(Minor Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation
Oswald T. Allis
John A. Broadus
Wilhelm De Wette
Charles Homer Giblin
Johann von Hug
J, F, and Brown
Jean Le Clerc
Jack P. Lewis
Sir Isaac Newton
Dr. John Owen
William W. Patton
Rudolph E. Stier
(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation
John L. Bray
Dr. John Brown
Francis X. Gumerlock
J. Marcellus Kik
Ovid Need, Jr
Milton S. Terry
(Virtually No Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 & Revelation in 1st
C. - Types Only ; Also Included are "Higher Critics" Not Associated With Any
Alan Patrick Boyd
John N. Darby
Charles G. Finney
J.P. Green Sr.
John N.D. Kelly
Dr. John Smith
George Fox |
Margaret Fell (Fox) |
PRETERIST UNIVERSALISM |
MODERN PRETERISM |
Pope Benedict XVI
Benedict XVI: 'The judgment announced
by the Lord Jesus refers above all to the destruction of Jerusalem in the
OPENING MASS OF THE 11TH ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS
Excerpt of Homily of Pope Benedict XVI - Vatican
Basilica, Sunday, 2 October 2005
"The reading from the Prophet Isaiah and today's
Gospel set before our eyes one of the great images of Sacred Scripture: the
image of the vine...Thus, the reading from the Prophet that we have just
heard begins like a canticle of love: God created a vineyard for himself -
this is an image of the history of love for humanity, of his love for Israel
which he chose...
In the Gospel, the image changes: the
vine produces good grapes, but the tenants keep them for themselves. They
are not willing to hand them over to the owner of the vineyard. They beat
and kill his messengers and kill his son. Their motive is simple: they
themselves want to become owners; they take possession of what does not
belong to them....There, it is only the desire for power and private
interests that can prevail. Of course, one can chase the Son out of the
vineyard and kill him, in order selfishly to taste the fruits of the earth
alone....Thus, we reach a third element of today's readings. In the Old and
New Testaments, the Lord proclaims judgment on the unfaithful vineyard. The
judgment that Isaiah foresaw is brought about in the great wars and exiles
for which the Assyrians and Babylonians were responsible. The judgment
announced by the Lord Jesus refers above all to the destruction of Jerusalem
in the year 70."
Natural Disasters and human tragedies do not mean the end
of the world, says Pope Benedict XVI
Vatican City, Nov 18, 2007 / 10:13 am (CNA).- With thousands of faithful
gathered in St. Peter's Square for the Angelus prayer today, Pope Benedict
XVI rejected the "recurring messianisms" that are continually announcing the
imminent end the world. He explained that "history is ongoing, and involves
human tragedies and natural calamities."
Reflecting on the Gospel reading for this Sunday, the Holy Father recalled
that, since its inception, the Church "prayerfully lives in the care of its
Lord, scrutinizing the signs of the times and keeping the faithful on guard
against the calls of messianisms, which from time to time announce the
imminent end of the world."
Actually, the Pontiff said, "history must take its course, which also
involves human tragedies and natural calamities. As time develops, the
design of salvation that Christ has already taken effect in his incarnation,
death and resurrection [becomes clearer]. This mystery is continually
announced by the Church and actualized in her preaching, with the
celebration of the sacraments and the testimony of charity."
Faced with the problems of life, "do not be afraid for the future," said the
pope, who urged parishioners to accept "the invitation of Christ to face
everyday events trusting his love.
Antidote against nihilism: faith and charity
Finally, Benedict XVI highlighted the example of charity of consecrated
persons, especially those who "have withdrawn into contemplation enclosed in
"Monasteries", he said, are a "spiritual oasis" which indicate that God and
his love are the ultimate reason worth living for.
"Faith that operates in charity is the true antidote to the nihilistic
mentality, which in our time is always expanding its influence in the
world," the Holy Father stressed.
Benedict XVI On Apostle John and
CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 23, 2006 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of
Benedict XVI's address at today's general audience, dedicated to the Apostle
John, whom he presented on this occasion as "the seer of Patmos. The
meditation is part of the series of reflections he is offering on the Church
and the apostles.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the last catechesis we meditated on the figure of the Apostle John. At
first we tried to see how much can be known of his life. Then, in a second
catechesis, we meditated on the central content of his Gospel, of his
Letters: charity, love. And today we are again concerned with the figure of
John, this time to consider the seer of Revelation.
