Constantine's Sword

Sort of like "The Bookshelf" but for... you get the idea.
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Constantine's Sword

Post by Upton_O_Goode » Sat Nov 17, 2018 10:25 pm

This is a book by James Carroll, a former RC priest who is still a practicing Catholic. It details the unholy alliance of Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant) with the secular states. Most of us knew all this history, I'm sure, but Carroll has lived it. His father was a high-ranking Air Force general, who was in fact the one who discovered that the USSR was putting missiles into Cuba back in 1962. When Carroll became a priest in the late 1960s, the US was deeply involved in the Viet Nam War. During one sermon on those famous "dry bones" in the Book of Ezekiel, he casually stated that the bones could perhaps have been charred by napalm, thus jerking his flock 2500 years forward in time. His father never forgave him for that. After serving as a chaplain at Boston University for a year or two, he joined the antiwar movement and left the priesthood in 1974.

I haven't actually read the book, but this afternoon I watched a DVD based on it, made around a decade ago. It has a powerful impact, with emphasis on Christian anti-Semitism over the centuries. I had not known that Edith Stein wrote to warn Pope Pius XI in 1933 what Hitler was likely to do. She wrote again in 1939, saying she had not received any reply to her first letter. Tragically, as everyone knows, the Nazis took her to Auschwitz, where she perished.

He notes something I've often remarked on, the eagerness of John Paul II and Benedict XVI to exculpate the Church on the grounds that antisemitism was a "neo-pagan" vice, as if centuries of Christian antisemitism had NOTHING to do with the way this vice took hold during the 1930s. The first treaty Hitler signed with a foreign power was with the Vatican. The worst is what I've always called the Mugging of the Holocaust, best exemplified by canonizing Edith Stein as a Catholic martyr, even though there were probably Catholics among the Nazis who dragged her and her sister out of the convent, and they left all the OTHER Catholic nuns in the convent alone. They didn't murder her because she was a Catholic; they did that because she was a Jew. Carroll was most shocked by the huge cross erected just outside Auschwitz, which he correctly said, amounts to claiming that Christians "own" this site.
“It is certainly sad and regrettable that so many innocent people died…Stalin was absolutely adamant on making doubly sure: spare no one…I don’t deny that I supported that view. I was simply not able to study every individual case…It was hard to draw a precise line where to stop.”

Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Skryabin (“Molotov”)