I never realised, but according to the Pope, and to the Vatican, there was a divine intervention during the assassination attempt in 1981. This is all related to the ‘secrets of Fatima’. There is a conversation with Maria Lucia of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart detailed on this Vatican website.
The original text, in Portuguese, was read and interpreted with the help of the Bishop of Leiria-Fatima. Sister Lucia agreed with the interpretation that the third part of the âsecretâ? was a prophetic vision, similar to those in sacred history. She repeated her conviction that the vision of Fatima concerns above all the struggle of atheistic Communism against the Church and against Christians, and describes the terrible sufferings of the victims of the faith in the twentieth century.
When asked: âIs the principal figure in the vision the Pope?â?, Sister Lucia replied at once that it was. She recalled that the three children were very sad about the suffering of the Pope, and that Jacinta kept saying: âCoitadinho do Santo Padre, tenho muita pena dos pecadores!â? (âPoor Holy Father, I am very sad for sinners!â?). Sister Lucia continued: âWe did not know the name of the Pope; Our Lady did not tell us the name of the Pope; we did not know whether it was Benedict XV or Pius XII or Paul VI or John Paul II; but it was the Pope who was suffering and that made us suffer tooâ?.
As regards the passage about the Bishop dressed in white, that is, the Holy Fatherâas the children immediately realized during the âvisionâ?âwho is struck dead and falls to the ground, Sister Lucia was in full agreement with the Pope’s claim that âit was a mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path and in his throes the Pope halted at the threshold of deathâ? (Pope John Paul II, Meditation from the Policlinico Gemelli to the Italian Bishops, 13 May 1994).
A mother’s hand that guided the bullet’s path? Now there’s off the wall, and then there’s off the wall. Not only that but the Pope wanted to thank Mary for single handedly destroying communism. I guess it had little to do with US pressure, or that communism didn’t really work.
On the occasion of a visit to Rome by the then Bishop of Leiria-Fatima, the Pope decided to give him the bullet which had remained in the jeep after the assassination attempt, so that it might be kept in the shrine. By the Bishop’s decision, the bullet was later set in the crown of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima.
The successive events of 1989 led, both in the Soviet Union and in a number of countries of Eastern Europe, to the fall of the Communist regimes which promoted atheism. For this too His Holiness offers heartfelt thanks to the Most Holy Virgin. In other parts of the world, however, attacks against the Church and against Christians, with the burden of suffering they bring, tragically continue. Even if the events to which the third part of the âsecretâ? of Fatima refers now seem part of the past, Our Lady’s call to conversion and penance, issued at the start of the twentieth century, remains timely and urgent today. âThe Lady of the message seems to read the signs of the timesâthe signs of our timeâwith special insight… The insistent invitation of Mary Most Holy to penance is nothing but the manifestation of her maternal concern for the fate of the human family, in need of conversion and forgivenessâ? (Pope John Paul II, Message for the 1997 World Day of the Sick, No. 1, Insegnamenti, XIX, 2 , 561).
The bullet is in a crown? Am I the only one that things this is completely crazy? And details of the supposed prediction only come out years after the event? “Our Lady’s call to conversion and penance”? “In need of conversion and forgiveness”? All us non–Christians (hat-tip hundreds of millions of Muslims, assorted Protestant religions, Buddhists, 1 billion Hindus), convert, or as they like to say in the Catholic Church – “Go to hell”.
The Pope is sick indeed.
16 thoughts on “The Pope and Fatima”
I’m a fan of the site Gavin but I didn’t think that was in the best of taste, not least given the week it’s in.
It is a fact that the Pope is a profound worker for peace and respector of all people and their faiths. For example, he gathered representatives of all in Assisi to pray together for peace following September 11th. As regards Russia and Fatima and Pope John Paul you might like to check out Timothy Tindal-Robertson’s book – it is full of historical facts and reads like a thriller.
Wishing you peace and every good. Anne
Or maybe the deaths through AIDS of believing Catholics who abide by the Popes declarations on use, or lack thereof, of condoms is worse.
