Thursday, February 21, 2008

CASB2's Missing Imprimatur: The Real Reason the Bishop Said "No"?

In his January 2008 article for Culture Wars, "The Old Covenant: Revoked or Not Revoked? A Review of the PBS Documentary: Jews and Christians: A Journey of Faith", Bob Sungenis offers his readers an explanation as to why his study bible on The Apocalypse of St. John was turned down for an imprimatur.

Our readers will recall that this blog uncovered several interesting details concerning CASB2's conspicuous lack of an imprimatur; the most important of these details included the fact that Bob and his associates engaged in a campaign of deception in order to hide the fact that the imprimatur had been denied because of CASB2's treatment of Jewish issues (link).

In an attempt, no doubt, to recover from the damage of these revelations, Bob tried to justify himself with the following words:

Referring back to the United States Catechism's provocative statement on page 131 ("Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them"), the relevance of the USCCB's liberal stance on the Jews was brought home to me loud and clear when the bishop of my diocese, Kevin C. Rhoades, denied an imprimatur to my book The Apocalypse of St. John and cited page 131 as one of his proofs that my book, amazingly enough, because it called for the conversion of the Jews and held them responsible for their historic disbelief in Christ, had a "lack of adherence to authoritative Church teaching on Judaism." He made this accusation without pointing out even one example in the book where I had violated Church teaching, and further added that he would accept no more discussion on the issue. ("Covenant", p. 11)

Our first step here will be to break down this rather lengthy excuse and boil it down to the bare essentials:

1) Bishop Rhoades denied an imprimatur to CASB2

2) Bishop Rhoades allegedly said that CASB2 "[lacked] adherence to authoritative Church teaching on Judaism"

3) Bishop Rhoades cited page 131 of the United States Catholic Catechism for Adults (USCCA) in support of this conclusion

4) Bob assumed that the specific sentence on page 131 referred to by the bishop is the sentence dealing with the "eternally valid" Mosaic covenant

5) Bob further assumed that this must mean his book got turned down because "it called for the conversion of the Jews and held them responsible for their historic disbelief in Christ"

6) Bob concluded that his bishop agrees with "the USCCB's liberal stance on the Jews", that "Rhoades and the USCCB [are] attempting to propagate [erroneous theology] to unsuspecting Catholics", specifically the "Dual Covenant theology that he and USCCB [are] apparently promoting." ("Covenant", p. 11)

To make the matter plain: Bob accuses Bishop Rhoades of censoring him because the bishop holds to Dual Covenant theology, which Bob considers to be a heresy. And he bases this accusation on the fact that his bishop made a reference to "page 131" of the USCCA (as well as two other objectionable "observations").

Bob is wrong for three reasons:

1) Bishop Rhoades has now directly refuted Bob's accusations about him [see a complete account here.]

2) There are six sentences dealing with the Jewish people in this section of the USCCA, not just one. Yet, remarkably, Bob jumped to the conclusion that the one potentially problematic sentence must be the one to which his bishop referred.

3) Bishop Rhoades does not interpret this one sentence in the same way Bob does (that is, using a "hermeneutic of suspicion" that seeks the worst possible meaning first)

So why did the bishop reject Bob's book?

Here is the full paragraph of the USCCA to which Bishop Rhoades referred (addressing Jews and Judaism):

The Catholic Church also acknowledges her special relationship to the Jewish people. The Second Vatican Council declared that "this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues" (LG, no. 16). When God called Abraham out of Ur, he promised to make of him a "great nation." This began the history of God's revealing his divine plan of salvation to a chosen people with whom he made enduring covenants. Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them. At the same time, "remembering, then, her common heritage with the Jews and moved not by any political consideration, but solely by the religious motivation of Christian charity, she [the Church] deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against Jews" (Second Vatican Council, Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions [Nostra Aetate; NA], no. 4).

The actual reason why Bob's bishop declined to grant an imprimatur becomes more obvious when we look the entirety of the paragraph in question. It speaks of several things which Bob has repeatedly gone to extraordinary lengths to repudiate, dismiss, minimize or re-define:

1) The Church's "special relationship to the Jewish people."

2) The quote from Nostra Aetate regarding our "common heritage with the Jews" that repudiates "all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against Jews."

