Rorate Caeli

The most powerful lobby in the world

If you doubt who they are, just watch what happened to the maligned Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, now under siege.

In the debate on the imposition of a change of the legal definition of marriage in the French Republic to include counternatural unions, millions have marched in the largest protests seen in the country since the 1980s, the "Manif pour Tous" (a wordplay with the euphemistic name given by the governing Socialists to the legal aberration they propose, "le mariage pour tous", "marriage for all"). From traditional Catholics to concerned agnostics to the brave members of the largest Muslim and Jewish minorities in Western Europe, a large portion of French citizens have taken to the streets to make their voice heard.

A leading voice has been that of Chief Rabbi Bernheim. His words for the natural law definition of marriage were so profound Benedict XVI mentioned them in his last great Christmas Address to the Curia. As we reported in December, he said:

The Chief Rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, has shown in a very detailed and profoundly moving study that the attack we are currently experiencing on the true structure of the family, made up of father, mother, and child, goes much deeper. While up to now we regarded a false understanding of the nature of human freedom as one cause of the crisis of the family, it is now becoming clear that the very notion of being – of what being human really means – is being called into question. He quotes the famous saying of Simone de Beauvoir: “one is not born a woman, one becomes so” (on ne naît pas femme, on le devient). These words lay the foundation for what is put forward today under the term “gender” as a new philosophy of sexuality. According to this philosophy, sex is no longer a given element of nature, that man has to accept and personally make sense of: it is a social role that we choose for ourselves, while in the past it was chosen for us by society. The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious. People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given by their bodily identity, that serves as a defining element of the human being. They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. According to the biblical creation account, being created by God as male and female pertains to the essence of the human creature. This duality is an essential aspect of what being human is all about, as ordained by God. This very duality as something previously given is what is now disputed. The words of the creation account: “male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) no longer apply. No, what applies now is this: it was not God who created them male and female – hitherto society did this, now we decide for ourselves. Man and woman as created realities, as the nature of the human being, no longer exist. Man calls his nature into question. From now on he is merely spirit and will. The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned, now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned. From now on there is only the abstract human being, who chooses for himself what his nature is to be. Man and woman in their created state as complementary versions of what it means to be human are disputed. But if there is no pre-ordained duality of man and woman in creation, then neither is the family any longer a reality established by creation. Likewise, the child has lost the place he had occupied hitherto and the dignity pertaining to him. Bernheim shows that now, perforce, from being a subject of rights, the child has become an object to which people have a right and which they have a right to obtain. When the freedom to be creative becomes the freedom to create oneself, then necessarily the Maker himself is denied and ultimately man too is stripped of his dignity as a creature of God, as the image of God at the core of his being. The defence of the family is about man himself. And it becomes clear that when God is denied, human dignity also disappears. Whoever defends God is defending man.

Bernheim had stepped over a red line. A Rabbi in the Great Synagogue of Paris since 1997, and the Chief Rabbi of France since 2008, he had stood in the way of the most formidable lobby in the world. He had to be taken down. His failings, which, though serious, had apparently not bothered anyone before, at least not enough to be revealed, suddenly came to the fore. As the Guardian (and several other sources) reported on Wednesday:

Bernheim's troubles began last month when a blogger accused him of copying a 1996 text by the late French post-modernist philosopher Jean-François Lyotard to use in his 2011 book Forty Jewish Meditations.

Bernheim responded by saying he was a victim of Lyotard's plagiarism of notes from lectures he had delivered in the 1980s when he was Jewish student chaplain in Paris. ...

Last week, another blogger accused Bernheim of plagiarism in a 2002 book and L'Express magazine revealed he had not earned the prestigious rank of philosophy professor that was often attached to his name.

Although his official biography did not mention him passing the agrégation, the highly selective examination needed to qualify as a professor, Bernheim never disputed the title when it appeared in newspaper articles and publicity for his books.

Bernheim has so far refused to resign: "It would be an act of pride and against the collegial structure that presides over decisions. I assume my functions fully." It is quite possible he is quite aware that those who wish to force him to quit have appeared from nowhere just to question his authority on the major issue being debated by French society. His failings in areas of his life did not, and could not, diminish the great truth that he has vigorously defended on the nature of men and women,  marriage and family life.