We must immediately make an observation: Whereas his name never appears in
the Fourth Gospel or the letters attributed to the apostle, [the Book of]
Revelation makes reference to John's name four times (cf. 1:1,4,9; 22:8). On
one hand, it is evident that the author had no reason to silence his name
and, on the other, he knew that his first readers could identify him with
precision. We know moreover that, already in the third century, the scholars
argued over the true identity of the John of Revelation.
For this reason we can also call him "the seer of Patmos," because his
figure is linked to the name of this island of the Aegean Sea, where,
according to his own autobiographical testimony, he found himself deported
"because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus" (Revelation 1:19).
Precisely on Patmos, "in the Spirit on the Lord's day," John had grandiose
visions and heard extraordinary messages, which would have no little
influence on the history of the Church and on the whole of Christian
For example, from the title of his book, "Apocalypse" [Revelation], were
introduced in our language the words "apocalypse, apocalyptic," which evoke,
though inappropriately, the idea of an impending catastrophe.
The book must be understood in the context of the dramatic experience of the
seven Churches of Asia (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Tiatira, Sardi,
Philadelphia and Laodicea), which toward the end of the first century had to
face great difficulties -- persecutions and even internal difficulties -- in
their witnessing of Christ. John addresses them, showing profound pastoral
sensitivity for persecuted Christians, whom he exhorts to remain steadfast
in the faith and not identify with the very strong pagan world.
His objective, in short, is to unveil, from the death and resurrection of
Christ, the meaning of human history. The first and essential vision of
John, in fact, concerns the figure of the Lamb, which, despite being slain,
is standing (cf. Revelation 5:6), placed before the throne where God himself
is seated. With this, John wants to tell us two things above all: The first
is that Jesus, though he was killed with an act of violence, instead of
lying fallen on the ground remains paradoxically standing firmly on his
feet, because with the resurrection he has vanquished death definitively.
The second is that Jesus himself, precisely because he died and resurrected,
now participates fully in the royal and salvific power of the Father. This
is the fundamental vision. Jesus, the Son of God, is, on this earth, a
defenseless, wounded and dead Lamb. And yet, he is standing, firm, before
the throne of God and participates in the divine power. He has in his hands
the history of the world. In this way, the visionary wishes to tell us: Have
confidence in Jesus, do not be afraid of opposing powers, of persecution!
The wounded and dead Lamb conquers! Follow Jesus, the Lamb, trust Jesus,
follow his way! Even if in this world he seems to be the weak Lamb, he is
The object of one of the principal visions of Revelation is this Lamb at the
moment he opens a book, which before was sealed with seven seals, which no
one was able to open. John is even presented weeping, as no one could be
found able to open the book and read it (cf. Revelation 5:4). History
appears as undecipherable, incomprehensible. No one can read it.
Perhaps this weeping of John before the very dark mystery of history
expresses the disconcertment of the Asian Churches because of God's silence
in the face of the persecutions to which they were exposed at that time. It
is a disconcertment which might well reflect our surprise in the face of the
grave difficulties, misunderstandings and hostilities that the Church also
suffers today in several parts of the world.
They are sufferings which the Church certainly does not deserve, as Jesus
did not deserve punishment either. However, they reveal both man's
maliciousness, when he allows himself to be led by the snares of evil, as
well as the higher governance of events by God. So, only the immolated Lamb
is capable of opening the sealed book and of revealing its content, to give
meaning to this history which, apparently, often seems so absurd.
He alone can draw pointers and teachings for the life of Christians, to whom
his victory over death brings the announcement and guarantee of the victory
that they also, without a doubt, will attain. All the language John uses,
charged with strong images, tends to offer this consolation.
At the center of the vision that Revelation presents is the extremely
significant image of the Woman, who gives birth to a male Child, and the
complementary vision of the Dragon, which has fallen from the heavens, but
is still very powerful. This Woman represents Mary, the Mother of the
Redeemer, but she represents at the same time the whole Church, the People
of God of all times, the Church that at all times, with great pain, again
gives birth to Christ. And she is always threatened by the power of the
Dragon. She seems defenseless, weak.
But, while she is threatened, pursued by the Dragon, she is also protected
by God's consolation. And this Woman, at the end, is victorious. The Dragon
does not conquer. This is the great prophecy of this book, which gives us
confidence! The Woman who suffers in history, the Church which is
persecuted, at the end is presented as the splendid Bride, image of the new
Jerusalem, in which there is no more tears or weeping, image of the world
transformed, of the new world whose light is God himself, whose lamp is the
For this reason, John's Revelation, though full of constant references to
sufferings, tribulations and weeping -- the dark face of history -- at the
same time presents frequent songs of praise, which represent, so to speak,
the luminous face of history.
