Catholics Must Resist the Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism

Greg Erlandson writes:

In Europe and the United States, anti-Semitic incidents are on the rise. Verbal and physical assaults, including murder, are increasing. Anti-Semitic incidents in France increased more than 70 percent in 2018, in Germany by 20 percent, which also saw a near doubling of violent attacks.

In our own country, the massacre at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the synagogue shooting in Poway, California, are the most extreme examples of the kind of hate that is being rekindled. During the neo-Nazi march in Charlottesville in 2017, the demonstrators chanted “Jews will not replace us,” an allusion to a popular white nationalist claim that the white race is under attack….

Today, in our country, the turmoil following the Great Recession as well as social and technological upheaval and the exploitation of politicians has led to more expressions of bigotry of all forms.

Our church has its own long and dark history of anti-Semitism that too often led to or sanctioned acts of discrimination and even violence.

Since the Second Vatican Council and its groundbreaking document “Nostre Aetate,” much progress has been made in healing 2,000 years of Christian-Jewish tensions. St. John Paul II was an important figure in this respect. The first pope to visit a synagogue in modern times, he referred to the Jewish people as our elder brothers in the faith….

Unfortunately, even in Catholic circles, we must be on guard that the great evil of anti-Semitism does not return, nor give intellectual cover to those who invoke its slanders….

In this time of resentment and upheaval, we Catholics would do well to be on our guard that we do not countenance this sin. Such “tolerance” of great evil would make a mockery of the faith we proclaim, the Savior we follow.