Monday, February 9, 2009

Quoting a Rabbi

Today, I'll just give you an interesting quote by Israel Zolli, once the Chief Rabbi of Rome. He converted to the Catholic faith in 1945, after the end of World War II. When asked by a reporter, "But why didn't you join one of the Protestant denominations, which are also Christian?" he replied:

"Because protesting is not attesting. I do not intend to embarrass anyone by asking: 'Why wait 1,500 years to protest?' The Catholic Church was recognized by the whole Christian world as the true Church of God for 15 consecutive centuries. No man can halt at the end of those 1,500 years and say that the Catholic Church is not the Church of Christ without embarrassing himself seriously. I can accept only that Church which was preached to all creatures by my own forefathers, the Twelve who, like me, issued from the Synagogue."

Read more about his conversion here.

1 comment:

dbonneville said...

What a great quote! I never heard this one before. I just featured it on my Catholic news website, but proposed it as a question: Is it embarrassing to be a Protestant?

As I reflect on the 2 decades I spent outside of Catholicism since having returned, I'm dumbstruck by the staggering arrogance of such seemingly good-hearted Protestant one-liners like "But what about their doctrine..." or "but do they teach what the Bible really says...", as if any Protestant could possibly agree with another Protestant as to what true doctrine is or what the Bible actually teaches.

However, the ignorance vacuum afforded by the thousands and thousands of denominational splits can create a milieu, for the individual, where these kinds of questions can be asked in good faith, however ill-advised, due to conscience and "blessed ignorance". But that does not excuse the many denominational church leaders for leading so many people after themselves, after their own private interpretations.

In the end, the Rabbi is suggesting that to claim to know what the Bible says, apart from Tradition, according to one's own private interpretation, is no different than looking at Mars through the end of glass bottle, and declaring - with overweening surety - that there are little green men up there, and commanding others to believe it.