In fairness, the Church doesn’t teach people with AIDS to have unprotected sex, but to practice abstinence.
In fairness though the best way of stopping the spread of AIDS is protection like what condoms provide – asking people to stop having sex is like asking people to stop eating.
The teaching of abstinence is merely a way of keeping with Church doctrine – i.e. teaching people not to ‘sin’ – sex outside marriage. I think that idea is wrong, and using AIDS as a scapegoat to teach abstinence strikes me as stupid.
If the Pope turned around tomorrow and said that using condoms to stop the spread of AIDS, I would imagine a reduction in numbers of AIDS cases in Catholic countries. It has been argued that it may have the reverse affect, with people having sex more since the are protected, but i dont think that holds water. It is worth further discussion though.
“I think that idea is wrong, and using AIDS as a scapegoat to teach abstinence strikes me as stupid.”
The idea may be wrong (I’m not so sure it is) but I don’t think that AIDS is being roped in to promote abstinence, but rather that abstinence is being roped into to control AIDS.
If people are going to break the Church’s teaching on abstinence, they’ll break it on condom use too I imagine, so I don’t think it has much of an effect. Practicising Catholics in monogamous relationships are not one of the problem categories with AIDS.
Fidelity the ‘best way’ to fight Aids
Thursday March 3rd 2005 (Irish Independent)
A VISITING South African Cardinal has said it is not the Church’s opposition to condom use in the fight against Aids that is costing lives in his country, but “the lack of seriousness on the part of the State and media in promoting abstinence and fidelity”.
The Cardinal, who was trained by the Franciscans in Ireland and is Archbishop of Durban, also said it was “inappropriate” to debate whether or not Popes should retire while the present Pontiff was still alive.
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier is in Ireland to collect an Alumni Award from University College Galway on Saturday night.
His native South Africa is one of the countries hardest hit by Aids. The Catholic Church is frequently accused of costing more lives through its opposition to condom use.
However, Cardinal Napier strongly rejected this criticism and said that if South Africa followed the example of Uganda, and seriously promoted abstinence and fidelity, like Uganda it would have much more success in reducing the incidence of Aids.
He said currently his Government was distributing 33 million condoms per month, but the death toll from Aids remained extremely high.
Cardinal Napier said the real cause of Aids was “irresponsible sexual behaviour which condoms don’t address. In fact, they reinforce this behaviour.”
Questioned about whether Popes should retire, he said: “It is most inappropriate to be raising this matter at the present time.
“But to be Pope isn’t a function, it is a vocation and a calling. From a functional point of view, Jesus was at his least effectual on the cross, but vocationally he was at his most effective.”
Religious Affairs Correspondent
All of this is up for debate folks, I will likely be posting more on this in the future. Suffice to say I will have to read more into various studies in the condoms equal more sex, no affect on AIDS, debate.
Richard I would disagree, roping in AIDS to promote abstinence sounds like the logic of the Catholic Church defined.
Anne, all comments are welcome. And I will come back to this subject, in more detail hopefully, soon. If you have any material feel free to email me.
Sorry about the lenght of this – but I felt you had to be able to read all of it.
Regarding your original post – we are all called to convert that is turn back to God every day – otherwise we stultify in selfishness. The other part, why did it take so long to release the third part of the Fatima secrets – this was at the request of Sr. Lucia. She had written it down in 1944 but had asked that it not be read until 1960 – the reason she gave was that she did not believe that it could be properly understood until then. The popes up until JPII chose not to reveal it even thought Paul VI was attacked in Manila. Isn’t it ironic that a v. right-wing cleric tried also to kill JPII in Fatima in because he had not released the text of the third part of the secret at that time! I think it was when JPII went to Fatima to give thanks in May 1982.
The rest of this item is about Africa and Aids. Regards, Anne.
