Back to Index

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen

The Catholic Church has been the target of attacks in many countries because of its notorious sex scandals. Jewish attacks on the Catholic Church have been kept up by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, who has been on several trips to promote his book A Moral Reckoning. The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust. He toured Germany, Austria and Holland, in some cases debating with Catholic prelates who, he claimed, failed to answer his charges. In a tour of the US, he spoke at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. He struck me as a callow young man. He attacked not just the Catholic Church but Christianity itself, quoting allegedly anti-Semitic remarks in the New Testament. There were two blatant omissions in his talk. He failed to mention the words of Jesus, "Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do", which is the essence of Christianity and makes quite-unChristian the subsequent persecution of the Jews. He failed to subject the Old Testament to the same scrutiny. It contains many brutal acts allegedly justified by the Lord of Hosts and is used to promote the Zionist claim to the Holy, or is it unholy, Land. His mention of the Spanish Inquisition shows that he is drawing on an old legacy: the persecution of judaizantes, Erasmists and Protestants in Catholic Spain, and, under Bloody Mary, also in England, not to mention continental Europe. He seems difficult to please. He is not satisfied with the Pope's expression of sorrow. He wants a formal apology, but then he says that is not enough. It was not clear what his demand for "reparation" involves. Since he compared the plight of the Jews with the slavery of Blacks, it may be that he means cash. Among the Catholics he condemned were the French bishops who had collaborated with the Nazis and who were removed at the request of de Gaulle. There was no recognition of the fact that they were walking on a tightrope. There was no mention of the Cardinal Archbishop Lustiger of Paris, a converted Jew. I wonder what Lustiger thinks of Goldhagen, who reminded me of Henry Morgenthau Jr. who, in World War II. promoted the vindictive Morgenthau Plan to reduce Germany to an agricultural country. He resigned from the cabinet in 1945 when Truman rejected the plan. Good for Truman. Imagine the possible consequences of the Plan. It seems fair to say that Goldhagen is not helping ther cause of the Jews. For more on this problem, see the next posting from Christopher Jones.

Ronald Hilton - 1/13/03