Apologia: The Fullness of Christian Truth

``Where the Bishop is, there let the multitude of believers be;
even as where Jesus is, there is the Catholic Church'' Ignatius of Antioch, 1st c. A.D

What a pleasant missive I received from someone who takes exception to my page on circumcision. I respond to it (in gray box) as I go along. Someone writes:

You poor benighted soul!

You plead with parents not to circumcize their infants? You claim that the AMA, etc. do not recommend circumcision??? Garbage!

Response: Well, they don't. Facts are facts.

Why don't you ask someone who's been circumcized if he regrets it?

Response: I've spoken with a number of men and have read the accounts of even more men who regret and lament the fact that they were circumcised. Some men even attempt foreskin restoration.

You are marshalling facts to fit your own prejudices which, in turn, are based on pure ignorance and aesthetic. Adult circumcision is a problem, so Paul dispensed with it in order to gain converts. That's it! Perhaps circumcision isn't necessary or sufficient for salvation, but it's certainly not an impediment. Saying a novena is not necessary or sufficient for salvation, so I supppose we should proscribe novenas, too, right?

Response: The Church founded by Christ on the rock of St. Peter has ruled that no Catholic should be circumcised. The very first Council of the Church -- the Council of Jerusalem in A.D. 50 -- spoke against circumcision. Acts 15:1 "And some coming down from Judea, taught the brethren: That except you be circumcised after the manner of Moses, you cannot be saved... 7 And when there had been much disputing, Peter, rising up, said to them: Men, brethren, you know, that in former days God made choice among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel, and believe. 8 And God, who knoweth the hearts, gave testimony, giving unto them the Holy Ghost, as well as to us; 9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith. 10 Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?"

Not an impediment to salvation? From the document, "Cantate Domino" (A.D. 1442), signed by Pope Eugene IV, from the 11th session of the Council of Florence (A.D. 1439, a continuation of the Council of Basle, A.D. 1431, and the Council of Ferrara, A.D. 1438) :
[The Holy Roman Church] firmly believes, professes and teaches that the legal prescriptions of the Old Testament or the Mosaic law, which are divided into ceremonies, holy sacrifices and sacraments, because they were instituted to signify something in the future, although they were adequate for the divine cult of that age, once our Lord Jesus Christ who was signified by them had come, came to an end and the sacraments of the new Testament had their beginning. Whoever, after the Passion, places his hope in the legal prescriptions and submits himself to them as necessary for salvation and as if faith in Christ without them could not save, sins mortally. It does not deny that from Christ's passion until the promulgation of the Gospel they could have been retained, provided they were in no way believed to be necessary for salvation. But it asserts that after the promulgation of the gospel they cannot be observed without loss of eternal salvation. Therefore it denounces all who after that time observe circumcision, the [Jewish] sabbath and other legal prescriptions as strangers to the faith of Christ and unable to share in eternal salvation, unless they recoil at some time from these errors. Therefore it strictly orders all who glory in the name of Christian, not to practise circumcision either before or after baptism, since whether or not they place their hope in it, it cannot possibly be observed without loss of eternal salvation.

Ignorance mitigates culpability, of course, but the fact remains: Catholics are not to be circumcised.


Response: Yes, to "Judaize" is to expect Christians to take on the yoke of the Mosaic law which has been FULFILLED. Today it means not only that, but, additionally, expecting Christians to take on the yoke of the Talmud, too. .

I don't care what kind of contortions you go through to justify your anti-Semitic, anti-hygienic hypocracy, the LAW is the LAW, and Jesus came to fulfill it, not replace it. And I don't care how much of those self-justifying rantings of that neurotic Hellenist Saul of Tarsus you throw at me.

Response: And the Law is fulfilled. But your opinions of St. Paul show me you're not Catholic (or if you were baptized, you've apostasized and are no longer Catholic).

How it is "anti-semitic" to explain Catholic teaching which states that Catholics are of the New Covenant and are not to be circumcised like Old Covenant Israel, post-Temple Jews, Muslims, and certain African tribesmen is beyond me. Perhaps it's "anti-Catholic" of all these groups to teach that we're wrong and that male children should have their genitals cut.