ZENIT – The World Seen From Rome
If AIDS Isn’t Combated, “Africa Will Disappear”
Interview With a Director of Sant’Egidio Community
MADRID, Spain, MARCH 3, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Treating AIDS patients in Africa is much different from dealing with those in Europe, says a director of the Peace Missions of the Rome-based Community Sant’Egidio.
The community has worked for a decade to eradicate AIDS in Mozambique. Its success in that country has enabled it to extends its endeavors elsewhere in Africa. Over the past four years, a project has been under way to combat maternal-offspring infection. Here, JesÃºs Romero explains the project in this interview.
Q: How did the Sant’Egidio Community begin to combat AIDS on Africa?
Romero: With the advent of anti-retrovirals in 1996, the Sant’Egidio Community was keen to have the medical advancements in Europe, which made the sickness virtually chronic but not necessarily mortal, arrive in Africa. Added to the fact that it is not right that a part of the world is deprived of these medical advancements because of lack of material resources.
We have been involved in effective anti-retroviral therapy for four years. Now we are taking this health project also to Malawi and Guinea-Bissau. Mozambique was the first country because we knew it well, as we took part in the mediation for peace in that country.
Q: What has your work been like during these years?
Romero: It is a difficult struggle, but one that can yield great fruits. We first treated the sickness only through medication, that is, with the European system, but we realized right away that our line of work in Africa had to be different.
Q: What is the essential difference between Europe and Africa in regard to the treatment of AIDS?
Romero: The essential difference is that in Europe the AIDS patient, in general, has his basic needs taken care of, meaning by this his food, medical checkups, family care, and even health itself. In Africa, the people who come to our centers lack health, food, etc.
Because of this, we think that the struggle against AIDS in Africa must be approached from a global and not just a pharmacological view of the person.
Therefore we have established a global approach to AIDS, which includes health agents visiting patients in their homes, supplying food, supporting the family and, of course, free therapy.
Q: Among your criteria is the rejection of condoms as a preventive measure against AIDS; in fact, your centers don’t supply condoms. Why?
Romero: No epidemic in the history of medicine has been overcome by prevention. In all honesty, we think that the way to prevent it is by curing, facilitating the test, and furnishing the means so that patients start medicating themselves, because to date the rest of the measures provided have proved insufficient or don’t work.
The problem begins when a person arrives with HIV symptoms. We do the tests and, if the sickness is confirmed, we start treatment immediately.
After a few months, when the person has recovered his health, and is living an almost normal life again, then the fears and taboos about the illness begin to disappear and he has the confidence to talk to others.
Several women who have been helped by the institution have formed an association. They go around the villages explaining the way HIV is transmitted. They have even succeeded in taking their partners to the consultations after convincing them that it is not an illness exclusive to whites.
Q: Is there some information in your experience of struggle against AIDS in Africa that could be applied in developed countries?
Romero: We describe as “adherence” the number of people who begin treatment and continue it over time. We have an adherence of 95-98%, this means that the people who come to our center, who feel supported, covered from the medical, social, and psychological point of view, make progress.
This is an example not only for Europe but for the rest of the world, and an indication that AIDS is an illness that must be treated in a global manner, not just from the strictly medical and pharmacological point of view.
Q: Will AIDS be defeated?
Romero: Our criterion in therapy in Africa is the supply of medicines to pregnant mothers and newborn children. We already have 1,000 children who have been born healthy from seropositive mothers.
We think that the birth of one healthy generation in Africa will guarantee the survival of this continent, because if there is no success in curing the sick and having healthy children being born, Africa will disappear.
In addition, we have a data bank that is being put at the service of research, which will also be useful when a vaccine is obtained, for Mozambique to be among the first countries to have it.