3) The acknowledgment of God's abiding interest in, continuing concern for, and unique relationship with the Jewish people.

Could it be, perhaps, that Bob's CASB2 smacked too much of that anti-Jewish sentiment that, as we have amply shown in many articles on this blog, so permeates all of his writing and thought?

Why don't we look at CASB2 and verify it for ourselves?

Barely 30 pages into the text, Bob deals with the passage "every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him."

First, Bob applies this text simultaneously (and confusingly) to both the Jews of the future and all the Jews of past ages:

If the reference to "those who pierced him" is more general, it may refer to Jews living at the Second Coming who represent all the Jews from the past who have disbelieved in Christ (CASB2, p. 31).

Then, Bob turns the interpretation on its head, and says it refers to the Jews of the first century, who will "be raised from the dead in order to see Christ coming to earth at the end of the world". (ibid.) He writes, "John intends to convey the idea that the Jews, who had disbelieved Christ at his First Coming, and continue to do so in their blindness (Rm 11:7-8), will, on the Last Day, finally see and be forced to accept that the man they crucified was, indeed, the very Son of God" (ibid).

Indulging in a bit of theatric melodrama for a moment, Bob continues, "Thus the Jews will be beside themselves with grief and vexation when they finally realize that they were totally wrong. But it will be too late, for the Second Coming is the time of judgment, not repentance, and this is the reason they will be 'wailing'" (ibid, p. 32).

He then ties this "every one who pierced him" phrase to Zech. 12:10, and notes that it has reference to the Roman soldier who literally pierced Christ's side - but then, amazingly, he manages to bring even this literal/historical fact back to an accusation almost entirely against the Jews, while excusing the Romans:

The phrase in Zc 12:10, "they have pierced," is plural, and thus the soldier of Jn 19:34 represents both the Romans and the Jews who were involved in the death of Jesus. But though the Romans were involved, it is well known from both Scripture and Catholic commentary that the Roman officials were instigated into the crucifixion because of the hatred the Jewish leaders had against Christ (ibid, p. 32).

Bob's campy and contrived pathos is bad enough, as he sketches for the reader a picture of the first-century/present-day/future Jews (he apparently doesn't care which) being "beside themselves with grief" at the moment when they "finally realize" that they were not only wrong, but "totally wrong" - but alas! it is "too late" for them, for this is "the time of judgment, not repentance."

But much worse is the fact that Bob is apparently so driven to keep the reader fully focused on the Jewish fault at the Crucifixion, that he introduces a novel interpretation wherein even the Roman soldier who actually pierced Christ becomes a symbol of "the Romans and the Jews" who killed Christ - and when he says "Romans and Jews", he really means just "the Jews" because "though the Romans were involved," everyone knows through the teaching of "both Scripture and Catholic commentary" (you'll have to fill in the blank here with titles, because Bob doesn't cite any) that the Romans were only "instigated [sic] into the crucifixion" (Noah Webster, please call your office) because of the "hatred" of "the Jewish leaders."

Moving on to the passage that speaks of "the synagogue of Satan", Bob does not hesitate to interpret this as a reference to "the Jews". He doesn't explain, he doesn't persuade, he doesn't interact with any existing scholarship that argues that these people who "say they are Jews, but are not" are really not rank-and-file ethnic Jews - he just assumes that conclusion. But then he goes a step further:

. . . Satan is the instigator behind the attack against the Church. He is not a figment of our imagination. He is as real as real can be, and he is, indeed, very powerful. He wants worship and will settle for nothing less. He has incited the Jews against Christianity just as he incited Judas against Jesus (ibid, p. 50).

Bob's misstep here is that he cannot seem to utilize any kind of verbal precision when making these sorts of statements about "the Jews". He does not discriminate - the "synagogue of Satan" is simply equated with "the Jews", and Satan "has incited" (present-continuous) the Jews against us. Because "Most Jews simply would not accept Jesus", says Bob, "they became the sworn enemy of Christianity." (ibid.) Missing from this rather sensitive discussion, which Bob is content to handle with sandpaper and steel wool, is any distinction between the select group of first century Jews who did indeed persecute the Church, and the generic "Jews" of all time. For Bob, it is enough to wax schmaltzy about that old Devil who is "real as real can be", and who - it must be repeated - "has incited the Jews against Christianity."

