Pope Francis has been offering increasingly frequent and bitter denunciations of Catholics who oppose his push to give communion to the divorced and remarried. Sadly, the Pope has portrayed the rigid clergy—as Pharisees who “sit in the chair of Moses and judge.”
This is a horror rooted in the antisemitism of the Roman Catholic Bible itself. Demonizing the Pharisees, as opposed to the sycophant Romans appointed priests, makes sense when you realize that the Christian Bible was written under the rule of the barbaric Roman emperor as part of Constantine’s effort to enforce his version of Christianity on the Roman world. Modern scholars go further, the words that appear to be those of Jesus himself are those of a lay Pharisee, preaching the same passive resistance to Roman rule that was taught by the great rabbi Hillel and his followers. Jews along with dissident Christians were murdered by the Empire not just in the Jewish wars but in Church led orgies of book burning. crucifixion, and crusades that continued well into the 1800s.
Now, Rabbi Giuseppe Laras, a prominent Italian rabbi, has objected to these homilies. Laras protests that the Pope is fostering “an undercurrent—with the text a bit more manifest now—of resentment, intolerance, and annoyance on the Christian side toward Judaism; a substantial distrust of the Bible and a subsequent minimization of the Jewish biblical roots of Christianity;…… . I know very well that the official documents of the Catholic Church are thought to have reached points of no return. What a shame that they should be contradicted on a daily basis by the homilies of the pontiff, who employs precisely the old, inveterate structure and its expressions, dissolving the contents of the aforementioned documents. One need think only of the law of “an eye for an eye” recently evoked by the pope carelessly and mistakenly …
“it is saddening . . . that those who raise objections, perplexities, concerns, and indignation … must always be Jews … and not instead in the first place authoritative Christian voices that right away and much sooner should assert themselves with a bold and frank ‘no.’”