Thursday, February 21, 2008

Breaking the Silence

For six years, Robert Sungenis has repeatedly and unjustly attacked the Jewish people. Three years ago, in 2005, Michael Forrest set out to follow the Lord’s instructions for correcting a brother who errs (cf. Matt 18:15-17), privately remonstrating at length with Sungenis about his offenses against the Jewish people. Sungenis completely rejected his correction, going so far as to make false and slanderous accusations against Forrest. Then in 2006, Forrest went to several brethren. Together, they confronted Sungenis and also defended those he had continued to unjustly attack, in Robert Sungenis and the Jews. Again, Sungenis completely rejected the correction given him and instead made false and slanderous accusations against these men. Finally, in 2007, many people – Catholic and non-Catholic alike – brought Sungenis to the Church, in the person of Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades, shepherd of Sungenis’ diocese. Bishop Rhoades privately issued an order for Sungenis to cease and desist from addressing all Jewish issues. And Sungenis has now rejected these orders given by the man he himself publicly acknowledged “acts in God’s stead”, choosing instead to publicly judge and accuse his bishop.

RSATJ has been silent for almost seven months now. However, when Sungenis chose to make these very serious charges against his bishop in full public view, it was clear the time had come to break the silence. RSATJ has been aware that Sungenis has seriously mischaracterized events with his bishop ever since he and one or two followers had engaged in a campaign of deception designed to hide the fact that his application for an imprimatur on his Catholic Apologetics Study Bible had been rejected by Bishop Rhoades. Yet, because it came to light that Bishop Rhoades had formally engaged Sungenis in the summer of 2007, it seemed proper to remain silent.

There have been a few individuals, most notably Sungenis himself, who have demanded that this blog and its sister site, Robert Sungenis and the Jews, come down. This demand was predicated on the unsupported assertion that Sungenis had satisfied all of his bishop’s objections. It is now a matter of public record that this claim of compliance was false, and therefore the decision to retain this material is fully vindicated. Barring Sungenis’ complete compliance with his bishop’s orders, this blog will remain in place for the indefinite future in order to help mitigate the confusion and harm he continues to cause to the Church and the Jewish people.

For any who may retain lingering doubts as to whether Sungenis has gone well beyond the pale, we again strongly recommend that all of the evidence be read through in its entirety. Each piece below contributes to a fresh understanding of the situation. Each piece is carefully cross-linked to prior material, clearly illustrating the ongoing pattern of Sungenis’ extremely objectionable behavior.

Ultimately, Sungenis’ pride and animus against Jews has placed him and possibly even those who continue to follow him in an extremely dangerous position. No one at RSATJ takes pleasure in noting this sad fact. During this season of Lent, we will continue to pray for those harmed, confused, misled and scandalized by Sungenis. And we will pray that Sungenis humbles himself and submits to the faithful shepherd that the Lord has mercifully placed over him. Please join us in that prayer.


** At the bottom of this post, below all of the links, we have posted a few comments, emails and letters from others.

Click on the title of any article below and you will be directed to it:

1) Bishop Rhoades Sets the Record Straight
Bishop Rhoades refutes Sungenis’ “slanderous and erroneous” charges

2) Saying “Peace!” When There Is No Peace
A discussion of the many “apologies” and promises of Robert Sungenis

3) More Definition Difficulties
Sungenis’ misuse of “disavow” and “libel”

4) CASB2's Missing Imprimatur: The Real Reason the Bishop Said "No"
Sungenis’ anti-Jewish animus comes to light in CASB2

5) Response from the USCCB on page 131 of the USCCA
Must one see heresy on page 131? How should one approach our bishops?

