Like Yugoslavia and Hungary, Czechoslovakia was a political entity created at the end of World War I, a so-call Versailles state. It included the Czech provinces of Bohemia, Moravia and Slovakia. Despite its multinational population and conflicted relations with neighboring countries, all of which coveted its territory, Czechoslovakia remained a functioning parliamentary democracy until 1938. On September 29, 1938,…..
In April 1941, after Germany invaded, occupied, and partitioned Yugoslavia, a Versailles Treaty-created state, the Nazis permitted the local fascist organization, the Ustasa, to create the “Independent” State of Croatia. Croatia was the province of Yugoslavia with the largest proportion of Roman Catholics. Orthodox Catholic Serbs and Muslims resided primarily in the provinces of Serbia, Bosnia, and Slovenia, which…..
Because of misinterpretation and/or misuse of biblical texts, anti-Jewish bias, aka anti-Judaism, permeated the writings and sermons of the earliest Christian theologians, the Church Fathers —Polycarp, Justin Martyr, St. Jerome, and Tertullian, to name a few. The Church’s doctrine of supercessionism, i.e. that Christianity fulfilled and replaced Judaism, rendering it insignificant in salvation history, for example, was originally espoused by Justin Martyr and Irenaeus of Lyon in…..
Most Catholics are aware of the countless saints, martyrs, popes, bishops, priests, deacons, religious and laity who, throughout church history, have lived ethical, even heroic lives — pursuing justice, feeding the poor, clothing the naked, educating the ignorant, liberating captives, as Jesus taught in his Gospel of Love. Clearly, this legion of righteous people has been a tremendous force for good in the world. But…..
Giovanni Ferretti became pontiff in 1846, taking the name Pius IX (a.k.a. Pio Nono). His 32-year pontificate (1846 – 78) was filled with military, political, and cultural turmoil, as Italian nationalists sought to unify Italy into a modern nation state. Pius IX strenuously opposed the unification movement, Il Risorgimento, (“Resurgence”) because,…..
As Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “the Holocaust did not begin with Auschwitz. The Holocaust began with words.” And too many of those impactful words were written or spoken by Christians — church leaders, theologians, preachers, teachers, and ordinary Christians — for close two thousand years. Words, obviously, have consequences, intended and unintended, especially when they lead to action, which can be for good or evil.
In 1933, less than a month after he was elected chancellor, Hitler used the pretext of a fire in the Reichstag building to suspend constitutional law in Germany, aggregating unlimited judicial authority in his government to himself. After the fire, he proclaimed: “We have to provide certain temporary measures to stem this tide of terrorism.” And who were the terrorists? Communists and Jews, of course. The communists were scapegoated for starting the fire. Accordingly several laws were quickly passed —…..
“On the way they entered a Samaritan village to prepare for (Jesus’) reception there, but they would not welcome him….When…James and John saw this they asked, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to consume them?’ Jesus turned and rebuked them….” (Luke 9:52-55)
Your brother routinely makes anti-Semitic comments. Your neighbor uses the N-word in casual conversation……
Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” Mt. 7:21
Time and time again, Jesus makes it crystal clear that to be his disciple requires more than lip service. It requires action, ethical behavior grounded in love of God and…..