It is beginning to become clearer why Bishop Rhoades chose not to sanction this manuscript with the Church's own seal of approval.

Moving further into the book, we arrive at Bob's commentary on Apocalypse Chapter 7. After eleven pages, there, sticking out like the kosher pig's feet, is the bold heading: "Romans 11 and the Future of Israel." For the next sixteen pages, the reader is treated to a full-blown soap-box sermon on the following subjects: Israel is no longer the Chosen People, there will be no special future conversion of the Jews, the hardness that has come upon the Jews will endure until the end of time, the Old Covenant has been revoked, Israel has no right to the Promised Land, the Church Fathers do not teach a future special conversion of Israel, and the "constant teaching of the Fathers of the Church" is that the "Olive Tree" of Romans 11 refers to Christ and not to Israel.

The words "propaganda piece" are almost too perfect to pass up.

What is a little more than entertaining is the way Bob cannot seem to make up his mind concerning the number of Fathers who hold to a special, future conversion of the Jews. In a dialogue with John Pacheco, he wrote, "Only two Fathers hold out for any future large restoration of faith in Israel". (The Fathers and the Return of the Jews) Later, however, in another article, he wrote, "Only three Fathers hold out for a future and distinct conversion of Jews." (Judaizers in the Catholic Church)

In his CASB2, he admits that "a few Fathers anticipated a significant conversion of the Jews". (p. 147) But a little later on the same page, he writes, "a little over half a dozen [Fathers] speak about an anticipated conversion of Jews," although he claims (on the strength of his own say-so, and without offering the least shred of proof) that "half of them apply it exclusively to the salvation of a remnant during the Church age". (p. 147) Note well: as of this writing, Bob has yet to demonstrate that the word "remnant" represents an insignificant number; for example, St. Thomas Aquinas wrote that at "the end of the world ... the remnants of Israel will be converted" (Summa, I-IIae, q. 102, a. 5, reply to obj. 5), but elsewhere he shows that by "remnants" he means all of the Jews living at that point in history: omnis Israel salvus fiet, non particulariter sicut modo, sed universaliter omnes. ("All Israel will be saved, not individually as it is now, but all universally"; Super Ep. B. Pauli ad Rom., Cap. 11, Lect. 4)

Bob has yet to demonstrate, when the other Fathers or Popes use the term "remnant" in reference to the future conversion of the Jews, that this term is incompatible with the idea of a significant majority of Jews living in the end time, as we saw in St. Thomas Aquinas.

Be that as it may, Bob moves from "two Fathers" to "three Fathers", from "three Fathers" to "a few Fathers", and from "a few Fathers" to "half a dozen". Last year, in response to Ben Douglass, he admitted that "there is a prevalent opinion in the early Church that the last generation of Jews might be saved en masse" ("I'm Mad, and I'm not Going to Take it Anymore", p. 19), although he quickly shrugged this off by adding, "but there was also a prevalent opinion endorsing Premillennial eschatology in the early Church".

In his review of Jacob Michael's Never Revoked by God, Bob writes, "Mr. Michael cites Pope St. Gregory the Great as supporting his view, and rightly so. But what Michael doesn't tell us is that Gregory is merely reiterating the views of a few Fathers who went before him, since Gregory doesn't offer any exegesis of the passages from which he quotes." ("Jacob Michael's 'Never Revoked by God': A Review by Robert Sungenis, Ph.D.", p. 13) He quickly lapses into an exegetical argument with the sainted Pope ("Gregory's citation of Isaiah 61:7 as applying to the Jews of the future is undercut, etc., etc."), but not before the audience has hopefully picked up on his unintended admission: when Pope St. Gregory the Great spoke of a future significant conversion of the Jews, he was "reiterating the views of a few Fathers who went before him." When a Sainted Pope "reiterates" the position of saints "who went before him", Catholics call this "handing on a tradition."