For example, it speaks of an immense crowd that sings almost shouting:
"Alleluia! The Lord has established his reign, (our) God, the almighty. Let
us rejoice and be glad and give him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb
has come, his bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:6-7). We are
before the typical Christian paradox, according to which, suffering is never
perceived as the last word; rather it is seen as a passing moment to
happiness and, what is more, the latter is already mysteriously permeated
with the joy that springs from hope.
Therefore, John, the seer of Patmos, can end his book with a final
aspiration, in which an ardent hope palpitates. He invokes the Lord's final
coming: "Come, Lord Jesus!" (Revelation 22:20). It is one of the central
prayers of nascent Christianity, translated also by St. Paul in Aramaic:
"Marana tha." And this prayer, "Come, Lord Jesus!" (1 Corinthians 16:22) has
Above all it implies, of course, the awaiting of the Lord's definitive
victory, of the new Jerusalem, of the Lord who comes and transforms the
world. But, at the same time, it is also a Eucharistic prayer: "Come, Jesus,
now!" And Jesus comes, he anticipates his definitive coming. In this way,
with joy, let us say at the same time: "Come now and come definitively!"
This prayer also has a third meaning: "You have already come, Lord! We are
certain of your presence among us. For us it is a joyful experience. But,
come definitively!" Thus, with St. Paul, with the seer of Patmos, with
nascent Christianity, we also pray: "Come, Jesus! Come and transform the
world! Come now, today, and may peace conquer!" Amen.
ROME, NOV. 17, 2006 (Zenit.org) - A translation of a commentary by the
Pontifical Household preacher, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, on
the readings from this Sunday's liturgy.
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (b) Daniel 12:1-3; Hebrews 10:11-14, 18;
The Gospel of the second to last Sunday of the liturgical year is the
classic text on the end of the world. There has always been someone who
has taken it upon themselves to wave this page of the Gospel in the face
of their contemporaries and provoke psychosis and fear. My advice is to
be calm and to not let yourself be in the least bit troubled by these
visions of catastrophe.
Just read the last line of the same Gospel passage: "But of that day or
hour, no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only
the Father." If neither the angels nor the Son (insofar as he is man and
not insofar as he is God) know the day or hour of the end, is it
possible that a member of some sect or some religious fanatic would know
and be authorized to announce it? In the Gospel Jesus assures us of the
fact of his return and the gathering his chosen ones from the "four
winds"; the when and the how of his return (on the clouds between the
darkening of the sun and the falling of the stars) is part of the
figurative language of the literary genre of these discourses.
Another observation might help explain certain pages of the Gospel. When
we talk about the end of the world on the basis of the understanding of
time that we have today, we immediately think of the absolute end of the
world, after which there can be nothing but eternity. But the Bible goes
about its reasoning with relative and historical categories more than
with absolute and metaphysical ones. Thus, when the Bible speaks of the
end of the world, it intends quite often the concrete world, that which
in fact exists for and is known by a certain group of people, their
world. It is, in sum, the end of a world that is being treated not the
end of the world, even if the two perspectives at times intertwine.
Jesus says: "This generation will not pass away until all these things
have taken place." Is he mistaken? No, it was the world that was known
to his hearers that passed away, the Jewish world. It tragically passed
away with the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. When, in 410, the
Vandals sacked Rome, many great figures of the time thought that it was
the end of the world. They were not all that wrong; one world did end,
the one created by Rome with its empire. In this sense, those who, with
the destruction of the twin towers on September 11, 2001, thought of the
end of the world, were not mistaken.
None of this diminishes the seriousness of the Christian charge but only
deepens it. It would be the greatest foolishness to console oneself by
saying that no one knows when the end of the world will be and
forgetting that, for any of us, it could be this very night. For this
reason Jesus concludes today's Gospel with the recommendation that we
"be vigilant because no one knows when the exact moment will be."
We must, I think, completely change the attitude with which we listen to
these Gospels that speak of the end of the world and the return of
Christ. We must no longer regard as a punishment and a veiled threat
that which the Scriptures call "the blessed hope" of Christians, that
is, the return of our Lord Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13). The mistaken idea
we have of God must be corrected. The recurrent talk about the end of
the world which is often engaged in by those with a distorted religious
sentiment, has a devastating effect on many people. It reinforces the
idea of a God who is always angry, ready to vent his wrath on the world.
But this is not the God of the Bible which a psalm describes as
"merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,
who will not always accuse or keep his anger forever...because he knows
that we are made of dust" (Psalm 103:8-14).
