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Is CMRI anti-Semitic? Absolutely not.

A Letter from Bishop Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

Dear Readers,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Last month I received word from several people that a certain organization, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) had posted on their website a list of various traditional Catholic groups which they labeled as anti-Semitic, and that Mt. St. Michael and the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI) were listed among their “dirty dozen.”

Many of our readers are perhaps aware of these things; however, many may not be. For the record, I state unequivocally that MSM and CMRI are not anti-Semitic. We deny this false labeling by the SPLC and reject their taking things out of context to create an illusion of anti-Semitism.

Without going into a lengthy history of the SPLC, this organization is not all that it claims to be, and by its association with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the National Education Association (NEA), B’nai Brith and Friends of the United Nations, you may get an understanding of the type of agenda which they pursue.

Is CMRI anti-Semitic? Absolutely not.

As Catholics, we are commanded by Jesus Christ to love our neighbor; and in fulfillment of this, we harbor absolutely no hatred of anyone, including the Jewish people.

As Catholics, we also firmly believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the promised Messias, that He is “the Way, the Truth, and the Light” and that “no one goes to the Father except through Him.” It is a fact of history that Jesus Christ has perfectly fulfilled the prophecies of the Old Testament which foretold of the Messias, that He claimed to be the Messias and the Son of God and that He proved this claim by the performance of many public miracles.

The Catholic Church has always taught that Almighty God has revealed to mankind through Jesus Christ the one true religion by which He is to be worshipped. Furthermore, the Catholic Church has always held that it is her mission to convert all nations to Christ. This mission was given her when Christ commanded His Apostles and their successors “to teach all nations . . . all things whatsoever He had commanded” (Matt. 28:19).

We desire all men to come to the knowledge of the truth. It is for this very reason we reject the false teachings of the Conciliar Church of Vatican II, especially in regard to religious indifferentism (that all religions are all more or less good and praise worthy), as found in the Decree on Ecumenism (Unitatis Redintegratio) and in the Declaration of the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra Aetate).

On its website, the Southern Poverty Law Center made a reference to things that I had said during the Fatima Conference in October (which were published on the Internet). My primary point was criticism of the Conciliar Church of Vatican II for its denial of the mission of the Catholic Church to teach all nations. To prove this, I cited several examples. One was the Joint Statement of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee for Ecumenical and Inter-religious Affairs and the National Council of Synagogues which declared:

“Campaigns that target the Jews for conversion to Christianity are no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.”

Such a statement made by so-called Catholic bishops is heretical. It denies the very mission of the Church and the necessity of conversion to Christ. This Joint Statement was also criticized by the Southern Baptists who were also labeled by Jewish spokesmen as hypocritical, arrogant and prejudiced.

Another example was that of Cardinal Walter Kaspar, head of the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. He referred to this Joint Statement in a speech in Boston in November of 2002. He erroneously claimed that Christians should recognize that Jews need not be converted to Christianity to be saved.

Although this is so contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church, no one should be surprised by this statement, coming from a “cardinal” because John Paul II himself described the Jews as “the people of God of the Old Covenant never retracted by God.” This statement is even more preposterous!

The Old Testament was established by God as a preparation for the coming of the Messias. When Christ came 2000 years ago, He established the New and Eternal Testament. John Paul II’s claim that the Old Covenant is still valid for the Jews actually denies the necessity to recognize the true Messias, Jesus Christ. This is by no means the only statement made by the late John Paul II.

And as if this were not enough to demonstrate that the Conciliar Church of Vatican II is not the Catholic Church, we can consider the past document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, headed by the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger:

“The messianic expectations of the Jewish people have not been in vain. We, like them, live in waiting. The difference lies in the fact that for us, he who will come will have the traits of that Jesus who already came and is already present and active among us.”

A careful reading of this last sentence makes it clear that “he who will come” is not Jesus Christ but some one else who “will have the traits of that Jesus who already came.” Our Lord Himself made reference to this when He said: “I am come in the Name of My Father and you receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive” (John 5:43). St. Paul in his second Epistle to the Thessolonians, foretold the signs of the end of the world the apostasy and the coming of the anti-Christ (2 Thess 2:3). Since Vatican Council II and the false ecumenical church that emanated from it, these prophecies are being realized.

This issue with the Southern Poverty Law Center makes me realize the future possibility that those who profess the Catholic Faith as the one true religion revealed by God will be labeled for “hate crimes.” In this ecumenical age of peace and brotherhood, it is interesting that the Conciliar Church recognizes and accepts all religions except traditional Catholicism.

One can be a Hindu and the Conciliar Church teaches that such a one is making “a loving, trusting flight toward God.” One can be a Buddhist, and the Conciliar Church proclaims that such a one “can reach supreme enlightenment.” One can be a Moslem and the Conciliar Church declares that it “looks with esteem upon the Moslems,” even though the followers of Islam deny the Divinity of Christ.

However, if one is a traditional Catholic, this is intolerable! How dare a traditional Catholic claim that there is but one true religion revealed by God! How dare a traditional Catholic claim the true mission of the Church to teach all nations all things whatsoever Christ commanded! As basic these matters are to us; yet, they are radically opposed to mainstream thinking.

No, CMRI is not anti-Semitic. We harbor no hatred for anyone, including the Jews. We pray for the Jews that they may recognize that Jesus Christ is the Messias, and we invite them to study the New Testament which is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.

If CMRI was anti-Semitic, it would not have invited a Jew be a guest speaker at its National Fatima Conference two years ago. Barrie Schwortz was the official photographer for the STURP team which examined the Shroud of Turin to determine scientifically how the image of Christ was produced on this linen cloth. Mr. Schwortz gave an excellent presentation in defense of the authenticity of the Shroud. Another example is that on a flight from Chicago to Omaha, I perchance sat next to Rabbi Ariel of Temple Israel. We had a friendly conversation during the flight. He was genuinely fascinated by the concept of traditional Catholicism and was interested to know the particular differences between the Conciliar Church of Vatican II and the Catholic Church.

I would like to conclude this letter with a reflection on the words of our Divine Savior. We read in the Gospel of St. Matthew, “Every one that shall confess Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven,” (Mat. 10:32) and in the Gospel of St. Luke, “He that shall be ashamed of Me and of My words, of him the Son of man shall be ashamed when He shall come in His majesty, and that of His Father and of the holy angels.” (Luke 9:26)

With my prayers and blessing,
Most Rev. Mark A. Pivarunas, CMRI

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