6) Is Sungenis Schismatic? The Verdict in Sungenis’ Own Words
Documentation of how Sungenis has chosen a path he has formerly criticized

7) The Theology of Prejudice
A discussion of how Sungenis’ animus against Jews taints his theology

8) The Theology of ADL Conspiracy Theories?
Specific proof that even now, Sungenis is violating his most recent promises

9) Sungenis and the New Good Friday Prayer
A recent example of Sungenis’ exaggerations and contentiousness with Jews

10) Sungenis Singled Out by Jewish Blogger
An example of how Sungenis is seen by moderate Jewish people

11) Clearing Roy Schoeman of Sungenis’ Slander by Ben Douglass
Sungenis refuses to retract and apologize for quote he knows to be false

12) New and Old Postings by Ben Douglass
Ben Douglass re-posts his Sungenis articles and defends Roy Schoeman

13) When Like Finds Like
Evidence from Sungenis’ own followers and allies that all is not well at CAI-BTF

14) The Matter of Character
An examination of a fundamental issue underlying Sungenis’ difficulties

15) The Clinton Connection
A comparison of the tactics of Bill Clinton and Robert Sungenis

16) Timeline
A helpful timeline detailing what has occurred with Sungenis and when

As a convenience to our readers, the following list of articles and documentation has been re-presented as well:

A) Michael Forrest, Dr. Art Sippo, David Palm, Jacob Michael, Matthew Anger, Michael Lopez, John Novotny, Patrick Morris: Robert Sungenis and the Jews

B) Ben Douglass:

1) Oy Vey!
2) You maniac!
3) A Last Response
4) Orthodoxy of Roy Schoeman
5) Justice, not Fear
6) Origin of the Schoeman Forgery Revealed

C) Christopher Blosser:

1) Sungenis and the Jews
2) Sungenis and the Jews, an Update
3) Carl Schmitt, Israel Shamir and Robert Sungenis
4) Response to Bob Sungenis

D) Dr. William Cork: Anti-Semitism and the Catholic Right (Note: RSATJ does not intend to endorse anything aside from Dr. Cork's documentation of Sungenis' plagiarism and use of anti-Semitic sources.)

E) Mark Shea: A Series of Articles

F) Dr. Philip Blosser:

1) Contra Sungenis
2) Sungenis, Again
3) Sungenis and the Jews, Again
4) More Trouble Involving Brother Sungenis?

G) Catholics United for the Faith:

1) New Website Launched
2) Defense of Bishop Rhoades

** A sampling of comments, emails and letters:

Thanks to all the non-Jews who are defending us Jews. If we do it ourselves no doubt they would make much of their being pressured and persecuted by the powerful and tricky Jews. Bishop Rhoades sounds like a wonderful Bishop, I pray more strength to him.

As a Hebrew Catholic, and one who has also been a subject of Robert
Sungenis' diatribes, I can add my agreement with Athol's prior response,
that we are grateful for the efforts of Michael Forrest, Jacob Michael, Ben
Douglas, Art Sippo, and many others.

Certainly it would not have been wrong for us to undertake our own defense
along with a defense of the Jews. And just as certainly, any defense we
mounted would have been dismissed as self-serving. However, there can be no charges of self-serving interests lodged against the Catholics who have defended us. If anything, they have opened themselves up to the same calumny and detraction that we have endured.

We are very grateful for the true spirit of Christian brotherhood that we
have experienced in the words and efforts of these Catholic men. We are
grateful as well for the support and oversight provided by Bishop Rhoades…

Thank you.

Wishing you all Lenten blessings
In Yeshua, Miriam and St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
David Moss

Harrisburg is blessed. Thank you all for telling the other side of the story. I was starting to wonder if I was in a cabal of Jews and just didn’t know it. I lurk and don’t say much. But it helps to know that people care.
Jim Resnick

My parents used to talk about some of the troubles in Latvia before coming to the United States. Getting the eye. Murmuring. Being told you just aren't on the list.

There was worse, but not often. Sugenis makes them look friendly. It's fortunate in the United States that we have people who speak up.
B. Trupin

…In the group that goes to ONLY Latin Mass there are quite a few "Traditionalists". Since our little group of Hebrew Catholics get together occasionally, some of the traditionalists look at us as some sort of traitors, such as when we don't go to their pot luck but prefer to get together in my house for dinner. A plan we have since one of us comes from [some distance away], and we don't get to see him except after Latin Mass on Sundays. One of us was admonished for joining the "Hebrew Catholics" by saying "so what if you are a convert from Judaism, get over it"… Of course the same person considered the Novus Ordo invalid.