Father Cantalamessa: "Satan Exists, and Christ Defeated Him"
Gospel Commentary for 1st Sunday of Lent
By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap (the Pontifical Household
VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2008
The readings for this First Sunday of lent are Genesis 2:7-9; 3:1-7;
Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11. Father Cantalamessa's commentary
"Demons, Satanism and other related phenomena are quite topical today,
and they disturb a great part of our society. Our technological and
industrialized world is filled with magicians, wizards, occultism,
spiritualism, fortune tellers, spell trafficking, amulets, as well as
very real Satanic sects. Chased away from the door, the devil has come
in through the window. Chased away by the faith, he has returned by way
The episode of Jesus' temptations in the desert that is read on the
First Sunday of Lent helps us to have some clarity on this subject.
First of all, do demons exist? That is, does the word "demon" truly
indicate some personal being with intelligence and will, or is it simply
a symbol, a manner of speaking that refers to the sum of the world's
moral evil, the collective unconscious, collective alienation, etc.?
Many intellectuals do not believe in demons in the first sense. But it
must be noted that many great writers, such as Goethe and Dostoyevsky,
took Satan's existence very seriously. Baudelaire, who was certainly no
angel, said that "the demon's greatest trick is to make people believe
that he does not exist."
The principal proof of the existence of demons in the Gospels is not the
numerous healings of possessed people, since ancient beliefs about the
origins of certain maladies may have had some influence on the
interpretation of these happenings. The proof is Jesus' temptation by
the demon in the desert. The many saints who in their lives battled
against the prince of darkness are also proof. They are not like "Don
Quixote," tilting at windmills. On the contrary, they were very
down-to-earth, psychologically healthy people.
If many people find belief in demons absurd, it is because they take
their beliefs from books, they pass their lives in libraries and at
desks; but demons are not interested in books, they are interested in
persons, especially, and precisely, saints. How could a person know
anything about Satan if he has never encountered the reality of Satan,
but only the idea of Satan in cultural, religious and ethnological
traditions? They treat this question with great certainty and a feeling
of superiority, doing away with it all as so much "medieval
obscurantism." But it is a false certainty. It is like someone who brags
about not being afraid of lions and proves this by pointing out that he
has seen many paintings and pictures of lions and was never frightened
by them. On the other hand, it is entirely normal and consistent for
those who do not believe in God to not believe in the devil. It would be
quite tragic for someone who did not believe in God to believe in the
Yet the most important thing that the Christian faith has to tell us is
not that demons exist, but that Christ has defeated them. For
Christians, Christ and demons are not two equal, but rather contrary
principles, as certain dualistic religions believe to be the case with
good and evil. Jesus is the only Lord; Satan is only a creature "gone
bad." If power over men is given to Satan, it is because men have the
possibility of freely choosing sides and also to keep them from being
too proud (cf. 2 Corinthians 12:7), believing themselves to be
self-sufficient and without need of any redeemer. "Old Satan is crazy,"
goes an African-American spiritual. "He shot me to destroy my soul, but
missed and destroyed my sin instead."
With Christ we have nothing to fear. Nothing and no one can do us ill,
unless we ourselves allow it. Satan, said an ancient Father of the
Church, after Christ's coming, is like a dog chained up in the barnyard:
He can bark and lunge as much as he wants, but if we don't go near him,
he cannot harm us. In the desert Jesus freed himself from Satan to free
us! This is the joyous news with which we begin our Lenten journey
Father Cantalamessa: "Homily on the Trinity"
ROME (Zenit) - Why do Christians believe in the Trinity? Is it not hard
enough to believe that God exists without having to add the puzzle about
God being "one and three?" There are some today who would not be upset
if we dropped the Trinity. For one thing, they would say, it would help
dialogue with the Jews and Muslims, who profess faith in a God who is
The answer is that Christians believe that God is triune because they
believe that God is love. If God is love, then he must love someone.
There is no such thing as love of nothing, a love that is not directed
at anyone. So we ask: Who is it that God loves so that he is defined as
love? A first answer might be that God loves us! But men have only
existed for a few million years. Who did God love before that? God could
not have begun to love at a certain point in time because God cannot
change. Another answer might be that before he loved us, he loved the
cosmos, the universe. But the universe has only existed for a few
billion years. Who did God love before that so that he was defined as
love? We cannot say that God loved himself because self-love is not
love, but egoism, or, as the psychologists say, narcissism. How does
Christian revelation answer this question? God is love in himself,
before time, because there is eternally in him a Son, the Word, whom he
loves from an infinite love which is the Holy Spirit. In every love
there are always three realities or subjects: one who loves, one who is
loved and the love that unites them. Where God is understood as absolute
power, there is no need for there to be more than one person, for power
can be exercised quite well by one person; but if God is understood as
absolute love, then it cannot be this way.
