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Wednesday, June 25, 2003

All Mel. All The Time.

Yet another look the blow-up surrounding Mel's film, this time by the CT Weblog. The Catholic members of the Disclaimer Committee just won't shut up:

An unnamed "leading Catholic theologian" called the script "one of the more anti-Semitic documents most of us have seen in a long time." (It had to be one of the following Catholics, all members of an advisory committee to the Bishops Conference on Catholic-Jewish affairs: Mary Boys of the Union Theological Seminary; Philip Cunningham, executive director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College; Lawrence Frizzell, director of the Institute of Judeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University; John Pawlikowski, director of Catholic Jewish studies at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.)

"The Anti-Defamation League and U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops reviewed the script and we wrote a report that was sent to Mr. Gibson's company," Boys told The Herald Sun of Melbourne, Australia . But apparently Sister Mary and her colleagues lost sight of the very important distinction between a statement by the conference and the one of members of the conference. The opinion of advisory board members is even more removed.

What is needed, of course, is some helpful context about the theological inclinations of Boys & The Boys. Your diligent host here at DM is happy to provide it. From last October, via Touchstone's Lee Podles, when this endeavor was still waddling around in short pants:

"In August 2002 a committee of US Conference of Catholic Bishops, co-chaired by William Cardinal Keeler of Baltimore, issued a report, Reflections on Covenant and Mission. It contained some odd statements about the relationship of Judaism and Christianity, and was attacked by some Catholics. The chief offending sentence stated that “targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity” is “no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church.”

Cardinal Avery Dulles in America (10-21-2002) doesn’t like this sentence either. He does not see how it is consistent with statements in Paul and Hebrews.

Although Cardinal Keeler pointed out that Reflections document was unofficial, such unofficial documents have a way of being presented as official teaching. A draft of a report of a bishops’ committee, All Our Children, is always trotted out as the official teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.

Three members of the Advisory Committee on Catholic-Jewish Relations for the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (the committee that wrote the controversial report) responded in America to Dulles: Mary Boys, Philip Cunningham, and John Pawlikowski.

Boys, Cunningham, and Pawlikowski claim that “The magisterium can explicitly contradict an idea of an individual New Testament author because the Catholic tradition is one of commentary, not of sola scriptura (Scripture alone).”

Really? Well, I guess Jack Chick was right after all.

Now hear this: Stop. Speaking. On. My. Behalf. Right. Now.

Why is "ecumenical dialogue" so often the preserve of sloppy, free-range, compromising malcontents, anyway? Of what value are the fruits of such "dialogue" when you've abandoned your own position from the get-go?

Time to get the Motrin.

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