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Pope Says Jews Not to Blame for Jesus' Death Wednesday March 2, 2011 Categories: RNS, faith, news VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Jewish people as a whole were not responsible for Jesus' crucifixion, and their descendants have not inherited blame for his death, Pope Benedict XVI writes in a new book to be published on March 10. The statements appear in excerpts, which were released Wednesday (March 2), from Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week: From the Entrance Into Jerusalem To The Resurrection, the sequel to Benedict's 2007 best-seller, Jesus of Nazareth. "Who insisted that Jesus be condemned to death?" Benedict writes in the new book. Noting that the Gospel of John says simply, "the Jews," Benedict explains that this expression "does not at all indicate -- as the modern reader might tend to interpret it -- the people of Israel as such, and even less does it have a 'racist' character." Noting that Jesus and all his original followers were Jews, Benedict writes that the term refers in this case specifically to the "aristocracy of the temple," or the leading priests who called for Jesus' death. Benedict also explains the statement, "may his blood be on us and on our children," attributed to the Jews in the Gospel of Matthew, is not a curse but actually a kind of blessing. "The Christian will remember that the blood of Christ ... is not spilled against anyone but ... for many, for all," Benedict writes. "Read from the point of view of the faith, this means that we all need the purifying force of love, and that force is his blood. These words are not a curse, but redemption, salvation." The book, while not bearing the weight of official church teaching or dogma, is nonetheless likely to help Benedict's relations with Jews. Critics have questioned his moves to approve a Good Friday prayer that calls for Jews' salvation, and also to readmit a schismatic bishop who turned out to be a vocal denier of the Holocaust. Benedict's statement is consistent with official Catholic teaching on the subject that was overhauled in the 1960s, when the Second Vatican Council declared Jesus' passion "cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today." Abraham H. Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Benedict's new book an "important and historic moment for Catholic-Jewish relations" that will help transmit longstanding church teaching "down to the pews." - Francis X. Rocca,
"And there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. Those people are dry canals."
But I said " I am afraid because of what you have told me, that indeed little (ones) are, in our view, the counterfeit ones, indeed, that there are multitudes that will mislead other multitudes of living ones, and destroy them among themselves. And when they speak your name they will be believed."
The Savior said, "For a time determined for them in proportion to their error they will rule over the little ones. And after the completion of the error, the never-aging one of the immortal understanding shall become young, and they (the little ones) shall rule over those who are their rulers. The root of their error he shall pluck out, and he shall put it to shame so that it shall be manifest in all the impudence which it has assumed to itself. And such ones shall become unchangeable, O Peter."
"Come therefore, let us go on with the completion of the will of the incorruptible Father. For behold, those who will bring them judgment are coming, and they will put them to shame. But me they cannot touch. And you, O Peter, shall stand in their midst. Do not be afraid because of your cowardice. Their minds shall be closed, for the invisible one has opposed them."
When he had said those things, I saw him seemingly being seized by them. And I said "What do I see, O Lord? That it is you yourself whom they take, and that you are grasping me? Or who is this one, glad and laughing on the tree? And is it another one whose feet and hands they are striking?"
The Savior said to me, "He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me."
But I, when I had looked, said "Lord, no one is looking at you. Let us flee this place."
But he said to me, "I have told you, 'Leave the blind alone!'. And you, see how they do not know what they are saying. For the son of their glory instead of my servant, they have put to shame."
And I saw someone about to approach us resembling him, even him who was laughing on the tree. And he was with a Holy Spirit, and he is the Savior. And there was a great, ineffable light around them, and the multitude of ineffable and invisible angels blessing them. And when I looked at him, the one who gives praise was revealed.
And he said to me, "Be strong, for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation, that he whom they crucified is the first-born, and the home of demons, and the stony vessel in which they dwell, of Elohim, of the cross, which is under the Law. But he who stands near him is the living Savior, the first in him, whom they seized and released, who stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence, while they are divided among themselves. Therefore he laughs at their lack of perception, knowing that they are born blind. So then the one susceptible to suffering shall come, since the body is the substitute. But what they released was my incorporeal body. But I am the intellectual Spirit filled with radiant light. He whom you saw coming to me is our intellectual Pleroma, which unites the perfect light with my Holy Spirit."
"These things, then, which you saw you shall present to those of another race who are not of this age. For there will be no honor in any man who is not immortal, but only (in) those who were chosen from an immortal substance, which has shown that it is able to contain him who gives his abundance. Therefore I said, 'Every one who has, it will be given to him, and he will have plenty.' But he who does not have, that is, the man of this place, who is completely dead, who is removed from the planting of the creation of what is begotten, whom, if one of the immortal essence appears, they think that they possess him - it will be taken from him and be added to the one who is. You, therefore, be courageous and do not fear at all. For I shall be with you in order that none of your enemies may prevail unto you. Peace be to you, Be strong!"
When he (Jesus) had said these things, he (Peter) came to himself.