Original text in Portuguese translation by auto text mail International
A representative of Icon Films has confirmed that Mel Gibson has purchased the rights to ‘Stealing from Angels’ by Irish writer Brian Dullaghan. The book is creating waves in Rome for what appears to be proof that the Vatican’s version of Lucia’s letter (known as the 3rd secret of Fatima) is false. Dullaghan has included a graphic image on the books cover of what he says is the actual note written by Lucia Dos Santos in Tuy Spain in 1944. You don’t have to look far to see which version is or may be authentic. In Lucia’s own biography she clearly says, “I wrote the words in my own hand on simple plain un-ruled notepaper.” The Vatican were clearly embarrassed that none of their officials had actually read Lucia’s book. If Gibson does make a movie based on the Fatima story then the 3rd secret will surely be the main focus. If Dullaghan has seen this letter then he may be the only person alive to know of its contents.
The history of Fatima
Lucia Dos Santos was 10 years old when on May 13, 1917, while tending the sheep in the Cova de Iria, a woman, who later identified herself as the Blessed Virgin Mary, appeared to the children. The apparition would continue monthly on the 13th of the month until October 1917 (save August, when imprisonment by the anti-clerical authorities prevented it). During each month’s apparition, the Virgin encouraged prayer, especially the rosary, and sacrifice. She also communicated certain prophecies of the future (the end of World War I, the rise of terror in Russia (communism) and its propagation throughout the world, the annihilation of nations, another war preceded by a heavenly sign if men did not convert, and the suffering and persecution of the good, especially the Holy Father. On Oct. 13, 1930, the bishop of Leiria-FÃ¡tima, JosÃ© Alves Correia da Silva, declared the apparitions of FÃ¡tima worthy of credibility and allowed public devotion to the Virgin under the title of Our Lady of the Rosary of FÃ¡tima.
After the prophesied death of Jacinta and Francisco, during the flu pandemic of 1919, Lucia alone remained to carry on the mission assigned by the “woman from heaven.” At 14 she was admitted as a boarder to the school of the Sisters of St. Dorothy in Vilar, near Oporto in the north of Portugal. On Oct. 24, 1925, she entered the Institute of the Sisters of St. Dorothy as a postulant in the convent in Tuy, Spain, not far from the Portuguese border. It was here that Lucia committed to paper the final part of Our Ladyâ€™s message. (now called the 3rd secret of Fatima) The letter was sent to Rome with instructions from Lucia that the message be revealed to the world on the first day of 1960 or upon Luciaâ€™s death (which ever occurred first). The Vatican decided against revealing the contents of the letter.
Dullaghan claims that the letter was stolen on September 27th 1978 from the apartment of the Holy Father Pope John Paul I. The following day the 28th of September 1978 the Vatican announced that Pope John Paul was dead. No reason has ever been given for his death.
Sister Francis May – Our Lady of the Rosary Fatima
The above link has further information on the attack on the Pope of 13th May 1981.
I have indeed visited Fatima, Portugal and I must say that it is the most spiritual place I have ever been to. You feel a sense of peace…closeness to God and the Virgin Mary. I strongly suggest that everyone has a chance to visit this magnficent place with all of its history and culture. Peace be with all of you.
I don’t blame you. You obviously don’t understand what it is like to be a “CHRISTIAN”. None of these churches do much to help either.
I spent 15 years of my life studying Astronomy to quantum physics to Zoology. Also, not only studied all the religions of the world but has travelled the world and saw all your civilized (hat-tip hundreds of millions of Muslims, assorted Protestant religions, Buddhists, 1 billion Hindus) live and behave.
Used to be a siliconvalley hi-tech executive …now working for non-profit …predicted all the recent catastrophes. So you can believe me …cuz I have nothing against you or nothing to gain form you all;
Definitely : Convert ( Repent) and become a “TRUE CHRISTIAN ” or â€œGO TO HELLâ€?. Simple. ( for you people look at “good and bad” little that you know of “righteousness and the origins of the “real MAN”
Then , again there are three different “seeds” in this creation …and not everyone is “immortal”
By His Grace
I Am ~ CT
Interestingly, I recently met with Cardinal Napier in Durban. He is a fine and intelligent man. I suspect that, being in Africa most of his life, close to the scene in terms of HIV/Aids, he has a pretty good idea of the problems that are at the root of that problem as well as the social problems around it. I went to Mandeni recently, in Kwa-Zulu Natal, and saw there terrible hardship and injustice. Cardinal Napier is more aware of this than any pundits at distance could ever be.
