Letters for March 22

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2005

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Stephen Salonsky’s remarkably unintelligent op-ed of March 17.

First I would take exception to the title of his editorial “Gibson’s ‘Passion’ sparks anti-Semitism.”

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My dear Mr. Salonsky, can you or anyone else reading this letter name one single solitary act of anti-Semitism inspired by “The Passion?”

I saw the movie and I saw the only Son of God (and Jew) condemned, tortured and executed, in from of his Jewish mother and Jewish followers, by Roman pagans for my sings.

I have to confess before watching the movie I did read the Book (written by Jews) and neither the Book nor the movie inspired me to anti-semitism.

This is remarkable because according to Mr. Salonsky, I should be anti-semitic because of my membership in the Roman-Catholic Church.

Now there can be no doubt that Catholics, as well as members of the Orthodox and Protestant Churches, have engaged in terrible crimes against Jews. I would have to say that there is without a doubt not a sin in the Book that has not been committed by Catholics.

However, of all the sins committed by Christians in history, it seems according to Mr. Salonsky that the sin of anti-Semitism lies not with the sinner, but with the Catholic Church. Let’s look at two of his accusations: The church supported forced (through torture) conversions and the mass murder of Jews.

Mr. Salonsky, could you please name your sources?

I would like to see where a single Church document, papal encyclical, canon of a Church council, or citation of The Catechism of the Catholic Church advocates the mass murder of Jews.

Mr. Salonsky also wants to lay the responsibility of the Holocaust at the feet of the Catholic Church. He quotes “many historians” to support this notion.

Please name three of these “many historians.”

Hitler, a German pagan (he was virulently anti-Christian) and socialist dictator of an overwhelmingly non-Catholic country was inspired by the Catholic Church (which he hated) to murder Jews? I notice Mr. Salonsky left out any mention of Pope Pius XII hiding Jews in his summer home or the murder of Catholics and other Christians in Hitler’s death camps. Nor did he mention the oppression of Jews under communism. Or Islamic anti-semitism. Unlike Pope John Paul II, I don’t think we’re going to see Mikhail Gorbachev or Osama bin Laden apologizing for those anytime soon.

If the day comes, Mr. Salonsky that you do want to know what the Catholic Church teaches about Jews, I suggest you find a Catholic Church on Dec. 25, when it celebrates the birth of a Jew named Jesus.

In short, Mr. Salonsky, you don’t know what you’re talking about. Might I suggest in the future you limit your commentary to something you know about.

And, if called to write something about religion, you use a source more reliable that a Jack Chick comic book.

Thomas E. Jeffords