P.S. Good for Bernheim. On a much less relevant level, we in Rorate also knew we had crossed a line when we posted Fr. Dariusz Oko's major article "With the Pope against the homoheresy" - it is astounding how much hostility, agitation, and false accusations have, as if by a magic coincidence, been raised against us since immediately after that article was posted. We were warned by close friends that there would be consequences if we posted it. Or maybe it has been a just a great coincidence, who knows?...


[UPDATE (1300 GMT):] The Chief Rabbi tendered his resignation today, in an afternoon meeting of the Central Israelite Consistory of France.


  1. I find so much wisdom and insight here and I thank you so much for your courage, persevernce and timely essays. I never forgot how Anita Bryant's public career was destroyed when she spoke out against these truly scary and powerful, disordered and utterly ruthless herterophobes. Probably one of the most single-minded, self-absorbed (to the point of mono-mania) movements in the history of man, these people will stop at nothing to get what they want...namely, that they NOT be considered disordered or sinful, but that the Bible and God is wrong or at least not relevant anymore. Oh, and maybe that the rest of us drop dead. It takes real chutzpah, like the brave Rabbai, to speak out against them. God bless you and your 'satisfyingly othodox' website. I've put you on my prayer list. ;o)


  2. Bravo for this brave man! and thanks to you, Rorate, for speaking the truth about the state of our beloved Church...

  3. Formidable as its external enemies are, they almost pale in comparison to this internal scourge of the Catholic Church.
    Eve engaged in dialogue with the serpent and, thousands of years later, the VCII embarks on ”aggiornamento”, with disastrous results in both cases.
    These evil times were revealed/described by the Blessed Virgin Mary to Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres centuries ago in Quito.
    The battle lines are being clearly drawn now along numerous fronts.
    “Come, Lord Jesus.”

  4. Three cheers for the Chief Rabbi!! This is further proof the fascist/totalitarian mindset comes from liberalism. The behavior, the construct, the results are all the same--truth cannot prevail with them which is why a liberal is unable to argue his point in an adult conversation or academic discourse. This is why rights and freedoms within the communist, fascist entities are crushed.

    When God granted the Devil a hundred years of persecution of the Church in Leo XIII's vision, many think it began at that moment. It's pointless, of course, to argue what the actual time frame of a hundred years is, but in context perhaps we could look at it from 1917 to 2017. The hundred years aren't over yet because the Sun is still setting on the Western World (and the Church) as asserted by Pope Benedict XVI, and it's getting darker.

  5. Matthew Rose3:24 AM

    NC, thank you.

    Especially related to the P.S. of the post. This information is invaluable.

  6. Gratias3:45 AM

    New Catholic's postscript on "With the Pope agains Homoheresy" is a very useful reminder. The Polish priest names names so it is useful to read it again. Some of the ones that engaged in or protected ephebophilia are:

    Archbishop Juliusz Paetz of Poznań, dismissed in 2002.

    Bishop John Magee of the Diocese of Cloyne, Ireland, dismissed in 2010.

    Archbishop Rembert Weakland of Milwaukee, U.S.A.,1977-2002; admitted to being gay and to having had many partners.

    Bishop Patrick Ziemann of Santa Rosa in California (removed1999).

    Juan Carlos Maccarone of Santiago del Estero in Argentina (removed 2005),

    Bishop Georg Müller of Trondheim and Oslo in Norway (removed 2009).

    Raymond John Lahey of Antigonish in Canada (removed 2009).

    Roger Vangheluw of Bruges, in Belgium (removed 2010).

    John C. Favalora of Miami (removed 2010).

    Bishop Anthony J. O'Connell of Palm Beach in Florida (removed 2010).

    Bishop Thomas Curry of Santa Barbara/Ventura, Califormia (resigned 2013).

    Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, California (disgraced 2013).

    I blame it on Vatican II.

  7. Gratias4:16 AM

    After the homosexuals achieve their agenda it will be some other group. These Freemasons have been at it since winning the French Revolution. They brought Marxism, then the Communist October revolution, the Spanish republic, European Socialism, Vatican II, the youth revolution of 1968, abortion, and Homomarriage. Once the latter is spent they will go for Stem cells, Eugenics, Euthanasia or whatever is the most effective wedge issue of the moment. The common denominator is the destruction of Christendom, now called Western Civilization.

    The address by Benedict XVI is exactly right, and Rorate has a sixth sense for what is important. The Enemedia is trying to destroy Benedict, and we should defend his good name. His teachings are all in writing, fortunately.