Iain Benson, France.
Corruption, terrible hardship and injustice exist everywhere. “It’s not a third-world property” . It’s everywhere. Some places more visible and some not so visible. Why do you except the next pope to solve anything ? Don’t you know the History of Vatican & Rome? When did they do anything like that …or are they supposed to:) ??
Forget scriptures and prophesies ….they can’t even teach the simple “Commandments” right!! ( Remember …Jesus’s saying about “Blind leading the Blind” ? Otherwise why are they called “Scarlot” – City on the Seven Hills” in the book of “Revelations” ? After all, it was instructed by Christ and the “Almighty” himself to be written. And that’s why we call the messenger ; “John The Divine”.
You see, there is Only One God, One Teacher and One Savior. You put your hope on anthing or anyone else …”CHAOS” will be you cup of Wrath for Eternity!. As it is written; “Many were called …only a Few were chosen!!” & ” Last will be First and the First will be Last ”
Open your mind-space; I am telling you the Truth! ( sounds familiar?) …cuz I come from Above. Kingdom of Light belong to “Free Men”, Women who are spiritually circumcised and have become Men and Virgins. Salvation has two parts; 1) Of course, anyone who believe in Lord Jesus and repent will have eternal life eventually. 2)But to escape from this tribulation and take part in my Father’s Glory …you need to work for it. Renounce this “World” with so much joy and become a carcass with free-will. After all you all know that ” Kings are not born…but they are made.”
However, if you have no wisdom and try to relate HIV problems & Popes …you will burn in Hell just as next to them! For, the deacons, bishops, popes …and whomever try to be “Teachers” …and teach “false-doctrines” will be punished worse than the “common-monkeys” and criminals.
I have the “Keys of David”. Anyone who desires it sincirely with fear and reverence …to them I’ll give it to…Freely!
Knowledge, Faith and Deed …is like the Holy Trinity ….and if you omit any of the three …the whole thing is meaningless and useless. Perhaps, this why St. Peter compared this generaton of “so-called” Chritians as; ” A donkey tied to a mile-post and have walked a thousand miles”
As my Brother said, ” The kingdom of Heaven is within you and yet out-side you” . So it’s not in any pope’s or deacons pockets. It’s easy to wear a white gown ..take a Jet …kiss all mud …speak in broken native tounge …but how profitable to everyone …for the “Begotten – Sons ” to sit in their own office ..and speak the “Truth”
Convert the Prods to Catholicism and save America!
The country of George Wasserstoin, Abe Lyncohen, Franklin Roachenfeld
must be converted to Fatima to save the world from destruction!
Jewry faced increasing persecution from its entrance into England in 1066 until the expulsion of 1290. Henry I (1100-1135) granted Jews a charter of liberties.
In 1144, the first blood libel charge of ritual murder was brought against the Jews of Norwich. During Passover, the Jews were accused of torturing a Christian child named William, using his blood for the Passover Seder, and eventually killing and burying him. In July 1189 King Henry II, a protector of the Jews, died. Richard I was crowned his heir and he refused to grant Jewish representative admission to Westminster Abbey. In 1217, the English Jews were forced to wear yellow badges in the form of two stone tablets identifying them as Jews. In 1275, Edward I issued the Jewish Affairs Bill, forbidding the Jews of England to loan money on interest. They were allowed to earn a living as tradesmen or farmers, but were ineligible for membership in tradesmen guilds or tenure as a farmer. The Jews became poor and the king could no longer collect taxes from them. In 1278, many were arrested and hanged for secretly continuing their money lending.