Theology has used the term "nature" or "substance" to indicate unity in
God and it has used the term "person" to indicate a distinction. Because
of this we say that our God is one God in three persons. The Christian
doctrine of the Trinity is not a regression, a compromise between
monotheism and polytheism. On the contrary, it is a step forward for the
human mind that could only be brought about by God.
The contemplation of the Trinity can have an important impact on our
human life. The life of the Trinity is a mystery of relation. The divine
persons are defined in theology as "subsistent relations." This means
that the divine persons do not "have" relations, but rather "are"
relations. We human beings have relations -- of son to father, of wife
to husband, etc. -- but we are not constituted by those relations; we
also exist outside and without them. It is not this way with the Father,
Son and Holy Spirit. We know that happiness and unhappiness on earth
depend in large part upon the quality of our relationships. The Trinity
reveals the secret to good relationships. Love, in its different forms,
is what makes relationships beautiful, free and gratifying. Here we see
how important it is that God be seen primarily as love and not as power:
love gives, power dominates. That which poisons a relationship is the
will to dominate another person, to possess or use that person instead
of welcoming and giving ourselves to him or her.
It should be added that the Christian God is one and three. This,
therefore, is also the feast of the unity of God, not just God as
Trinity. We Christians believe "in one God," but the unity that we
believe in is unity of nature not of number. It resembles more the unity
of the family than that of the individual, more the unity of the cell
than that of the atom. The first reading [Exodus 34:4b-6.8-9] presents
us the biblical God as "merciful and gracious, slow to anger and rich in
kindness." This is the principal trait that the God of the Bible, the
God of Islam and the God (or rather the religion) of Buddhism have in
common, and which provides the best basis for dialogue and cooperation
among the great religions. Every sura of the Quran begins with the
following invocation: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the
Compassionate." In Buddhism, which does not know a personal, creator
God, the basis is anthropological and cosmic: Man must be merciful on
account of the solidarity and responsibility that binds him to all
living things. The holy wars of the past and the religious terrorism of
the present are a betrayal and not an apologia of one's faith. How can
one kill in the name of a God that one continues to proclaim as "the
Merciful" and "the Compassionate"? This is the most urgent task of
interreligious dialogue that believers in all religions must pursue for
the sake of peace and for the good of humanity.
Charles Homer Giblin
Monsignor Francesco Spadafora
d. March 10,
1997, at the age of 84
Gesù e la fine di Gerusalemme (Jesus and the Destruction of
Jerusalem). This work deals solely with Jesus' prophecy concerning
the destruction of Jerusalem, without any references or allusions to the
end of the world. Fr. Benoît, in his review published in Revue
Biblique (#59, 1952, starting on p.119), wrote that he found "this
exegesis to be excellent," and he "approved of it completely." C. Spicq,
in Revue des Sciences Philosophiques et Théologiques (#36, 1951),
applauded the work, saying that its "necessity will increase as time
HOW THEY THINK THEY'VE WON IN CATHOLIC EXEGESIS
One hundred years
after Pope Leo XIII's Providentissimus Deus (Nov.10,
1893), and fifty years after Pius XII's Divino Afflante
Spiritu, (Sept. 30, 1943), the Pontifical Biblical Commission has
developed a synthesis of the two encyclicals. Msgr. Gianfranco Ravasi,
a spokesman and member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, presents
an outline of this so-called "precious document" being published by the
Pontifical Biblical Commission (see the journal Gesù, Oct. 1993,
pp.45-50). Ravasi sees Providentissimus Deus, "apologetic"
in nature, as the thesis, and Divino Afflante Spiritu, "entirely
oriented toward the exaltation of authentic scientific exegesis," as the
this new document, Ravasi unintentionally casts a shadow over
both the reformed Biblical Commission and its members (who are not
cardinals as in the past, but exegetes thinking along the same lines as
let us remember that...at the beginning of Vatican Council II, when
two Roman ecclesiastics, Romeo and Spadafora [the
goodies], launched a virulent attack against the Biblical Institute,
they succeeded in bringing about the suspension of two great
professors: the Jesuits Lyonnet and Zerwick [the
baddies]. Paul VI reinstated them in their teaching functions, and I
had the good fortune of being the student of these two extraordinary
men of research and of faith….
The Holy Father addresses the solemn
convocation commemorating the centenary of Providentissimus Deus
and the 50th anniversary of Divino Afflante Spiritu
LET US SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Ravasi showers unmerited praise upon Zerwick and Lyonnet,
whose "faith" was clearly manifested after the Council in their denial
of the fundamental truths of Catholicism, he unfairly casts blame upon
Romeo and Spadafora. It is therefore fitting, first of
all, that the truth be known about Romeo and Spadafora, who are painted
in such bad light by Ravasi.