  8. Benedict Carter5:00 AM

    The sodomite priest is hell's storm-trooper.

    The damage they have done to the Bride of Christ is so profound that even after the Restoration years will pass before we can ascertain the nature and depth of it. In fact, only Christ Himself knows the effects of their evil as the activities of these men leads directly to the loss of souls.

    The militant atheist and militant homosexual, the direct descendants of the hate-filled Bolshevik Commissars of the 1917 Revolution, leave no stone un-turned in their hatred of those who take them on. I myself have had details of my business and location posted on two Catholic blogs on which I have earned their ire.

    Still, to be a Soldier of Jesus Christ carries with it, inevitably, a certain risk. Let us welcome the persecution as it is tangible evidence of being right - and Our Lord sees all.

    This Rabbi is to be greatly commended. How can one send him a message of support?

    I seriously wonder how the world has escaped thus far the Great Chastisement promised in various Marian apparitions. God is merciful we know, but His patience is beyond all human understanding given the evil of the world and the shambles to which His Church has been reduced.

    As Mundabor notes today on his blog, with the Church in free fall and the world resembling a rubbish heap infested by marauding demons, "In the meantime, the US bishops think everyone must be free to move and establish himself illegally wherever he pleases, and Pope Francis has warned us about the dangers of gossiping."

  9. Rabbi Bernheim's article was extremely positively received by all who accept the Natural Law as soon as it was published, and it's delightful to see it re-presented.

    L'Express is quite wrong BTW -- the title of Professor is NOT provided by the Agrégation. The title of those possessing an Agrégation is Agrégé, the great majority of whom are schoolteachers, NOT University Professors.

    A Professorship is provided by completely different means as the magazine is claiming, the chief one of which is to be offered such a teaching position at a University. Such positions typically are offered only to Agrégés, but there is no Law whatsoever that they can ONLY be offered to Agrégés.

    ho-hum, the usual tactics of disinformation from the homosexualist lobby ...

  10. As you know this has little to do with ceremonial sodomy pacts and everything to do with attacking Western Civilization and its Church. And I get so irritated when I keep seeing "pedophile priest scandal." Over 80% of American victims were boys, most of them 11-17 according to the Jay report. By definition that is not pedophilia. It is, however classic predatory homosexual behavior.

    Were they protected at all costs in a misguided effort to protect the Church? Or was it the work of the network? I don't know. But I do know what pedophilia is, and that's not it; the victims are not prepubescent. Fr. Oku's report has some evidence right there.

  11. A professor he most certainly is in the truest sense of the word. What a great piece of writing. The cloak of malice has been lifted.

  12. I was under the impression that in most of Europe to become a Professor you had to have a second doctorate called a "habilitation". Having quickly checked on Wikipedia (limitation of time excuses this) I read: "Habilitation qualification exists in France (Habilitation à diriger des recherches, "accreditation to supervise research", abbreviated HDR)".

    So I think someone may be being economical with the truth in attacking the good Rabbi.

    PS:L I presume you will all be familiar with the old joke from the days of Cardinal Lustiger? What's the difference between the Cardinal Archbishop of Paris and the Chief Rabbi of France: The Cardinal speaks Yiddish! (And it was true.)

  13. Thanks for posting this excellent quote of Benedict XVI: i will link it to my blog.
    @Wormwood I think that true VII "aggiornamento" has nothing to do with how many have described and misused the term since the they have with many other terms, expressions and rubrics. I am not an expert on the question, but I consider von Balthasar's definition something far more worth considering:
    "Aggiornamento does not mean assimilating oneself to the atheistic Enlightenment (to the point of declaring the autonomy of human conscience); instead, it means being abreast of the times in order to give that Enlightenment an authentic response." (from

  14. "...he has vigorously defended on the nature of men and women, marriage and family life."

    Many prayers for this good man!

  15. Ora et Labora12:07 PM

    Rorate thanks for having the courage to keep us informed.

    It so clear now, that those of us who stand of the side of God are openly fighting a war against the powers of death.

    There is also this other article, on the Oregon teacher who could be fire for opposing Plan Parenhood in the Classroom, I read it yesterday, and after reading this I thought I would post the link here at Rorate. It just goes to show that the liberal agenda is completely out of control.

    This teacher and many others like him need our prayers.

    It seems many of our brothers and sisters are experiencing red and white martyrdom.

    May it all be for the Greater Glory of God!!!