On July 18, 1290, Edward I expelled the Jews from England, making England the first European country to do so. On March 31, 1492 the Edict of Expulsion (also called the Alhambra Decree) was signed. Every Jew in Spain was forced to choose between conversion to Christianity or leaving the country forever without their possessions. 150,000 Jews left Spain, many first went to Portugal, and following expulsion to the Ottoman Empire. On July 31st (7th of Av), the last Jew left Spain according to some sources and August 2nd (9th of Av), according to others. Columbus sailed on August 3, 1492. He did insist, however, that all of his crew be on board August 2nd, which was the not only the day all Jews had to leave Spain but also the 9th of AV. This was the start of 350 years of Jewish exile The first person to readmit Jews into England was Oliver Cromwell, who came to power in 1649. Cromwell was influenced by Rabbi Menasseh ben Israel of Amsterdam who functioned as a Jewish ambassador to the gentiles. The rabbi moved to London in September 1655 and on October 31 submitted a seven-point petition to the Council of State calling for the return of Jews to England. In 1656, Cromwell. In 1654, the first Jews, Sephardic Refugees from Brazil, to settle in North America arrived in the Dutch port of New Amsterdam. The colony’s governor, Peter Stuyvesant, sought to deport them but was overruled by the Dutch West India Company. While the tiny community of Spanish Portuguese Jews did not thrive at first, one of its leaders, Asser Levy, had real estate dealings as far north as the Albany area by 1658. Other Jews immigrated to England from Holland, Spain and Portugal and opened a synagogue in 1657. In 1837, Queen Victoria knighted Moses Montefiore. In 1841, Isaac Lyon Goldsmid was made baronet, the first Jew to receive a hereditary title. The first Jewish Lord Mayor of London, Sir David Salomons took office in 1855. In 1858 came the emancipation of the Jews and a change in the Christian oath required of all members of Parliament. On July 26, 1858, the Jewish Baron, Lionel de Rothschild, took his seat in the House of Commons after an 11-year debate over whether he could take the required oath. In 1874, Benjamin Disraeli became the first (and only) Jewish Prime Minister.
Puritanism, best expressed by William Ames and later by Richard Baxter, gained much popular support early in the 17th century. The government and the church hierarchy, however, especially under Archbishop William Laud, became increasingly repressive, causing many Puritans to emigrate. Those who remained formed a powerful element within the parliamentarian party that defeated Charles I in the English Civil War. After the war the Puritans remained dominant in England until 1660. Among these were the Pilgrims, who in 1620 founded Plymouth Colony. Ten years later, under the auspices of the Massachusetts Bay Company, the first major Puritan migration to New England took place. Richard Mather and John Cotton provided clerical leadership in the dominant Puritan colony planted on Massachusetts Bay. Thomas Hooker was an example of those who settled new areas farther west according to traditional Puritan standards. Stephen Prothero writes “Puritans… were a God-fearing rather than a Jesus-loving people, obsessed not with God痴 mercy but with His glory, not with the Son but with the Father.. Evangelicals, instead of defining Jesus in terms of God, increasingly came to define God in terms of Jesus. God was loving and merciful, they argued, and His character was most clearly manifest in Jesus.”The common Christian ideology of Evangelicalism did not formally begin until about 1939 (Why was it not used for some 300 years?). At that time J. Elwin Wright of the New England Fellowship toured through the US seeking denominations to band together to press a national revival. (This would obviously obscure denominational lines and overthrow, in many ways, the proper authority of the church.) He invited representatives to meet at a National Conference for United Action among evangelicals at St. Louis in 1942. Four pastors were the primary speakers at this conference: Harold J. Okenga, pastor of Boston痴 Park Street Church, William W. Ayer, pastor of New York痴 Calvary Baptist Church, Robert G. Lee, pastor of Memphis?Bellevue Baptist Church and Stephen W. Paine, president of Houghton College. The four preached on various ecumenical topics and encouraged unity and a national movement toward spiritual renewal. Nowadays the term Puritan is used in a general sense to describe those who have rediscovered the biblical doctrines and practices of the Puritans and who seek to exemplify these in the reality of today’s world. While he did not follow the Puritan practice of preaching systematically through the books of Scripture, C. H. Spurgeon is esteemed a Puritan-one born out of time. Nobody in our generation