When it comes to preserving his interpretive bias, however, Bob is unshakeable, and un-teachable; even the witness of the Church Fathers, Doctors, and Sainted Popes to the contrary will be met with protestations from Bob like the following:

  • "some of the Fathers were poor at exegeting Scripture." (Will Enoch and Elijah Return to Preach to the Jews?, p. 3)

  • "Some of [the Fathers] did not even know the languages of the Bible, Greek and Hebrew." (ibid., p. 3)

  • "with the tools of biblical exegesis we have today, as well as the exegetical knowledge and easy access of Greek and Hebrew not available to some of the Fathers, contemporary exegetes of Scripture have a distinct advantage in discovering the truths of Holy Writ that were not always available to the Fathers." (ibid., p. 4)

  • "Of the dozen or so Fathers that speak about a future conversion of the Jews, only superficial and question-begging assertions are made of Rm 11:25-27, and often with some obvious blunders." (ibid., p. 11)

  • "Gregory’s treatment of both Rm 11:25 and Is 61:7 contain obvious blunders" (ibid., p. 20)

  • "Gregory interprets the Greek word [houtos] as 'and as follows,' ... But as we noted previously, [houtos] does not mean 'then' or 'afterwards'" (ibid., pp. 20-21)

  • "Here we see Jerome interpreting the Greek adverb [houtos] as if it were the word 'then.' It seems that the Fathers were so conditioned by the Chiliasts that went before them, even when the definitions of Greek words were staring them in the face, that they didn't see the real meaning of the word." (ibid., p. 21, fn. 34)

  • "As a result of [Augustine's] exegetical duplicity, Augustine and his followers subsequently produced many forced interpretations of Ap 11:5-8 and Rm 11:25-26 to make room for both a Jewish conversion and a Jewish evangelism to the Gentiles." (ibid., p. 17)

  • "As we will see, not one Father addressed the exegetical details of the passages in question, much less could any of them come to firm conclusions about their interpretations." (ibid., p. 20)

  • "Not knowing Hebrew, Chrysostom and Augustine often end up in unsupported exegesis by relying only on the LXX" (Intense Dialogue on Romans 11)

  • "In fact, Chrysostom incorrectly turns the Greek 'houtos' in Romans 11:26 from its function as an adverb modifying how Israel will be saved into a future time element for the salvation." (Judaizers in the Catholic Church)

Bob's demand for proof of a "consensus" (which he arbitrarily defines as "unanimous consent", cf. Intense Dialogue on Romans 11) on this point is disingenuous anyway; perhaps finally realizing that the patristic witness against him really is quite substantial, he has begun to forge a new position, a position he had not previously promoted:

It is the divine origin of a particular doctrine that makes the doctrine a requirement of belief for salvation, not the majority or common opinion of the Fathers, the medievals or theologians and prelates of today (Enoch and Elijah, p. 3).

. . . no Catholic is under any compulsion whatsoever to abide by whatever was predicted about Israel among even a majority of patristic writers ... even if the Fathers are in consensus on a given topic, we are still permitted to add information that has been gleaned from fresh studies of Scripture (Never Revoked, p. 12).

In other words, we're dealing with a lost cause: if Bob is shown that a Father or Doctor of the Church believes in the conversion of the Jews, he will dismiss their opinion because they failed to give a thorough textual exegesis; if patristic textual exegesis can be demonstrated, or it can be shown that a Father or Doctor interprets Scripture in a particular way, Bob will not hesitate to belittle that Father or Doctor's knowledge of the original languages or exegetical skill; in any case, he will say, no consensus (read: total unanimity) exists; but if that consensus can be shown, he will still duck and dodge and retort that we need not agree with the patristic majority view ... when he says so, anyway. Certainly we've all witnessed this kind of (mis)treatment of the Fathers of the Church. But it comes from certain Protestant apologists.

In short, Bob is making this up as he goes along, evading the evidence at all costs so long as it allows him to maintain his negative view that there will be no significant future conversion of the Jews - remember, Bob has publicly accepted as the "unofficially declared" teaching of the Church the position that the anti-Christ will be a Jew, and he does so on the testimony of maybe two or three Fathers, without once demanding proof of textual exegesis and unanimous consent. And now he has declared in his CASB II "the constant teaching of the Fathers of the Church" was that Christ is the Olive Tree of Romans 11 (see point #5). As such, the one consistent rule of Bob's theological world seems to be: listen to me, I alone have figured it out!

