Saturday, May 03, 2008

Good Friday 'Reproaches' 'antisemitic' says Guardian

Briefing and comment. The Guardian's George Hall, reviewing St John Passion, a new composition by James MacMillan, criticises his use of the Reproaches (Improperia) from the Good Friday liturgy, as antisemitic. As Damian Thompson comments, it is impossible to avoid the fact that Christians think Jesus was the Messiah, and that his own people rejected Him. It is absurd to suggest that Christians can't make reference to this rejection without being called antisemitic. The casual way in which Hall makes this appalling accusation is, alas, typical of the liberal attack on Christianity.

The Reproaches expand the idea of Micah 6.3ff: O my people, what have I done unto thee? and wherein have I wearied thee? testify against me. This is an accusation against the Jewish people: is it antisemitic? In fact, the faithful listening to the Reproaches naturally apply the accusation to themselves, placing themselves in the position of the Jews who rejected Jesus, since as sinners they know they have rejected Him by sinning. This idea was reflected in Mel Gibson himself holding the nail driven into Christ's hand in his filming of the The Passion.

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen