2/26/09

We must never forget...


Image by Communications Currents

Earlier this week Cardinal Sean O'Malley met with Jewish leaders in Boston for a sit-down on matters related to the lifting of the excommunication of the schismatic SSPX bishops, in particular Richard Williamson who has now come forward with something of an apology.

Williamson does not recant his earlier remarks.

Zenit has Williamson's statement here. Check out Michael Paulson's Articles of Faith, for his interview of O'Malley after the meeting.

On the local scene...

I received a phone call this week from the folks in Concord who are planning the town's annual Holocaust remembrance this spring. This will be the 29th annual Holocaust Remembrance in Concord. As has happened a number of times in my 15 years here, the call came to invite me to give an invocation at the event on April 26th. I readily accepted, grateful that the news stories of the past several weeks had not ruptured what are solid ties between people of different faiths in my community.

Then I began to think back to such services in years past... There are usually about 75, maybe 100 people in attendance, Jews and gentiles. Why not more people? I can't say that my parish has been heavily represented in those present. And that leads me to ask you, my readers, "Have you attended such services in the past?" (Many communities have such a remembrance service every spring.)

There's been a lot of noise made over the pope's lifting the excommunications and Williamson's denial of the Holocaust but making noise (or posting comments on blogs) is easy.

What a witness it would give, what telling testimony to our outrage over Williamson we would offer if we made every effort to attend the local Holocaust memorial observance in our communities this spring.

Our Jewish neighbors have never met Richard Williamson but they know us: we are the face of the Catholic Church in our communities.

Shoah: we must never forget...

-ConcordPastor

5 comments:

St Edwards Blog said...

Interestingly enough, just prior to coming here, I read and commented on this post at dotCommonweal on this very topic.

Your post is well put and draws attention to the participatory nature of faith... How do we involve ourselves in such interfaith pursuits, especially with our Jewish brothers and sisters? This is an important topic to me, my father was Jewish and I have many Jewish relatives and roots.

I am newly involved in our diocesan Jewish-Catholic Dialog Group, but I have not been to an event since the SSPX mess took off.

That said, I have had many personal interactions and conversations with many Catholics, Jews and other Christians about it. The most recent is referred to in my comment at dotCommonweal... Where one of my Catholic relatives uses the lifting of the ex-communication to ask aloud why can't Jews just accept Jesus?

This woman, if anything, is simple and naive, not an active anti-semite. The conversation does accent the deep need for actual testimony and for actual engagement with other human beings.

Which is what living our faith is, if I am to understand it at all.

Fran

Anonymous said...

I have not attended any services in the past. I have just marked my calendar for 4/26 to be there and be witness to the outrage over Williamson. Thanks for the invite.

Anonymous said...

I have gone to the Holocaust Remembrance in Concord many times. It is always interesting to hear the speaker (often a Holocaust survivor.) And Rosalie's voice accompanied by her own guitar playing is exquisite. A few times I have missed it because Sunday Evening Prayer has interfered. Your words, CP, are always welcomed by all, and I imagine this year will be even more so.

Lisa said...

I'm curious as to why the good people of Concord are commemorating the Holocaust on April 26. Is it for the convenience of participants?

Yom HaShoah (Day of Destruction), the Jewish commemoriation of the Holocaust falls on April 21 this year. The date 27 of Nissan on the Jewish lunar calendar was selected for Yom HaShoah because on the Warsaw ghetto uprising began on 27th of Nissan in the Jewish year of 5703 (April 19, 1943). But perhaps, you already knew that if you have regularly been attending Holocaust remembrance services.

My Jewish husband and I frequently attend Yom HaShoah services, some interfaith and some strictly Jewish (with me being the token Christian). I find the services very moving. I'll never forget the Yom HaShoah service of 2005 which occurred approximately one month after Pope John Paul II departed his earthly dwelling. The chazzan commented that the Jewish people have lost a friend the likes of which they are unlikely to know again in a long time. I hope that soon a Christian leader will prove the latter part of the statement to be incorrect.

ConcordPastor said...

The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum post lists this year's Days of Remembrance as April 19-26, singling out April 21 as Holocaust Remembrance Day.

I believe Concord marks this day on a weekend in order to attract more participants and that it moves towards the 26th since April 19 is Patriots Day.