Friday, November 29, 2013

John Vennari Lies to Discredit Pope Francis

Pope Francis
Pope Francis never does anything in a small way. Everything he does and says is meant to shake us up and force us to stop and reflect on what he says, all done in an effort to bring the world to the saving Grace of Jesus Christ.

His latest work, "Evangelii Gaudium", is certainly no exception to this.  It is a massive work, which I still have not completely finished.  The theme of this document is evangelization, bringing the saving message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a world desperately in need of it.  The document's purpose is to show all Catholics, no matter what their station in life, that they are and must be a part of this great evangelization.  The document is very much in line with the goals of Vatican II, which was all about opening up the Church and bringing salvation to the world.

But, of course, there are those who are right there to criticize and condemn, and unfortunately, some of those at the forefront of the criticism are Traditionalists. John Vennari, who is associated with Father Nicholas Gruner, and who is the editor of Father Gruner's newspaper, "Catholic Family News", wasted no time in posting an article online entitled "Pope Francis and the Old Covenant" about how wrong Pope Francis is. You can read Vennari's article HERE.  Vennari in this article specifically attacked one section of Evangelii Gaudium having to do with the Church's relationship with the Jewish Faith. Vennari quotes a portion of this section.  The italics in this quote are from Vennari:
The document is guided by the new orientation of Vatican II, though it bears the personal stamp of Francis. For now, we will focus on one section of the Exhortation that deals today’s religion of Judaism.
Within the context of exhorting Catholics ever deeper into the ecumenical program, Pope Francis says: “We hold the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked, for ‘the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable’ (Rom 11:29). The Church, which shares with Jews an important part of the Sacred Scriptures, looks upon the people of the covenant and their faith as one of the sacred roots of her own Christian identity (cf. Rom11:16-18). As Christians, we cannot consider Judaism as a foreign religion; nor do we include the Jews among those called to turn from idols and to serve the true God (cf. 1 Thes 1:9). With them, we believe in the one God[1] who acts in history, and with them we accept his revealed word.”[2]
John Vennari
Vennari then makes a completely false statement against Pope Francis:
There is no mention of any need for conversion to Christ and His Church. 
This is absolutely and unequivocally a lie. There is no other way to state this, as I will show. Although Vennari does cite the paragraph number of the papal document in his footnotes, #247, he does not give any links to it, most likely because he doesn't want you to read anything other that what he quotes. So to help all those who were not able or did not want to do their own research, you can find the document HERE. Vennari conveniently ignores and omits everything other than the one quoted paragraph.

Pope Francis writes the following in paragraph number 249, omitted from Vennari's article:
God continues to work among the people of the Old Covenant and to bring forth treasures of wisdom which flow from their encounter with his word. For this reason, the Church also is enriched when she receives the values of Judaism. While it is true that certain Christian beliefs are unacceptable to Judaism, and that the Church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah, there exists as well a rich complementarity which allows us to read the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures together and to help one another to mine the riches of God’s word.
Completely contradicting Vennari's assertion that "There is no mention of any need for conversion to Christ and His Church," His Holiness makes it very clear that the Church will always preach Christ as "Lord and Messiah."  Scott Richert, in an article dated April 23, 2013 and entitled "Pope Francis: "It Is Not Possible to Find Jesus Outside the Church", which you can read HERE, wrote the following:
And now Pope Francis has arrived at the crux of the matter, the part that will surprise both those who trumpet "the spirit of Vatican II" and those who denounce the council as a departure from tradition. We can only be Christians through the Church,
Because it is not possible to find Jesus outside the Church. The great Paul VI said: "Wanting to live with Jesus without the Church, following Jesus outside of the Church, loving Jesus without the Church is an absurd dichotomy." And the Mother Church that gives us Jesus gives us our identity that is not only a seal, it is a belonging. Identity means belonging. This belonging to the Church is beautiful.
This is why the missionary activity of the Church is so essential: We cannot know Christ outside of the Church. We are called to preach the Gospel to all nations, because that is the only way they can know Christ. Unless the Church is growing, preaching the Gospel and adding new members, we are not doing what we are called to do as Christians:
Think of this Mother Church that grows, grows with new children to whom She gives the identity of the faith, because you cannot believe in Jesus without the Church. Jesus Himself says in the Gospel: "But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep." If we are not "sheep of Jesus," faith does not come to us. It is a rosewater faith, a faith without substance.
"Now this is eternal life: That they may know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent" (John 17:3). Yet we can know Christ only through the Church.
This should surely lay to rest any misconception that Pope Francis does not believe in the absolute need for the saving Sacrifice of Jesus Christ or that Christ can be found anywhere but in the true teachings of the Church. A further quote from Pope Francis:
The Church's journey always takes place between the Cross and the Resurrection, amid the persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. And this is the path: those who go down this road are not mistaken.
Vennari, in his article, then tries to tell us:
Pope Francis effectively continues the program initiative by the Council, and brought to fruition by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI that the Old Covenant has not been superseded by the New. This is a novel concept that runs contrary to Sacred Scripture and to the perennial magisterium of the Church.
John Vennari is contradicting the pure and clear teaching of the Catholic Church and of Sacred Scriptue with the above statement.  The following is from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, under "The Canon of Scripture", paragraph 121:
The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinely inspired and retain a permanent value, for the Old Covenant has never been revoked. (1093)
To be fair, Vennari does not use the word "revoked" in regard to the Old Covenant.  He says that the Old Covenant has been "superseded" by the New Covenant.  The problem with this statement is that the two covenants are completely separate from one another, as we are told in Jeremiah 31:
31 Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda:
32 Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: 
The New Covenant is an entirely "new" covenant.  It is not a continuation of the Old Covenant.  It does not contradict the Old Covenant in any way.  In fact, the two covenants compliment each other.  As I have heard many times, the New Covenant is hidden in the Old, and the Old is explained in the New. Since they are entirely separate from one another, there is no reason to revoke or "supercede" the Old Covenant.