As a side note, Bob ridicules several Fathers above for interpreting houtos as "and THEN" instead of "and IN THIS MANNER"; in particular, we saw him criticize St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom (a native Greek speaker!), and Pope St. Gregory the Great for interpreting the Greek in this way (thus proving that even if you do show Bob the patristic exegetical witness, he'll just argue that their exegesis is wrong, even if they were native Greek speakers). It is worth pointing out that, here too, the patristic majority is against Bob:

. . . the Greek Patristic literature in the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae CD-ROM ... shows that kai houtos in Rom 11:26 was most commonly (73% of 60 citations!) understood in the temporal sense of "and then." For Greek Patristic texts frequently substitute for kai houtos some other expression, such as tote or meta touto ..." (J.M. Scott, "And then All Israel Will Be Saved", in J.M. Scott [ed.], Restoration: Old Testament, Jewish, and Christian Perspectives [Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2001], p. 491).

We will not hold our collective breath waiting for Bob to admit that his exegesis on this point stands soundly corrected by a large majority of the Greek Fathers, who forgot more Greek than Bob Sungenis will ever know.

Not only is he treating his audience to an improv act, he is also willfully ignoring and suppressing evidence. Before CASB2 was published, Bob purchased, read, and wrote a review of Jacob Michael's book Never Revoked by God; in that book, some twenty Fathers, saints, Doctors of the Church, Medievals, etc., were brought forward as witnesses to this common Catholic belief. For Bob to still move forward and publish a book that says "only a little over half a dozen [Fathers] speak about an anticipated conversion of Jews", when he had seen solid evidence to the contrary, illustrates what kind of person we are dealing with.

The way in which Bob's animus towards the Jews permeates his theology and hampers his exegetical ability is also evident in other ways in this bible study. At one point, while discussing the army of 200,000,000 that will destroy "a third of mankind", Bob somehow manages to bring the discussion around to the issue of Jewish unbelief. he writes:

In the time of Elijah, there were approximately 3 million men in Israel. A million and a half came out of Egypt 600 years earlier ... so an estimate of 3 million in the time of Elijah is conservative. But out of that huge number, God says that only 7,000 could be found in the whole nation who had not bowed the knee to the false god, Baal. That is 0.23% of the people (p. 187).

He said the same things in his infamous radio interview with Mark Dankhof, only using slightly different numbers:

... if we say a million or two million people back in that time, in 800 BC, and as Paul says, that God told Elijah that "I have 7,000 who have not bowed the knee to Ba'al", well 7,000 out of a nation of a million or so is .7 percent, ok? Now, you take that .7 percent, that's much more of people that were saved in Israel in 800 BC than we see today, in Modern Israel, where it's .08 percent, you see. So the statistics don't lie, I mean, if you look at them closely, there haven't been any real conversions to Jesus Christ from Israel - these people are as blind as they were 2,000 years ago!

Aside from the fact that Bob is pulling these numbers out of thin air, a more fundamental problem exists with this smoke-and-mirror show. Bob says "the statistics don't lie", but in this case the corollary is all too true: liars often use statistics. Bob breathes new life into the saying, "57% of all statistics are made up on the spot."

In both of these quotes, he uses the seven-thousand faithful Israelites of Elijah's day to start building his line graphs and pie charts of fabricated percentages as though "seven thousand" is absolutely and without question, literal. But the actual biblical text from which Bob continually wrenches this number suggests a different sort of story.

. . . you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria; and Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel; and Elisha ... you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And him who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him (1 Kings 19:15-18).

So what is the text saying? Who are these seven thousand? Are these just seven thousand souls that have not bowed the knee to Baal? They are at least that, but read closely: they are the "seven thousand" that God will "leave" as survivors after the swords of Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha have finished dispensing God's justice.

The problem is simply this: if this number is literal, the passage is saying that God intends to wipe out hundreds of thousands - millions, if we believe Bob's numbers - and leave only seven thousand survivors in the Northern Kingdom. It's not that this scenario couldn't be true - it's that there is no record of such a scenario in Scripture or secular history. God did literally use Hazael, Jehu, and Elisha to administer the sword and slay the wicked, but it seems far more likely that they left more than seven thousand survivors in the Northern Kingdom.

The point? The number seven thousand is very likely a symbolic number - the covenant number, seven, multiplied by a thousand, showing that God has indeed preserved a faithful, covenanted remnant for Himself. More than a literal seven thousand, but a remnant all the same.