seems to be able to match J. I. Packer in the art of advocating and pronouncing with enthusiasm the advantages of learning from the Puritans. Dr. Packer wrote a foreword to the Puritan Conference papers when they were first printed for distribution to booksellers during 1959. What he said then of the 1958 Conference he has repeated almost word for word in the foreword of the recently published book, Introduction to Puritan Theology. In this volume the word ‘Puritan’ is employed in its broadest sense. The book includes the writings of archbishop Usher and bishop Jewell. The point of interest however is that Dr. Packer has not moved in his convictions from 1959 to 1977 as to the value of Puritan literature. Sizer traces the origins of Christian Zionism to Puritan postmillennial ideas of a general conversion of Jews to Christ, to which some added a belief in a Jewish State in Palestine, p. 28ff. It might have been helpful here to add the views of other Puritans such as Richard Baxter who opposed the concept. However, the main source of modern Christian Zionism was John Nelson Darby痴 Premillennial Dispensationalism, p. 50ff. Darby was (I知 sorry to say) an Irishman, who came up with a form of Biblical interpretation never professed previously. At the centre of this structure was the belief that the Church and Israel were two separate bodies with different destinies (in actual fact, the Greek word for 祖hurch?translates the Hebrew word qahal, meaning 祖ongregation? used in the Old Testament to describe the nation at worship, and thus a synonym for 選srael). He proposed that God dealt with Man in different stages which his later follower solidified into distinct 租ispensations? p. 110ff. Sizer notes that opponents of the concept such as the Middle East Council of Churches see the idea as 蘇eretical and cultic? whilst John Stott describes 舛hristian Zionism?as 礎iblically anathema? p. 22. Sizer traces the historical development of the idea, notably in America, p. 66ff, for example in the theology of the great US evangelist Moody and the Bible text annotator Scofield. Interestingly, he shows how it neatly dovetailed with anti-Semitism, especially in the theology of the writer Gaebelein, p. 77ff, which rather undermines smears by Christian Zionists that opponents of the concept are motivated by Judeophobia. His theological critique of Dispensationalist Zionism, p. 106ff, is masterly – notably of the way modern advocates such as Hal Lindsey manage to find America in the Bible! Yes, you read that right ?Lindsey thinks America is mentioned because of references to 層ings of a great eagle?in Revelation 12:14ff, Muslims will also be interested in two major points Sizer raises: the Islamophobia of Christian Zionists, and the determination of some to overthrow the Al-Aqsa complex to build a new Jewish Temple. Among Christian Zionist advocates is Pat Robertson, infamous for allegedly suggesting the assassination of the Venezuelan President. He described Islam 疎s a violent religion bent on world domination? p. 248. Robertson claimed that 奏he Koran makes it very clear, that if you see an infidel, you are to kill him? Well, if that痴 the case, I must rebuke the staff at Muslim Weekly for not shooting me the last time I visited the office! The former Southern Baptist leader Rev. Jerry Vines exclaimed that Muhammad was 疎 demon-possessed paedophile? After quoting several authors, Sizer observes that many Christian and Jewish Zionists hold that 奏he Muslim Dome of the Rock must be destroyed, the third Jewish temple built・, p. 173.
The separation of church and state, a pillar of American civic life ostensibly derived from the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause, is not the legacy of noble philosophizing by Jefferson or Madison, but the product of anti-Catholic prejudice by 19th-century Protestants, according to Law School Dean John C. Jeffries Jr., who laid out the case in the 2002 Henry J. Abraham Distinguished Lecture Sept. 13 in Caplin Auditorium.
The modern interpretation of the Establishment Clause dates to 1947 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Everson vs. the Board of Education that the First Amendment broadly rejects public funding for parochial schools. The case arose in New Jersey over the use of public funds to pay the bus fares of children whose locality did not provide secondary education but instead sent its students on to neighboring schools, some Roman Catholic. The decision on the bus fares was five to four to allow them, but there was unanimity among the justices that the affairs of church and state should be kept strictly separate, that government should be neutral toward all religions, and that no matter how it gets there, public funds should not support religious schools. Most of the church/state cases heard by the Supreme Court since then have been school-related, Jeffries noted.