It is definitely true that the sacrifices of the Old Covenant have ceased, which happened when the Temple was destroyed in 70 AD. And yes, it is true that as Christians under the New Covenant, we are not to engage in the practices of the Old Covenant because they have no efficacy. We cannot gain eternal life from the Old Covenant. However, the Old Covenant never did promise eternal life. It was there only to foreshadow what was to come under Jesus Christ, who established the New Covenant, as St. Paul tells us in Colossians 2:16-17:
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
When a student is in school, he is learning the things he will need when he goes into the "real world." His school lessons are, in effect, a "foreshadow" of what he will be doing when he leaves school. He cannot earn a living from doing his school lessons, but if he learns his lessons well, he will be able to function and earn a living when he graduates. That is what the Old Covenant was. As St. Paul wrote in Galatians 3:23-25:
23Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. 24So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith25Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.
When we graduate from school, we are no longer bound by the rules of school. But the school still exists, and the rules which governed us as students still exist and are just as valid as when we were pupils. The difference is that we are no longer under those rules so they have no effect on us. It would be silly and self defeating to continue living as students once we have graduated. We leave school to go out and earn a living, but that doesn't mean that school is suddenly "outlawed" and to be treated like a pariah. Graduating and going out into the real world is not a matter of "superseding" our time in school. It is entering into an entirely new phase in life. And that is what the New Covenant is. It is a new phase in the plan of salvation. It is not a continuation of the "Old Covenant." Therefore, there was never any need to revoke or "supercede" the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant still exists, but it has no power over us.

Vennari uses the following to back up his assertion that Pope Francis is teaching something that is in direct defiance of what the Church has always taught:
The doctrine of the supersession [sic] of the Old Testament by the New is a universal and perpetual doctrine of the Catholic Church. It is a defined article of the Catholic Faith. The solemn Profession of Faith of the Ecumenical Council of Florence under Pope Eugene IV, says the following:

“The sacrosanct Roman Church ... firmly believes, professes, and teaches that the matter pertaining to the Old Testament, of the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future, although they were suited to the divine worship at that time, after Our Lord’s coming had been signified by them, ceased, and the sacraments of the New Testament began; ... All, therefore, who after that time observe circumcision and the Sabbath and the other requirements of the law, it (the Roman Church) declares alien to the Christian faith and not in the least fit to participate in eternal salvation, unless someday they recover from these errors.”
You will notice that there is nothing in this quote that says the Old Covenant is to be "suppressed."  It merely says that we are not to partake in any of the practices of the Old Covenant, i.e, "ceremonies, sacred rites, sacrifices, and sacraments, because they were established to signify something in the future."  As I stated earlier, these things were merely a foreshadow of Jesus Christ.  They are part of the "Old School."

The Jews are, in effect, still "in school."  They don't realize or accept that it is time to graduate and move on to the real thing, which is Jesus Christ and salvation.  But that doesn't negate the truth of what they do believe, and that is why the Church says the Old Covenant has never been revoked.

Vennari does not allow for any comments on his website, but he posted this to his Facebook page and the following comments were left:

  • 11 people like this.
  • Patricio de Aulia Why do the Jews celebrate the Feast of the Dedication ("Hanukkah")? Why does the Church let these infidels desecrate a holy day only she recognises? There's no Feast of the Dedication in the Masoretic Text used by today's Jews, they have no business celebrating it. Everyone, be sure and tell every Jew you see they stole the holiday from the Church. Thievery comes natural to those members of the synagogue of Satan.
  • John Wassmer Actually Chanuka prefigures Christmas and is why they almost always coincide at Christmas time. "The Festival of Lights" is now commemorated by the candles and house lights generally associated only with Christmas. The miracle of the Re- Dedication of ...See More
  • Patricio de Aulia Yep. Nobody said the Pope couldn't be an heretic...
  • Marilyn Rose He can be anything he wants if he puts his mind to it. 

We must always be very careful of anyone who condemns the Holy Father and/or the Magesterium. Never accept any condemnation of the Holy Father on face value, no matter who it comes from. Always do your homework. Go to the source. And trust that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Magesterium of the Church to be led into false teaching.

Related Posts  0