THE CHURCH AND THE SYNAGOGUE
The expose in this column of the imbecility of the "When Roman Catholics Read The Bible" pamphlet (March 21, 1953), seems to have stirred the ire of the Rev. Carl Kunz, Director of the Gospel Work Fellowship, Inc., publishers and distributors of the offensive pamphlet. His comeback was two insulting letters, in which the arguments and evidence against his anti-Catholic publication were entirely ignored. The following letter was sent to this opponent:
Rev. Carl J. Kunz, Director
Gospel Work Fellowship, Inc.
Brooklyn, N. Y.
Sir:---Your letter, received yesterday, reminded me of an opponent of Benjamin Disraeli, whom he classified as "a ministerial rhetorician, inebriated with the exuberance of his own verbosity and gifted with an egotistical imagination ... (who) indulged in inconsistent arguments to malign an opponent and to glorify himself."
If you were blest with introspective grace, as I pray you to be, you would see in the Disraeli statement the egotistical personage who penned an attack upon me, in relation to the Church of my adoption, as an answer to an analysis of his "When Roman Catholics Read The Bible" pamphlet. I wonder whether it is ignorance or conceit, or both, that prompts you, and the fellow-Protestants in your Outdoor Gospel Work, to assume to be more competent to judge the declarations in the Bible than the Compiler of that Book of Books, the Catholic Church?
One of the points in my write-up of your pamphlet, which you disregarded in your offensive letters, was the declaration that the term Pope means father, a person of paternal authority; such authority as the Bishops of Rome always exercised over their spiritual children in the Church that St. Paul designated "the household of the Faith" (Gal. 6:10). The point was stressed in my analysis of your attack upon the Catholic Church, that if the designation Pope is un-Christian, because it is not in the Bible, as you claimed, then should you, and your fellow-Protestants, be classified as un-Christian for using such terms as the incarnation, Trinity, Easter, Christmas, etc., terms that are not in the Bible; terms that were coined by the Catholic Church. The use of these terms by Protestants is an unintended honoring of the Catholic Church.
You say that the Bible is the Word of God, which it is, but how do you know it? Surely you do not believe it on the authority of the hundreds of differing Protestant churches! If you believe the Holy Spirit guides you, and your fellow Protestants, in their judgment; then do you charge the Holy Spirit, inferentially, with being guilty of leading Protestants to disunity in the understanding of the Word of God? Catholics, and Catholics only, give a reasonable reason for believing that the Bible is the Word of God. They believe it because their Church, the compiler of the Books that formed the Canon of Holy Scripture of which the Bible is composed says so. This it is that prompts Catholics to say, with the learned St. Augustine, "I am compelled to believe the Gospel on the authority of the Catholic Church" (Contra. Epis, Manish. Ch. 5), knowing that she is Divinely safeguarded from error in pronouncing the Bible to be the Word of God.
Your answer to the above, and other analyses of your pamphlet, is "I cannot see how a Jew who is in his right mind can belong to a Church that says the "Jews are the synagogue of Satan." Having ignored this insult, as it had no bearing on my expose of the anti-Catholic nature of your pamphlet, a second letter was received from you, in which your insult was repeated thus, "The Roman Catholic Church teaches its people, and I quote, 'The Jews are the synagogues of Satan,' unquote. I know you are ASHAMED of yourself to think that your Church, the Roman Catholic Church, teaches its people, the Jews are the synagogue of Satan. If not, you ought to be ashamed of yourself." Again, "In New York City you run into Roman Catholics from all over the land and the only reason they believe 'the Jews are the synagogue of Satan' is because the Roman Catholic Church teaches it."
Your repeated declaration that "the Jews are the synagogue of Satan" is only one of a lot of things you know about the Catholic Church that are not so. I have been associated with Catholics throughout the United States and Canada for the past 49 years; and never during all those Catholic years have I ever heard a priest or layman say that "the Jews are the Synagogues of Satan." If you and your Outdoor Gospel Workers, were as familiar with the Bible as you arrogantly claim to be, you would know, as do "Roman Catholics Who Read The Bible," that the phrase is of Bible and not of Catholic Church origin. Turn to verse 9 of Chapter 3 of the Book of Revelation in your Protestant Bible, there you will find that St. John says, "Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, but are not, but do lie ... " This referred to the Jews who belonged to a congregation in the Asian City of Smyrna; holding them to be the enemies of God. St. John referred to those "Jews" who were rebels against the God of Israel, and the prophets of Israel. St. John held that real Jews, true sons of Abraham, were those who accepted Jesus as the Messiah, as did yours truly.
Your attempt to besmirch the Catholic Church, evidences the fact that you have just enough knowledge of the Bible to forge false interpretations of its contents. Evidently St. Peter must have had such "unlearned and unstable" creatures as you in mind, when he charged the enemies of Christ with "wresting Scriptures unto their own destruction," intellectually and otherwise (2 Peter. 3:16).
May our Dear Lord save you from continuing being most ignorant of what you are most assured regarding the Bible, and its Author, the Catholic Church, is my prayer,