Note from Editor:
Congrats to George who raises very many questions to help readers reflect.
Before all that, let me answer our dear friend Francis Mondal who on 04/09/2021 asked a good question: “Since when has Church Citizens' Voice become World Citizens' Voice? Will the editorial board please clarify?”
Dear friend, kindly read editorial comment, CCV, 31/08/2021, Back in KOCHI:
“CCV was originally planned to be WORLD CITIZENS’ VOICE (WCV)! To start off we needed a universal writing board to catch attention. The closest we had was the Catholic Church – Catholic meaning universal, but actually not. It is very particular and limited, an Oximoron, (Contradiction in terms). We stressed it from the very beginning!
All Humans Brothers Only!
With Francis Papa’s tutti fratelli (we are all just brothers only), proselytization a solemn nonsense, our God is not a Catholic God and, all religions are willed by God, slowly we are moving in that right direction. So CCV too now is moving in the right direction. The days of organized religions are counted, and ending. Christian Europe is fast becoming Muslim. Need to write volumes to explain this issue, not now” and more as time permts and thanks."
Now please putyour comments on George’s thought-provoking article. Editor, WCV, james kottoor.
I refer to the article titled “CHRISTIAN WORLD 4 SEP, 2021 Hypocrisy in the church is ‘detestable’, Pope says at audience”. I would like to add some comments to it.
First of all, from and after reading the Bible, I have come to the conclusion that Catholic Church does not have a God that can be claimed as its own. They have invented Trinity and through that device elevated Jesus Christ to the position of God. But the point is, did Jesus, a Jew, accept the honour bestowed on him by non-Jews? I doubt very much.
Let us briefly examine the Old Testament. It is the story of a tribe and their God. To this tribe, God identifies himself as “God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”. It is a story of the contract between God and his people. These ‘his people’ did not include anyone outside of this tribe. This tribe became known as Jews eventually. Even Jesus Christ himself was a Jew, a circumcised one at that. He has stated that he came for the chosen people who sadly and unfortunately today’s Christians are not. It was through St Paul the accession of Jesus as the head of a new religion that eventually became known as Christians stood accomplished.
There is no rhyme or reason to go by what St Paul said to make Jesus the God of Christians. (John 1:1 discredits itself by the contents of subsequent chapters in John). At best Paul was the first evangelist, a pure and simple opportunist, who apparently had some quarrel to settle with Jewish priests and saw promoting Jesus to the gentiles was the way to get back at the Jewish conservative establishment.
Did Paul have any authority from Jesus to change Jesus himself had said about his mission? It is Paul’s words against our common sense, intelligence and what Jesus himself had preached. In Jesus’ own words he came to fulfill prophesies i.e. to accomplish everything that was prophesied by prophets before him. To my best knowledge and belief, there is no prophesy to the effect that after Jesus’ departure a new religion would emerge and that it will be called “Christianity” and the followers “Christians”.
The Bible was reportedly edited some 50 times to give credence to Paulian teachings and beliefs that Jesus was God but it was a job very badly done. There is more in the Bible to disprove Christian belief of Jesus being God than the opposite. If Jesus didn’t want anyone to identify him as God and to convert gentiles then in my view, the religion called Christianity becomes illegitimate and without any God as its head.
The Jews had not accepted the so called New Testament which is nothing but life story of a man called Jesus written from 30 to 90 years after his death. A lot of verses in it are rephrased versions of Old Testament prophets’ sayings. Jesus did, however, introduce some new concepts like Love Your Enemy, Show the Other Cheek if someone slapped you at one and forgive those who sins against one. The word “Christ” does not mean God. It just means the chosen or anointed one to carry out certain responsibilities expected of by the one who does the anointing, which in the backdrop of the Bible is Yahweh. If Jesus was God then does he need anointing from another God unless he happened to be a lesser God? We are told that he is neither a lesser nor superior God but Yahweh himself – the sender and sent are the same person, an Agatha Christie type mystery with every other priests claiming to be Sherlock Holmes with the ability to solve the mystery to common people. As someone had said if anyone claims he has understood Trinity then probably he has misunderstood it and if he has misunderstood it then he has not understood it. This then should merit being identified as one of the biggest hypocrisies.