THE CREDENTIALS OF MSGR. ANTONIO ROMEO
Here is what
Spadafora himself wrote about Msgr. Antonio Romeo, after the
death of the Biblical Institute professor, in Palestra del Clero,
Born in Reggio
Calabria on June 8, 1902, he [Romeo] completed his secondary
studies at the famous St. Michaels's School in Fribourg, Switzerland,
where he learned both German and French. For his theological studies, he
went to the Regional Seminary of St. Pius X at Catanzaro, and was
ordained a priest on December 20, 1924. In 1927, after completing the
course of studies offered at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, he
immediately returned to the Seminary at Catanzaro, where he taught
Sacred Scripture from 1927 to 1934. Being in great demand in the
Dioceses, he was named Pro-Vicar General in Reggio Calabria. On January
1, 1938, at the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries and Universities, he
began his studies in Rome, producing an excellent body of hidden work
over a period of more than thirty-four years.
introduction to his fine work, The Present and the Future in Biblical
Revelation (1964, starting on p.xxxiv), Msgr. Romeo writes
My gratitude goes
out to the unforgettable students who took my courses at the Regional
Seminaries in Calabria. In brotherly collaboration, I spent the happiest
years of my priestly life with them examining the Holy Scriptures. I
thank them all, and it is to them that I dedicate this volume, which is
a faint reflection of Eternal Truth - a Truth which they sought to
penetrate and contemplate in Biblical revelation.
In these few
lines we catch a glimpse of the supernatural spirit and the keen sense
of modesty of this great master. The undersigned was one of those
students who, after having finished his theological studies in Catanzaro
and Posilipo, followed the path of his venerable master by attending the
Pontifical Biblical Institute from 1936 to 1939.
It was to him
that I dedicated my first exegetical work, which was the translation and
commentary of the Book of the Prophet Ezechiel (1948). In the book's
dedication, I wrote: 'To my professor, Msgr. Antonio Romeo, to
whom I owe my beginnings, as well as my fervor in studying Holy
Scripture." I thus expressed my profound gratitude for having received a
solid foundation in hermeneutics, Biblical inspiration, scriptural
exegesis, Hebrew, and Biblical Greek.
Members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to
the Holy See
at the solemn convocation
THE CREDENTIALS OF MSGR. SPADAFORA
Spadafora himself, we mention three of his works from amongst
many other writings in scientific exegesis and historical criticism:
commentary on the book of Ezichiel, and its translation from the
original (Marietti 1948, 357 pages, 2nd ed. 1950). In Revue Biblique
(#57, 1950), Fr. R. J. Tournay, O.P., states the following in his
review of the commentary:
Next to the
commentary itself, which is quite developed, especially in the area
of literary criticism, the author has formulated a critical
apparatus that sometimes surpasses the importance of the commentary
itself. Specialists will find in this work a great number of
interesting observations and references. This work deserves to be
placed among the best commentaries on Ezechiel.
2) Gesù e
la fine di Gerusalemme (Jesus and the Destruction of Jerusalem).
This work deals solely with Jesus' prophecy concerning the destruction of
Jerusalem, without any references or allusions to the end of the world. Fr.
Benoît, in his review published in Revue Biblique (#59, 1952,
starting on p.119), wrote that he found "this exegesis to be excellent," and
he "approved of it completely." C. Spicq, in Revue des Sciences
Philosophiques et Théologiques (#36, 1951), applauded the work, saying
that its "necessity will increase as time goes on."
Rovigo 1973, 215 pages). Fr. Bernini, SJ., a former professor of
Sacred scripture at Gregorian University, wrote the following in his review
published in Civiltà Cattolica (March 6, 1976, p.519):
exegete from the Pontifical University of the Lateran, exercising his
extraordinary erudition, and using his skills in examining problems in
literary and historical criticism, wished to examine the old problem of
With the goal of
establishing the historicity of the Gospel of Matthew, and of demonstrating
how the Jewish sources referring to Pilate are without foundation.
The book was
written with ease and agility - indeed, with the erudition of a true
THE MODERNIST MANIFESTO OF THE PONTIFICAL BILICAL
the identity of the various persons involved, let us now turn our attention
to the facts of the case.
Starting around 1950,
the students of the Pontifical Biblical Institute began informing Msgr.
Romeo about the "novelties" that some of the Jesuits there were teaching
them concerning the nature of the divine inspiration of the Sacred Books.