In fact, two renowned biblical scholars, Fr. George Leo Haydock and Dom Bernard Orchard both raise this very issue and treat the symbolic interpretation of this passage as the more likely:

Dom Bernard Orchard, A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, p 337:

The 'Remnant' (this is the first instance of an idea common in the 8th century prophets), from which flourishing religious life was to grow, is given in a figurative number, the 7 suggesting health. Perhaps however, the actual number of the orthodox in the North is indicated.

Fr. Leo Haydock, Comprehensive Catholic Commentary, p 451:

God lets him know that he is not left alone, but that many thousands (C.) even in Israel still continue faithful; so far was the true Church from being in danger of perishing entirely. H. - Seven is often put for a great number. Prov. xxiv 16. Yet some suppose, (C.) that only this number served God out of 1,110,000 men in Israel.

But did Bob inform his readers of this more likely interpretation? No. He only presented the most negative (and less likely) interpretation of this number and then even proceeded to use it to arrive at his own estimated percentages, all in order to convince his readers how faithless the Jews really are. Perhaps this is simply a hangover from his years as a protégé to Harold Camping, a man infamous for such numerological shenanigans.

As we continue our tour of the Apocalypse, we finally reach the chapter on the Whore of Babylon, and it is here that Bob can no longer restrain himself from spewing forth things he's been wanting to say about the Jews. On pages 346-347, Bob goes on about the Jews for several paragraphs.

He notes that "Judaism was a grave problem in the first century Church"; then we get a short history lesson on how the Jews "migrated to Babylon where they stayed for the next thousand years", before "they were driven out of Babylon and settled to the northeast in the land of Khazaria" (p. 346).

Going on, he explains that "By the second millennium, many of these same Jews had become engrossed in mysticism, producing the Kabbala and the Zohar." At last, he begins to drive towards the sweeping conclusion:

All of the writings of the Jews had one common trait - they were thoroughly anti-Christ and anti-Christianity. Hence the same antagonism towards Christianity that began in the 'synagogue of Satan' in the first century continued to brew throughout the first millennium and finally erupted in the second. It is predicted by many of the Catholic saints and doctors that the Jews will become a significant force in the oppression of Christianity in the future, some stating that the Antichrist himself will come from the Jewish race. Thus, if there is a more specific historical/apocalyptic relevance to the title 'Whore of Babylon', it could be said that Apocalypse 17-18 is prophesying that Israel, who was divorced from God for her whoredom and sent to ancient Babylon ..., would emigrate to Babylon and remain in her whorish state, from which she would come forth once again in the last days as one of the main persecutors and evil influences upon the Church (pp. 346-347).

And there it is. The fact that the Jews were twice exiled into Babylon is enough for Bob to conclude that the Jews are the famous "Whore" of the Apocalypse. He continues this though a few pages later:

In a similar vein, the church at Smyrna is confronted with the 'synagogue of Satan,' which refers to the religion of Judaism that has now become an antagonist to the Gospel. The Jewish religion has been forsaken and it has become part of the 'Whore of Babylon.' It is this whore who is now trying to entice the Christians away from Jesus Christ, and therefore they are doing the work of "Satan" (p. 376).

As with his previous statements, so also here Bob displays an incredible lack of precision and prudence. He leaves the reader with the distinct impression that Judaism is Satanic, that the Jews are doing "the work of 'Satan'", that the Jews are the "Whore of Babylon" who "is now trying to entice the Christians away from Jesus Christ." He paints with an extremely broad brush, and smears the colors of his anti-Jewish animus on the wall with incredible sloppiness.

Why did Bishop Rhoades reject CASB2 for an imprimatur? Was it because Bob "called for the conversion of the Jews and held them responsible for their historic disbelief in Christ", as he alleges? Or was it, rather, because of paragraphs like the above, which paint "the Jews" indiscriminately in the most evil light?

Was it, perhaps, because the bishop read statements in CASB2 such as the ones we saw above, and when he compared these statements to the USCCBC teaching (from Vatican 2), "she [the Church] deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against Jews," he had no choice but to judge that Bob's book lacked "adherence to authoritative Church teaching on Judaism"?