    Mary Help of Christians pray for us!!!

  16. "It seems many of our brothers and sisters are experiencing red and white martyrdom."

    In Tasmania Australia they are in the process of legalising abortion and part of the process would have involved persecuting those doctors who refuse to refer the mother to the abortionist or to another doctor who would do the referral with a $65,000 fine. Authorities eventually decided against this but are deciding on professional sanctions against any good doctors who refuse to be involved in child sacrifice.

  17. Thank God for this rabbi and Rorate Caeli who speak the truth regardless of the personal persecution and thereby honour God and mankind. Such brave and true people inspire the rest of us to be better and to stand against intimidation.

  18. Louis1:01 PM

    Dear NC, thank you for your invaluable blog. Something for you to consider adding to the Rorate style sheet (if AP or the NY Times can have one, so can you): the correct traditional terms buggery, sodomy, sodomite will be substituted for modern corruptions such as "gay", "homosexual". I understand "homosexuality" was invented some decades ago as a "values-neutral" pseudo-scientific term for this perversion. He who controls the terminology wins the debate.


  19. @CitySeminarian
    My simple understanding of VCII "aggiornamento" is that it was an updating (or a bringing up-to-date) of the Church, an updating that has led to the current Church crisis. (BTW, I’m no fan of Hans Urs von Balthasar. In fact, I steer clear of him.)

  20. NIANTIC2:32 PM

    Each age has had its evils as Satan runs free and wild. But these times are truly diabolical to a degree never before seen by man. Everywhere God is being mocked and opposed by a hatred that is hard to describe. Not only by the world but also from within the Church herself on all levels. One wonders how much worse can it get.

    The ONLY hope we have is that we know God is in control and His ways are mysterious. Perhaps this is the final chance for individuals to declare their allegiance. Either for God or Satan.

    God's justice and retribution will be final and horrible for those who have sold their souls to Satan and are his foot soldiers on earth.

    Fortify yourselves with Faith and Sacraments for, to paraphrase Saint Paul, "eye has not seen and ear has not heard what God has in store for those who love Him".

    So Satan can bring on whatever he wishes but he is the world's greatest loser of all time and eternity.

    Pax Christi.

  21. Perhaps we can take some encouragement from today's news that Pope Francis has asked the Portuguese bishops to consecrate his papacy to Our Lady of Fatima and that this will be done on 13th May 2013 - the 96th anniversary of Our Lady's first appearance to Jacinta, Lucy and Francisco at Fatima.

  22. Homosexuality and Lesbianism are MORTAL SINS4:06 PM

    Terrible shame about his resignation. I intend to copy and paste his words of truth and use them whenever and wherever I can.

    This rabbi will not have to face Jesus with the same burden as those who forced him to resign.

  23. Barbara5:16 PM

    "This teacher and many others like him need our prayers."

    Ora Pro Nobis,
    I am faced with this situation as a teacher. I got my hands dirty (shaking in my shoes but solid in Our Lord aand Church teaching) - and consequently paid for it in job loss.But the school stopped bringing in those sheep in wolves clothing with their filthy sex-ed progamme. So it was a little triumph. And Our Great Lord got me another you see they only appear to win.

    I have faced the enemy - and it is indifference masquerading as tolerance! Most, who are indifferent do not want to get their hands dirty and upset the applecart so to speak - so the poor students are not formed correctly and the evil is perpetuated. A tragedy.

    How long can we go on like this?

    We, by the grace of God, who see the insidious evil for what it is are truly"fools for Christ".

    And I'll gladly be a fool for Our Lord any day than take up with the madness and perverted thinking currently running rampage all over the world in the form of poisoning minds especially those of the young.

    But to be courageous in these times, I need the power of the prayers of the Church and all my brothers and sisters who will sustain me.

    This is one of the reasons I love Rorate Caeli so much. I feel less alone as I encounter people from all over the world who are true Catholics and this blog is not afraid to speak the truth on so many fronts that are dear to us.

    So sorry that this courageous Rabbi was forced to resign - how I know what he's going through on an emotional level! Prayers for him.

    Praise to Our Lord Jesus Christ who has given us the victory!

  24. It is actually quite terrifying how strong the gay lobby is growing. The youth that encounter (regardless of religious upbringing) by and large take it as "gospel truth" that so-called "gay rights" are the civil rights movement of our time.