There's also nothing "anti-hygienic" about not being circumcised. Surely men can learn to pull back the foreskin and run water over it. That's not too hard is it? Should people have toes cut off because they have to spread them to get the jam out? Stop being silly.

Whether you like it our not, the Church was founded by PETER not Paul, and the Church he founded is none other than the unbroken continuation of the Jewish religion, with all the trappings, INCLUDING CIRCUMCISION, as if the Jews of the time had accepted Jesus as the Messiah. But then, if that were the

Response: I Corinthians 7:18 "Is any man called, being circumcised? let him not procure uncircumcision. Is any man called in uncircumcision? let him not be circumcised."

Scroll back up to the Council of Jerusalem in Acts. It was St. Peter who stood up and said, "Now therefore, why tempt you God to put a yoke upon the necks of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear?" People love to try to pit Paul against Peter and vice versa, but we Catholics have the writings of both men in our Bibles.

case, the nature and mission of Jesus would have been completely different. So the Jews, being the people chosen by God to make sacrifice to Him, should of course be God's instrument in the sacrifice of His Lamb. Everything, EVERYTHING about Jesus was Jewish. He was born a Jew, was circumcized and named a Jew, lived as a Jew and died as a Jew. His CHURCH IS JEWISH!!! If he didn't mean it to be he would have said so, not leave it up to some guy who says he heard a voice on the road to Damascus.

Response: Jesus was of the House of Judah, but He was not a Talmudic Pharisee, and He was not circumcised in the way babies are today. His Church IS Jewish; it is Israel itself. But it is under the New Covenant, not the Old Covenant and not the Talmud.

Jeremias 31:31-34: 31 Behold the days shall come, saith the Lord, and I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Juda: 32 Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt: the covenant which they made void, and I had dominion over them, saith the Lord. 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith the Lord: I will give my law in their bowels, and I will write it in their heart: and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

So, about circumcision, you don't know what you're talking about! Of course, thus won't shut you up because you have nothing to learn.

Response: Another site you might learn something from: http://dir.yahoo.com/Society_and_Culture/Etiquette/

Blessed Lent!



NY Officials Bar Rabbi from Circumcision Ritual
Wed Feb 2, 4:46 PM ET U.S. National - Reuters

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City health officials have gone to court to stop a rabbi from performing a type of ritual circumcision they believe may have led to the death of a baby boy from herpes.

The baby was one of three infants found to have contracted herpes simplex virus after being circumcised by Rabbi Yitzchok Fischer, who used his mouth to draw blood from the infant's wound, a traditional Orthodox practice during the bris, or religious circumcision.

The complaint filed by the department of health in Manhattan Supreme Court asked that Fischer submit blood samples to be tested for the herpes virus and no longer engage in the specific practice until an investigation was completed.

The court papers, filed on Dec. 22, were reported on by the Daily News on Wednesday

"Rabbi Fischer is still performing circumcisions, but he is complying with the court's direction," his lawyer, Mark J. Kurzmann, told Reuters on Wednesday.

Kurzmann described Fischer as a London-trained, "internationally known" mohel, or someone who performs circumcisions.

Ten days after Fischer circumcised twins last October, one died of herpes and the other tested positive for the virus, according to the court papers.

A third baby circumcised by Fisher was later found to have also tested positive for herpes, health officials said.

An affidavit submitted to the court by Dr. Susan Blank, assistant commissioner of the health department, said Fischer had performed about 350 Jewish circumcisions in the area.

Blank noted that the herpes virus, which is common in adults and often causes lesions known as "fever blisters" or "cold sores" is easily transmitted but not usually a serious illness in adults. In newborn infants, however, herpes can cause severe illness and may be fatal, she said.

Kurzmann suggested the infants could have contracted the infection some other way.

"Rabbi Fischer is cooperating fully with the city's investigation in order to determine the true sources of the infection," Kurzmann said.

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