(I was informed by a reader that, at the NCRegister website, Robert Sungenis was again falsely accusing Bishop Kevin Rhoades of holding to the dual covenant error. In the process, Bob was also falsely characterizing the record regarding his hostile and uncharitable writings and postings against the Jewish people. I'd hoped that if Bob was largely "left alone" in regard to his interactions with Bishop Rhoades [as he has been for almost two years now] that he would become more circumspect and at least stop making more false accusations. Sadly, that hasn't occurred. So, at the NCRegister website, I defended His Excellency from Bob's latest unjust attacks and documented what Bob has actually written and posted regarding the Jewish people [see: Saturday, Jun 18, 2011 11:07 AM (EDT)]. Bob replied again there and I decided to produce a more comprehensive response here instead while leaving a link at the NCRegister website so readers there could access it. My response is divided into two postings: the first, a further defense of Bishop Rhoades may be found by clicking here; the second, further documentation of Bob’s history on Jewish issues is below. All the previous comments made by Bob, as well as my first response, may be found at the NCRegister website by clicking here). ~ Michael Forrest (6/26/11)
Again, my real interest is in the false accusations you’ve been leveling against Bishop Rhoades, but the paper you wrote about our article in Lay Witness magazine was answered a long time ago. I don’t believe and never stated that Jews have a status “above the rest of human race.” Those are your words, not mine or David Palm’s. I already gave a link to the answers (including an answer to your accusation of our alleged “spiritual racism”), but you didn’t read them. Here they are, again (click here).
Regarding your treatment of Jewish issues, you ignored the invitation I made that would enable you to finally make clear to everyone that you truly regret, apologize for and retract the problematic statements you’ve made about Jewish issues that are listed in the links below. If you would genuinely like to clear up the record, this is a great opportunity to do so. So, in case you just missed it, here it is again (click here and here).
If you truly regret the statements you’ve made against Jews listed in the articles above and no longer hold to them, then I re-present the invitation made back in 2008 (click here).
Simply retract and apologize for these statements, without the kind of equivocations you’ve made in the past (such as saying that you still believe them to be true in your private thoughts or that you’re apologizing “for the sake of peace”).
First, I’m not seeking to curtail your rights. I’m expecting you to respect the rights of others. I think you should read this article about Chris Ferrara’s response to Bishop Williamson’s behavior. His words apply to you as well (click here).
Second, let’s recall what originally drove your accusations against Bishop Rhoades. Bishop Rhoades directed you to stop writing about all Jewish issues. And the way you excused yourself from having to follow his direction was by accusing him of “attempting to propagate” the dual covenant error to “unsuspecting Catholics” and that he was trying to stop you from refuting this doctrinal error. According to you, this relieved you of having to listen to Bishop Rhoades' direction. But even if your accusations against His Excellency were true (which they weren’t), at most this might provide a narrow justification for you to continue to post material specifically against the dual covenant error, not the rest of the broad-based anti-Jewish material that continues to proliferate at your website.
Third, you’ve repeatedly promised to limit yourself to doctrinal/theological issues related to Jews and to use only respectable sources after getting into trouble. But you’ve consistently broken those promises each time the heat eventually dies down. You claim that your anger is focused on “doctrine” as it pertains to Jews, but the facts prove otherwise, even now – as I pointed out in my response to you at the NCRegister website that included numerous current anti-Jewish citations from your your Bellarmine Theological Forum.
Again, the following articles review your apologies and your subsequent behavior:
Here are three of your promises:
R. Sungenis: “As most of you know, CAI has been on a somewhat controversial path the last four years, ever since our critique of the Reflections on Covenant and Missions statement was issued in 2002. We began to focus on politics, culture and other peripheral issues that were not the frame and substance of our former work, which started in 1993. Although those areas certainly have their merit, they have detracted from the expertise we offered to the public in the area of biblical studies. Hence, we are retreating from those more controversial areas for the foreseeable future so that we can concentrate on our areas of strength…let me offer my sincerest apologies to all the people or groups that I have offended by the manner in which I have sometimes communicated my ideas in the past four years. Whether Protestant, Catholic, Jew, Muslim or whatever, I know that some of the words I chose and some of the sources I used tended to incite offense. I can assure you that such will be the case no longer. Whenever we write about any group or individual it will be with much care and consideration.” (An Open Letter to the Patrons of CAI: September 18, 2006)
R. Sungenis: "The shepherds God has placed as overseers of my life and work have asked me to reconsider the tone and content with which I write about the Jewish people for CAI. They provided me various examples in which I have crossed the line into inappropriate language and accusations, and I communicated to them my agreement with their overall assessment. Since I am a faithful son of the Catholic Church, I take [Bishop Rhoades', Fr. King's and Fr. Massa's] wisdom and counsel with the utmost seriousness and consider their direction as if it was from God himself. I consider it an honor not only to be a member of the Catholic Church but also to be under the vigilance of such wise and caring pastors. In short, I consider it a privilege to obey them...If in the future we write any new material on the Jews, it will always be with the required due diligence, as if the bishop were present with us. Since he acts in God's stead, we will do our utmost to please him so as to preserve the peace and tranquility he so desires to maintain in the body of Christ." (Catholic Apologetics and Its Teaching on the Jews: July 31, 2007)
R. Sungenis: “…because such political, cultural and social criticism of the Jews can so easily be misunderstood, I have decided to refrain from any more dealings with those aspects of Jewish life. I’ll leave criticism of Jewish politics and culture to people more capable than I apparently am. My expertise is in theology, and that is where I will put all my efforts. Hence, any future dealings that I have with the Jews, whether on our website or in published articles, will only concern the theological side of things. As you can see by the Jewish material presently on our website, every article is about theological matters, and that will always be the policy of our apostolate from here on out.” (Response to P. Catan: January 25, 2008)
You’ve broken all three of these promises. These are the reasons why you shouldn’t be commenting or posting about Jewish issues, Bob. Even you recognized that you should stay away from them, but you can’t seem help yourself. For your own good and everyone else’s good, you need to stop. Bishop Rhoades was right all along to direct you to stop writing about Jews.