    We really need to reclaim control of the narrative in this area. But, part of the problem is that our ecclesiastical leaders keep trying to explain the Catholic position within the confines of the secular narrative. They haven't discovered that this is a project doomed to faith.

    I think that we are to the point that we must establish competing media outlets. Even those that were traditionally "conservative" tend to either waiver or remain silent on this issue. We can no longer afford to take the "Gaudium et spes" manner of approach to these social evils.

  25. Lynda8:35 PM

    Many Bishops and priests are not doing their duty and courageously preaching the truth, but rather are seeking to appease and negotiate with the enemies of the truth in positions of power in the fields of politics and communications.

  26. The Rabbi has admitted to plagiarism and resigned as he should have done in the first place. In any case, there are many authrorities we can quote on the harm done by homosexuality without such resort. Plagiarism is unethical. All we need to do is acknowledge those to whom we are indebted for our references. Period.

  27. Barbara said:

    "I have faced the enemy - and it is indifference masquerading as tolerance!"

    That is spot-on!

  28. StMichaelDefendUs2:18 AM

    Leon G, Our vice president, the faithful Catholic Joe Biden is a plagiarizer. Why doesn't he resign?

    It's time for people to start becoming aware of how these bullies gang rape anyone who opposes them:

    Ben Carson steps down:

    General Pace steps down:

    It is CRIMINAL to allow sodomites to adopt children (and yet WE let them do it & vote it in - just like abortion!):

    It is CRIMINAL to allow sodomites in the military:

    Sodomy is a SIN that cries to heaven for vengeance. Joining sodomy to pride is diabolical:

    "Pride has been referred to as the “complete anti-God state of mind.” It militates against God’s authority, God’s law, and God’s rule. This is why the Bible equates rebellion with witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). Pride assaults God’s throne and asserts its independence in an attempt to dislodge God as the Sovereign of the universe....Humility is the foundation of all virtue, but pride is the essence of all sin. The world system operates on the basis of pride for all that is in the world is lust and pride (1 John 2:16)."

    The homosexual takeover of our culture is the work of the DEVIL and those who worship him. Fight sodomites like you would fight Hitler (and remember, most Germans didn't!).

  29. @Wormwood

    No offence - but your definition of aggiornamento is straight out of the 70s copybook; its a term which has been overwhlemingly abused, taken out of its context from within Tradition, and instead read and 'proclaimed' with and within a (frankly) anti-Christian hermeneutic. This is something which I (and imagine in truth youtrself also) would avoid absolutely.

    As for von you include in your reading of him his tome on the liturgical cosmology of Maximus the Confessor. Just fantastic, a stunning antidote to secular reductionist materialism...

  30. Francis in Ma12:27 PM

    The homosexual lobby is getting quite powerful, being that only about two to three percent of the population are sodomites. Yet they have attached themselves to leftwing and secular political parties, politicians the media and academia around the world. Let's not forget that freemasons make up a small percent of the population also, but as we all know have control and influence in almost every aspect of worldly (and religious) affairs.

  31. @CitySeminarian
    I don’t think that if I had a better definition or understanding of the word aggiornamento the current state of the Catholic Church would be better.
    I don’t read any of von Balthasar’s works. As I said before I steer clear of him.
    I am no theologian or philosopher, or seminarian. I’m just a lay Catholic. Words like “secular reductionist materialism” make me very uncomfortable and reach out for the Catechism of the Council of Trent for reassurance. ;-)


Comment boxes are debate forums for readers and contributors of RORATE CÆLI.

Please, DO NOT assume that RORATE CÆLI contributors or moderators necessarily agree with or otherwise endorse any particular comment just because they let it stand.


(1) This is our living room, in a deeply Catholic house, and you are our guest. Please, behave accordingly. Any comment may be blocked or deleted, at any time, whenever we perceive anything that is not up to our standards, not conducive to a healthy conversation or a healthy Catholic environment, or simply not to our liking.

(2) By clicking on the "publish your comment" button, please remain aware that you are choosing to make your comment public - that is, the comment box is not to be used for private and confidential correspondence with contributors and moderators.

(3) Any name/ pseudonym/ denomination may be freely used simply by choosing the third option, "Name/URL" (the URL box may be left empty), when posting your comment - therefore, there is no reason whatsoever to simply post as "Anonymous", making debate unnecessarily harder to follow. Any comment signed simply as "Anonymous" will be blocked.

Thank you!