One example of strange behavior was when one of us during Latin Mass was handed the article by Sungenis, underlining with a marker the most vicious remarks, especially against people like David Moss and Roy Schoman...

So Sungenis influenced negatively some of the members of the congregation, which made me uncomfortable going to the Latin Mass. I know it shouldn't bother me, but as long as the "English" Mass was reverent I went to it. Walking to receive communion and seeing some parishioners shake their heads with disapproval when I pass by was, to say the least, disconcerting…
[Name withheld]

My hearty thanks for the heartfelt and diligent work...You provided some excellent material all around, especially in your reading of "Salvation is from the Jews".

When I stepped from the Orthodox Church into Catholicism I assumed I was leaving the residue of Christian antisemtism behind. The Pope's writings as Cardinal Ratzinger were the first Catholic books I read. His little book on the Covenant eased my way in. It could have been the place where I entered the Church, maybe it is this war we are in - but I step on the residue all the same. It has unsettled me since…
Steve G.

I am a Jew who was baptized into the Church a few years ago. I have been following this “issue” with Bob Sungenis for quite some time. I even had some e-mail dialogue with Mr. Sungenis last year thinking I may be able to “open his eyes” but to no avail. Anyway, I want to thank you for your bravery and dedication to the Truth in taking this on. Sungenis is dangerous. It is so clear that he manipulates the truth to try to validate his own agenda. And all he is accomplishing is: — at the least, misconceptions of Jews and their beliefs; and at the most, anti-Semitism. Further, if people are to believe that Sungenis speaks for the Church, us Jews that are openly seeking the truth will be pushed in the other direction. Honestly, the path for a Jew seeking the Truth and finding Christ is a very difficult one. I know this from first hand experience.

And Sungenis helped me to understand some important things about the Church. However, I was not exposed to his bigotry at that time. Had I been, and had it appeared that he spoke for the Church, I may have been pushed back to where I was coming from. I would have stated that “I definitely would have been pushed back (and away from Christ)." But, I know that it was through heavy prayer to God to show me the Truth and His Blessings upon me that opened my eyes. So, I am confident I would have survived Sungenis’ misguidings. But there are many others that will not be so lucky. And for that, I thank those of you who have not stayed silent about this so important issue.

It is shocking (to say the least) as well as disheartening, to see that his prejudice against the Jews is so blatant and deep that he is willing to slander God’s appointed — his Bishop — and move into such blatant defiance in order to keep at it.

I will pray for you all in this “battle” that you have the strength and perseverence to ensure the Truth is told.
God Bless!
C. K.

In my estimation, [Sungenis’] writings on the subject are poisonous to the faith (see the previous comment by [C. K.])...Primarily I wanted to come to the defense of Bishop Rhoades in this matter, as he has the unenviable role of being Bob Sungenis’ bishop. And, while no individual or blog is completely free from bias, in my opinion the people behind “Sungenis and the Jews” are providing an altruistic, heroic service to the People of God in this matter.
Leon Suprenant

It’s unfortunate, but Bob Sungenis has gone way off the deep end. It was bad enough when he was attacking laymen. But now a bishop? The links to the Sungenis and the Jews articles are very helpful to understand what’s been happening, too. Thanks for letting us know.
Paul S.

I would like to thank you for all of the time, effort, and conscientious research.... From its inception the site has proved invaluable to me, and continues to do so, week in and week out. Hardly a week goes by that I do not make use of it to defend myself against the distortions, calumnies, and falsehoods that have been propagated about me...

I know that developing the information in the site, calmly collecting and documenting the facts...has not been easy. I would never have asked anyone to do what you have done –But given that you have chosen to take on this task, I cannot go without thanking you for it.

God Bless, and "bon courage"!
With my Heartfelt Gratitude,
Roy Schoeman