The hypocrisy practised by Catholics is there for all to see. Their holy book contains two parts identified as Old and New. Jesus had said that he did not come to change or cancel laws and prophets. This would mean that Catholics are not relieved from observing and respecting everything that is there in the Old Testament. Are they following everything that is stated in Deuteronomy for example? I am not saying that they do but why have that which belonged to Jewish prophets?
Perhaps the Church fathers of yester years had thought unless Jesus story is woven around the Jewish text, new religion will be bereft of pedigree, roots, heritage and legitimacy. But just borrowing the Jewish Torah and not going by it would mean that they are having the cake and eating it too. They ought to have created a new Bible of their own drawing some ideas from the Jewish Tohra and Jesus story. Instead they have chosen themselves to be hypocrites by producing something as their code and just doing the opposite by ignoring it. They claim, “Oh that is the old but what we follow is the new” but would keep silent when challenged whether Jesus or any Pope could change God’s laws as contained in the Old Testament.
Here is how the hypocrites have made some changes and claimed legitimacy by saying Jesus said so. For example, has Jesus allowed eating of pork meat that is prohibited under Old Testament? When asked about the incorrectness of eating without washing of hands, Jesus answered only just that question. He was not asked if it was okay to eat pork. His answer then would have been different. He would have simply said “what do the scriptures say?” as he was fond of asking often. Christians extrapolated Jesus’ answer that what goes The hypocrite in does not make one unclean but what comes out as granting permission for eating pork meat!
The truth was that Christianity stood little chance of successfully being sold out to Europeans with prohibition about pork included in the package. The Europeans then as now relish pork. I too relish this meat and therefore am not asking that Rome ban pork, just pointing out the hypocrisy.
Consider yet another example. The most holy service called Eucharistic ceremony. The object of worship being a wafer encased and locked up at the altar vault. When the priest raises this wafer up everyone kneels down in supplication, believing it to be the real flesh of Jesus. Even if it through some magic becomes his body piece, does it not amount to worship of an object? Look at the statues inside and outside the church complete with collection boxes. Are these not resulting in violating the God of Old Testament’s command on worship? Hypocrisy pervades all across the Catholic faith. The tragedy is that for the most part believers are bible illiterates and anything can be sold to such people in the name of faith. The end that the Church has in mind is how to extract as much people’s money in any which way they can.
Father and Holy Father
All the priests go around with the title Father and the Pope Holy Father. Consider this in the backdrop of what Jesus said, “And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your Father” (Mathew 23:9). Pope seems to be relishing the idea when addressed as Holy Father. Isn’t it God’s remit to call anyone Holy? Again Jesus had said,“But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant” (Mathew 20:26). The appropriate title for the priests should be “shepherds”, Bishops and Cardinals “Senior shepherds” and the Pope “Head Shepherd”. But hypocritical attitude of those after positions will have none of it.
In his introductory piece, Dr. Kottoor referred to Judas as the traitor. Was he really a traitor? I would not think so. Somebody had to be the fall guy for the story or prophesy to proceed to its logical conclusion. The honour (or dishonour) fell on Judas. I wouldn’t call him a traitor for that. I would say that he played his pre-ordained part rather too well. How can anyone blame him for it? To do so is Hypocrisy, particularly when viewed in the backdrop of what Jesus had said to his 12 disciples, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Mathew 19:28).
Judas was one of the followers to whom Jesus spoke to- 12 disciples and 12 thrones. How then can he be called a traitor? He should be called, the ‘chosen one to help the Roman soldiers identify their target’. The Church hypocrites must have someone to take blame for Jesus’ arrest and this game of apportioning blame to all and sundry expect the priestly clan themselves goes on in everything that the church does even today.
If Pope really wants to reform Catholic Church, the first place to begin from is its Sacraments. He will be shown the door if he attempted it and he knows it. So, he will end his term just doing bit of patch work here and there but nothing substantial.
* George Neduparambil
* Is a retired banker residing at Kochi.