Becky's Reviews > The Heretic

The Heretic by Lewis M. Weinstein
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it was amazing

I am Catholic. My entire life I have had friends that are Jewish. Until reading this compelling novel did I really understand their feelings towards Christianity. This book is a must read.
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Reading Progress

December 10, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
January 23, 2012 – Finished Reading

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Lewis Weinstein Thank you for your review and kind comments.

Imagine how my wife's Catholic family felt! Actually, they all had much the same reaction you did.

The almost 2000 year persecution of Jews is an aspect of its history the Church does not teach. It was only in 1965, at Vatican Council II, that the official church condemnation that "all Jews for all time are responsible for the murder of Jesus Christ" was finally changed.

I did get several very positive responses from Church leaders ...

Monsignor Thomas Hartman: The Heretic is a compelling read ... the book is historically accurate.

John Cardinal O’Connor: “The Spanish Inquisition of which you write in The Heretic was just one tragic event out of many in the Jewish-Catholic encounter. (Cardinal O’Connor was the Archbishop of New York)

Bishop John J. Snyder: an absorbing and challenging story ... an important epic. (Bishop Snyder is the Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine and a member of the U.S. Bishops Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.)

Dr. Eugene J. Fisher: My predecessor, Fr. Edward Flannery, used to say that we Christians have torn out of our history books all the pages the Jews remember. The Heretic may help redress that serious imbalance in historical memory between our two ancient peoples. (Dr. Fisher is Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, National Conference of Catholic Bishops.)

My next novel will explore the reasons that many Germans and Poles found it easy to support (or at least not oppose) Hitler's murder of the Jews. My research so far indicates clearly that the centuries of Catholic denunciation of Jews, which continued into the 1930s in both countries, was an underlying factor of great importance. Why should ordinary people resist the Nazi's murder of Jews when their church remained silent?

You might want to read my Goodreads review of Cardinal Faulhaber's 1933 advent sermons ... "Jodendom, Christendom, Germanendom," where I wrote ... "Faulhaber's statements clearly demonstrate how the Catholic Church made a very conscious decision to protect itself and leave the Jews of Germany to their own rapidly diminishing resources. So far as I can see, this 1933 Church position on the Jews never changed when Nazi persecution turned into mass murder."

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