Monday, March 13, 2006

Exsurge Domine

In 1520, the Pope (yup, I'm starting with the Pope) issued an edict called Exsurge Domine officially condemning the writings of one Martin Luther (who dared to write books that suggested that certain traditional church teachings were incorrect). Given the book bans that have come out of our 'modern' Jewish rabbinate, I thought a quick excerpt might be instructive:
Wise in their own eyes, according to the ancient practice of heretics, they interpret these same Scriptures otherwise than the Holy Spirit demands, inspired only by their own sense of ambition, and for the sake of popular acclaim, as the Apostle declares... No one of sound mind is ignorant how destructive, pernicious, scandalous, and seductive to pious and simple minds these various errors are...

They continue:
we condemn, reprobate, and reject completely each of these theses or errors as either heretical, scandalous, false, offensive to pious ears or seductive of simple minds, and against Catholic truth. By listing them, we decree and declare that all the faithful of both sexes must regard them as condemned, reprobated, and rejected... Moreover, because the preceding errors and many others are contained in the books or writings of Martin Luther, we likewise condemn, reprobate, and reject completely the books and all the writings and sermons of the said Martin... We forbid each and every one of the faithful of either sex, in virtue of holy obedience and under the above penalties to be incurred automatically, to read, assert, preach, praise, print, publish, or defend them.

Therefore let Martin himself and all those adhering to him, and those who shelter and support him... know that from our heart we exhort and beseech that he cease to disturb the peace, unity, and truth of the Church for which the Savior prayed so earnestly to the Father. Let him abstain from his pernicious errors that he may come back to us.

I call this fascinating because it is so close in thought and language to the original Slifkin ban:
...the books written by Nosson Slifkin present a great stumbling block to the reader. They are full of heresy, twist and misrepresent the words of our sages and ridicule the foundations of our emunah... The publication and distribution of these books present a spiritual danger and I fear that people will be adversely influenced by them. I therefore declare that these books should be distanced and it is forbidden to read, own, or distribute them as the Halacha applies to all "books of heresy." The author should also not be permitted to engage in outreach so that he should not transgress the cardinal sin of spreading words of heresy. There can be no room for justification whatsoever for spreading these books.

Signed with a pained heart and with the hope that the author who has spread this heresy will burn all his books and publicly retract all he has written.

Like I said, frightening.

As a new entrant into the JBlogosphere, I hope that I will be able to contribute a tenth of what earlier participants have.

Happy Purim all!


Blogger lakewoodyid said...

happy purim bochur, you'll be hearing from me after purim

3:02 PM  
Blogger happywithhislot said...

freilichin pirim!
see my posts on the subject.

6:52 PM  

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