Paul Zummo and Mark Shea draw our attention to Catholic apologist Michael Voris’s recent interview with E. Michael Jones (CultureWars.com).
I would describe the first 30 minutes of the video, being Jones’ description of the sexual revolution within the Catholic Church (and Catholic academica) in the 1970’s, as fairly conventional — not to say that we shouldn’t be outraged, but rather that such an understanding of ecclesial history is shared by mainstream orthodox Catholics across the board.
It is in the middle of the video, however, where Voris engages Jones in a discussion of the premise of his book, The Revolutionary Jew, that they starts to venture into controversy:
32:15: Jones takes a stand against anti-semitism: “Antisemitism is very clear; every Catholic has to take a stand against antisemitism. Antisemitism says that the Jew cannot be trusted, is an evil person because of his RACIAL inheritance, because he’s got bad DNA.”
Well, yes. I would say that’s one kind of anti-semitism, narrowly construed. But thus defined, it leaves the field wide open for Jew-hatred and animosity of a non-racial variety.
Thus, having excused himself from “anti-semitism”, Jones is free to dispense his views on an Iranian television show peddling the forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and charging Jews with harvesting organs of Gentiles; can dismiss Judaism in general as possessing ““a particularly malignant spirit”, assert in a Culture Wars article that
“the Nazi attempt to exterminate the Jews was a reaction to Jewish Messianism (in the form of Bolshevism) every bit as much as the Chmielnicki pogroms flowed from the excesses of the Jewish tax farmers in the Ukraine”
and otherwise carry on his campaign against “Jewish modernity” (which he equates with 21st century civilization, since behind every modern-day vice, you’ll find a Jew).
But of course, this can’t be “anti-semitism, in any shape or form” — because Jones doesn’t harbor a shred of racial animosity towards the Jews. (As to other non-racial forms of anti-semitism, a reading of Fr. Edward Flannery’s The Anguish of the Jews: Twenty-Three Centuries of Antisemitism may be educational).
32:37: Jones describes his position as “the traditional teaching of the Church” — when Jesus Christ came to this earth, he came for one group of people: the Jews, who collectively had to make a decision: to accept him as the Messiah, or not. The Jews who accepted Jesus Christ as the Messiah now constitute the Catholic Church; the Jews who rejected Jesus Christ are known as “Jews” — and in so rejecting Jesus Christ, rejected logos, or “the order of the universe”, including the social order, and thus becoming revolutionaries, confirming said decision by choosing Barrabas over Christ. . . . and so the history of the world, is the history of the descendants of the Jews who rejected Jesus Christ vs. the Catholic Church (i.e., the Jews who received Jesus Christ).
This ongoing historical battle — of The Jews vs. The Church — is the same hermeneutic you’ll encounter in the likes of Fr. Denis Fahey, Fr. Charles Coughlin, SSPX Bishop Richard Williamson, down to Robert Sungenis. All of whom will be quite certain to deny that they espouse antisemitism, “in any shape or form.”
Those of us all too familar with the implosion of the apologetic ministry of Robert Sungenis will agree: this is dangerous “intellectual” territory.
And it only gets stranger as the video progresses:
34:50 Jones moves on to address the contemporary episcopal landscape — the sexual revolutionaries (Bernadin, Weakland) have been defeated, only to be replaced by an even more devious menace: neocon bishops. What happened? — Under the papacy of John Paul II, says Jones, the church was co-opted by the anti-communist crusade. “the Pope and Ronald Reagan made an alliance”, Communism was defeated, and the result was America’s elevation to a global superpower, a super-entity, “the paradigm of the state the Church wants to support.”
By way of illustration, Jones refers to the “Americanist” Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia and his appreciation of John Courtney Murray, “the architect of running up the white flag [of surrender].” Little did we know, but Fr. Murray, Henry Luce and the CIA were complicit in a “black operation . . . whose purpose was to cripple the Catholic Church.” A covert operation which has apparently achieved its propaganda victory right up to the papacy itself, “occupying the mind of [Pope Benedict XVI] and he doesn’t even know it“.
44:50 Here Voris cites a historical meeting at Hyannisport, MA in 1964 — where the Kennedy family assembled to receive coaching by liberal Catholic advisors and college professors on how to accept and promote abortion “with a clear conscience.” For a description of the meeting, see Anne Hendershott’s How Support for Abortion Became Kennedy Dogma (Wall Street Journal January 2, 2009).
At this point in the video, Voris incorrectly alleges Fr. Murray as “one of THE GUYS at the meeting” with the Kennedys — he wasn’t. Furthermore, although Murry is credited as providing inspiration to the Hynnisport Colloquium (Murray “distinguished between the moral aspects of an issue and the feasibility of enacting legislation about that issue”), Murray himself was reportedly perturbed by Kennedy’s attempt to sever any connections between one’s religious and political creeds. “To make religion merely a private matter,” Murray argued, “was idiocy.” (See: JFK’s Houston Speech at 50: Three Views, by George J. Marlin. The Catholic Thing 9/9/10).
If there’s one thing I’ve gathered from reading Murray, it’s that he is often appropriated by both ends of the Catholic political spectrum — and what Murray actually countenanced in his lifetime should be distinguished from speculation of what liberal Catholics like to imagine he would have, or might have, endorsed. (In What would John Courtney Murray say? On abortion & euthanasia Commonweal October 1994, Todd David Whitmore responds to attempts to marshal Murray as an advocate of abortion and contraception).
Voris closes with a recommendation to visit “CultureWars.com, and read everything on it.”