They were taught that inspiration was no longer considered to be personal,
but collective, and that inerrance was limited only to passages concerning
dogma. Such novelties were closely linked to the acceptance of the latest
rationalist systems (Bultmann-Dibelius) of Formengeschichte and
Redaktiongeschichte, which were based on the denial of the authenticity
and historicity of the Gospels.
At the Institute,
Leone Algisi and Luigi Moraldi, both of whom eventually left
the priesthood, were among those who boasted about these novelties, claiming
that they were taught by Pius XII himself in the Encyclical Divino
Afflante Spiritu (1943). These same ideas are now being peddled by
Romano Penna, Gianfranco Ravasi, and other former students
from the Pontifical Biblical Institute.
MODERNIST SIN ON ORIGINAL SIN
In those years, Msgr.
Romeo was a compiler in Sacred Scripture for the Enciclopedia
Cattolica. He entrusted the expression "Original Sin" to Msgr.
Spadafora, who was a professor at the Lateran, saying, "the students of the
Biblical Institute tell me that Fr. Lyonnet has developed an original
exegesis for Romans 5:12." Spadafora then called upon Fr. Lyonnet,
his former classmate (1936-1939), who allowed him to read his interpretation
of the above passage.
The years passed by,
and on September 3, 1960, in La Civiltà Cattolica (pp.449-460),
Alonso Schökel, S.J., came up with eleven pages of gratuitous
assertions in which he pretended to justify the "novelties" that had already
been taught for years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, attributing them
to Pius XII's Divino Afflante Spiritu, (which he tried to
place in opposition to Leo XIII's Providentissimus Deus).
BILICAL INSTITUTE UNVEILS MODERNIST DESIGNS
It was in this manner
that the Pontifical Biblical Institute unveiled its designs. Its new program
consisted in a radical shift that went against all the directives given by
the Magisterium on Catholic exegesis. In this program, the Jesuits at the
Institute had adopted the two latest rationalist methods which were then in
fashion, pretending that the changes were attributable to Pius XII.
They did this by interpreting Divino Afflante Spiritu in their own
way, and by ignoring Humani Generis altogether. According to these
new systems, all dogmatic principles were pushed aside, Biblical science
became purely philological and historical in nature, and the wall separating
Catholics and rationalist Protestants was torn down.
THE CATHOLIC REACTION
The reaction of the
Roman exegetes took shape in Msgr. Romeo's erudite critical study,
"The Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu and the Opiniones Novae"
in Divinitas (#4, 1966, pp.378-456}, in which he states the
Today, after the
death of the great Pius XII, and with seventeen years of
hindsight [since the publication of Divino Affiante Spiritu], Fr.
Alonso tells us that there was a novelty, a transformation, introduced
by Divino Affiante Spiritu that will: "open up a new, wide path."
We find nothing in the documents of Pius XII and John XXIII...even
remotely suggesting that novelties, an opening of doors, or new
liberties were conceded by the Supreme Magisterium in 1943.
This was the central
theme of Msgr. Romeo's article. He wished to demonstrate the
continuity of the Supreme Magisterium on the question by examining various
documents, beginning with Humani Generis. He then brought forth
evidence which had been: "authorized first hand, and which could be called
unofficial." This evidence was the very explicit commentary on Divino
Afflante Spiritu by Cardinal Agostino Bea, who was at that time
Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute. This commentary, which was
published in La Civiltà Cattolica (#94, 1943-1944, pp.212-224), seems
to have been completely ignored by Fr. Alonso.
In conclusion, Msgr.
Romeo wrote that:
therefore absolutely nothing, not even a chance indication of any kind
in the Encyclical..., nor is there anything in Cardinal Bea's authorized
commentary that indicates this [and in fact, his commentary was probably
authorized, since Fr. Bea was advisor to the Holy Office and confessor
to Pius XII. Nothing in these documents could substantiate the
opinion being circulated...that this great Encyclical had broken with
the previous directives of the Supreme Magisterium, or that it had the
intention of giving a new orientation to Catholic exegesis.
In any case, it
is clear, for anyone reading Divino Affiante Spiritu, (and it
becomes even clearer when studying Humani Generis), that the
Biblical Encyclical of the great Pius XII adheres completely to
Providentissimus, which it confirms, expands upon, and clarifies
on various points; and it is, indeed, through Providentissimus
that we are linked to the spirit, the principles, and the norms of
uninterrupted Tradition on the veneration of the Word of God, through
strict and arduous exegetical work.
intervened at this point, writing an article for Divinitas (#2, 1960,
pp.289-298), entitled Romans 5:12: Exegeses and Dogmatic Reflections.
