiring homilies by holy priests. We prayed together for all the special prayer intentions we brought with us from home.

Everywhere I traveled, I asked myself “what does Athens have to do with Jerusalem?” In Athens itself I learned the answer: Athens has everything to do with Jerusalem.  The Gospel can only really be understood in the midst of understanding culture; to understand Christianity as Western Catholics, we need to understand the fundamental history of western civilization.

The Bishop and Steve on Mars Hill in Athens where St. Paul Taught

When St. Paul arrived in Athens, he preached the gospel at the famous Areopagus, a gathering place just beneath the Parthenon. He was able to speak to the Greeks in their own language. He was able to quote Greek poets and philosophers. He appealed to Greeks in their own cultural language because he was schooled in Tarsus, the successor to the school of Athens as the center of learning and education in Asia Minor.

Paul was run out of town after his first visit to Athens.  But he was able to plant the Lord’s seeds of conversion in the hearts and minds of the Athenians—the movers and shakers of the ancient world. He would eventually come back to cultivate those seeds that were planted.

Paul was able to use his fluency with the language, culture and customs of the Greek world in order to present the compelling message of Jesus Christ in a way that was attractive and persuasive. To be sure, St. Paul suffered a great deal during his missionary journeys to the Greek world. The Greeks were highly educated and influential. They were also utterly pagan. They worshiped false gods, they were self-indulgent and decadent, and they were infatuated with progress, technology, and the latest new fad. Paul preached to a world not much different than ours today….

The whole article is excellent and you can read the rest of it HERE. Also on Zenit.org.

You will find out why the picture below was the highlight of Bishop Conley’s trip.

Iraqi's in Athens

 

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Judge Gives Restraining Order to Black Mass Leaders – Consecrated Host Belongs to the Catholic Church

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For over a hundred years we’ve heard the foolish obituary, “God is dead!” The Enlightenment enlightened us to this truth and told us we were alone in the Universe. No God! We men are in charge and the center of all things. We shape our destiny, we create meaning for our existence, we can rid [...]

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Bishop Finn Comments on the Rogue “National Catholic Reporter”

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