The majority in the Everson case was “crystal clear” about how their ruling agreed with the intent of the Founding Fathers, Jeffries said. They invoked the words of Thomas Jefferson (the phrase “wall of separation” was coined by him) and James Madison. “They treated the history of Virginia as if it were the history of the United States and the Establishment Clause as if it were based on the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. None of these propositions are true,” Jeffries declared confidently.
“The Everson decision treats Jefferson and Madison as if they represent the consensus of the Founding Fathers’ generation,” Jeffries said. “But there were other states when the constitution was adopted and seven of them had government-sponsored religions.
“It’s not clear that the other states meant to follow Virginia. If the Jefferson/Madison view was widely shared, why did the Establishment Clause not adopt this separation of church and state? It doesn’t say that. It merely says the Congress cannot pass any law establishing a religion. Congress has to stay out of it. It is a decision of the states whether to establish a religion. So the Establishment Clause is not so much against establishment as it is pro-states rights.”
Though originally intended to apply to Congress, the separation concept became applied to the states through the “familiar doctrine of incorporation,” Jeffries said.
The concept of no government funding for parochial schools is the result of the failed Constitutional amendment proposed by James Blaine of Maine in 1875, Jeffries said. Blaine, then Speaker of the House and angling for the Republican presidential nomination, introduced an amendment that would extend the establishment and free exercise clauses to the states. The idea took up a call from Ulysses S. Grant for legislation funding public education but not parochial schools. Blaine’s amendment, altered and weakened in debate, failed to pass the Senate and go on to state consideration, but many states nonetheless adopted the language.
“Blaine was the champion of nativist, anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant prejudice,” Jeffries said, “and his amendment was hostile to any use of government money for any religious use anywhere ever. It attempted to foreclose any possibility that Catholic schools would get public money. The public schools were Protestant and the Blaine amendment went so far as to say that the amendment was not meant to prevent the reading of the King James Bible in schools. Catholics opposed private reading of the Bible because they believed unguided reading could lead to error. So they didn’t want their children in the public schools.
“The Blaine amendment was trying to preserve the informal establishment of Protestantism as the official American religion. Because it was not ratified, the anti-Catholic context of the Everson decision is not clear.”
But the Blaine amendment did get into the Constitution “through the back door,” Jeffries said. States began adopting the amendment, especially western states joining the union, and by 1890, 29 out of 45 states had it. “It was like the Equal Rights Amendment in that it failed formally but its content got adopted by the Supreme Court.
“My guess is that the Everson judges thought they were saying what everyone had always thought was true: that they were preserving a national consensus by policing a state that was different from the national norm. But that norm derives not from lofty words from Jefferson and Madison but the dominant Protestant culture that wanted to ensure that government money continued to go to their schools, the public schools, only.”
Jeffries said the country “should take satisfaction” in the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on Cleveland’s voucher program because “all the justices agree that the Constitution forbids favoritism of religion.
“The majority saw Cleveland’s plan as neutral because the voucher could go to any type of private school. Justice Thomas was especially influenced by the impact of school failure on poor black children, whom he wanted to have school choices. The dissent by Justice Souter said that 95 percent of the vouchers were used to send students to Catholic schools, so the program was not really neutral. If, as it appears true, the Supreme Court is going to act as the final political authority for our nation and treat the Constitution as a living document, then it is far better that the Justices act in awareness of the real-world consequences of their decisions.”
He explained the subsequent secularization of schools as necessary to making the public schools hospitable to Catholic, and especially after World War II, to Jewish students, who were demanding equal treatment in schools.
He said it took so long to get to the Everson decision because the effect of the Blaine amendment was to prevent the question from arising. When it did it was in a state that had no constitutional provision against aid and a large Catholic population.
Comments are closed.