Defending the 12th century since the 14th; blogging since the 21st.

Catholicism, Conservatism, the Middle Ages, Opera, and Historical and Literary Objets d'Art blogged by a suburban dad who teaches law and writes stuff.

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Thursday, March 18, 2004
Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa's recent Lenten homily before the Holy Father: Getting the balance right on the who-killed question. Excerpts:

"The doctrine of the Church knows only one sin that is transmitted by heredity from father to son, original sin.

"True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ; still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.

"In this there is a certain convergence with the Hebrew tradition of the past itself. One thing emerges from the news of the death of Jesus, present in the Talmud and in other Jewish sources -- however belated and historically contradictory: The Jewish tradition has never denied the participation of the authorities of the time in the condemnation of Christ. It has not based its defense on the denial of the fact but rather on denying that the condemnation from the Jewish point of view was unjust and that it constituted an offense.

"Perhaps, as believers, it is necessary to go beyond the affirmation of the non-culpability of the Jewish people and to see in the unjust suffering endured by them in history something that places them on the side of the suffering Servant of God and, therefore, for us Christians, on the side of Jesus.

"Edith Stein had understood in this sense the tragedy that was under way for her and her people in Hitler's Germany: 'There, under the cross, is understood the destiny of the People of God. Reflect: those who know that this is the cross of Christ have the duty to take it upon themselves, on behalf of all others.'"