The article had been requested by Cardinal Parente, assessor to the Holy
Office, in response to Fr. Stanislas Lyonnet's article "Le péché
originel et l'exégèse de Rm. 5:12" ("Original Sin and the Exegesis of
Romans 5:12"}, published in Recherches de Sciences Religieuses (Research
in Religious Science, #44, 1956, pp.63-84).
As we have already
said, Spadafora had examined this document some years before. Upon
returning it to Fr. Lyonnet, he brought it to the latter's attention
that the exegesis proposed was untenable, since it was irreconcilable with
In response to
Cardinal Parente's request, Msgr. Spadafora refuted point by
point the various arguments put forth by Lyonnet, who tried to prove
that the passage from Romans 5:12 ("Wherefore as by one man sin entered into
this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all
have sinned.") was not to be taken as an affirmation of Original Sin, but to
mean, rather, that "all have sinned" in "imitation of Adam." He would have
us believe that this passage refers only to personal sins, whereas the
entire context (5:12-20) clearly states that "by the offense of one...many
were made sinners."
There was something
even more grievous about the novelties proposed by Lyonnet - namely,
that the meaning of Romans 5:12 had already been solemnly defined by the
Council of Trent in two canons on Original Sin.
In order to make a
judgment in this case, the Holy Office intervened by imposing silence on the
two parties, who were asked to present their respective arguments. After
hearing both sides, the Holy Office suspended Lyonnet and Zerwick
from teaching, and had them leave Rome. Then on June 20, 1961, the Supreme
Congregation of the Holy Office published the following Monitum
(warning or admonition), primarily in order to defend the historicity of the
While the study
of Biblical subjects is being actively developed, opinions and judgments
are circulating in various places that endanger the historical and
objective truth of Holy Scripture, not only for the Old Testament
(something which the Sovereign Pontiff Pius XII had lamented in
the encyclical Humani Generis, cf. A.A.S.) but also for the New
Testament; and sometimes these opinions even concern the words and acts
of Christ Jesus. Since opinions and judgments such as these are of such
great concern to pastors and to the faithful, the most eminent Fathers,
who are the overseers of the defense and doctrine of the Faith and of
morals, have considered it their duty to warn all those who treat of
Holy Scriptures, in writing or in speech, to handle such grave questions
with the respect that is due to them. They ask that they might take into
consideration the doctrines of the Fathers, the mind of the Church and
of the Magisterium, so that the consciences of the faithful are not
SAD BUT TRUE
of the Holy Office, and the measures taken against the Jesuits Lyonnet
and Zerwick, should have swept away any modernist interpretations of
the Encyclical Divino Afflante Spiritu. It should have given a death
blow to those overtures being made to the "history of forms" (Formengeschichte)
and to the "history of redaction" (Redaktiongeschichte), which are
Protestant in nature, and which spring from the "negation of historical and
objective truth" of the "words and acts of Jesus Christ." On the contrary,
the Council, the pontificate of Paul VI, and the period after the
Council brought about a complete change of course in favor of modernism.
Courrier de Rome, April 1994
1950 Gesu e la
fine di Gerusalemme  (Quaderni esegetici). Rovigo: Instituto Padano di
Arti Grafiche, 1950, xxii-136 p.
tentazioni di Gesu. - PalCl 30 (1951) 337-346
Il Santuario L.anthemis e il "giglio dei campi" di cui parla l'evangelo.
[6, 25-34] - PalCl 37 (1958) 1277-1279. [NIA 3, 584]
1961 Le due
genealogie di Gesu. - Rossi, G. (ed), Cento problemi biblici, 1961, 305-307.
1961 Sulla Stella
dei Magi. Mt. 2,1-12. - PalCl 40 (1961) 946-949; = Id., Attualita Bibliche,
1961 La seconda
beatitudine nel testo e contesto evangelico. [5,4] - Tabor (Roma) 30 (1961)
1976 Leone XIII e
gli studi biblici. Rovigo : Instituto Padano di arti grafiche, 1976.
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Date: 11 Aug 2012
The "trinity" has no place in the Bible and even Jesus himself never admits
equality with God. On the contrary, he affirms that there is ONE God -not
three. The Holy Spirit is the power of God. There is only God the Father and
God the son and the power of God. Please read all the the epsitles and see
for yourself that only God the Father and God the son are referred to in the
God head. If the Holy Spirit (power of God) were a person, why doesn't Jesus
refer to the Holy Spirit as his Father? He doesn't. Mary conceived by the
power of God and Jesus refers to God as his Father not the Holy Spirit