Pontifications

Pontifications


The Pope in the Holy Land: Two verdicts

posted by David Gibson

At PoliticsDaily.com, Elizabeth Lev (the daughter of Mary Ann Glendon) titles her analysis “How Israel Could Have Been a Better Host to Benedict,” and as the title suggests, takes aim at Israel and some Jewish leaders for undermining that leg of the pilgrimage. Her walkaway:

“But in Jerusalem, despite the gaily colored papal flags alternating with the blue Star of David, the impression seemed to be that receiving the pope was more of a burden than an honor. Compared with the pope’s gentlemanly overtures of peace, his hosts seemed like petulant schoolchildren. It was a sad showing for the Israelis. What could have been a historic encounter was soured by grumbling from the sidelines.”

The other entry is from Yours Truly and is called “How the Pope Fell Short as a Guest.” And as that title suggests, I’d give il papa a mixed grade at best–above all for a “missed opportunity” with the Jewish community that can never be recovered.

The other difference between the two verdicts is that I am right, of course. Right?

BTW, I would take issue with just two of Lev’s assertions:

One, she says that after the Regensburg blowup, “Benedict issued a clarification and invited Muslim leaders to dialogue, garnering a positive response from 138 Islamic scholars.” Actually, the Muslim scholars initiated the dialogue request, and after some delay the Vatican accepted.

Two, Lev says that “The opposition of the Ratzinger family to Hitler’s regime is a matter of public record.” In fact, there is no such record I know of, and Joseph Ratzinger himself has said that while his family had no love for Hitler, they never made any public statement or action because that would have endangered them. Many others did object or resist, and suffered the consequences, though Ratzinger does not make mention of them in his writings.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(5)
post a comment
bill bannon

posted May 14, 2009 at 11:01 am


I wish he had not simply condemned the security wall in se which is reminiscent of John Paul calling the death penalty “cruel” in 1999 in St.Louis. We dabble now. Our Popes dabble in penology and terrorism security and develop no total thorough policy in either area….and then they fly off to other things. We are thus using the sound bite attention span of modern man to image…not to really enlighten about security…but to image in a competitive world of imaging.



report abuse
 

Cindy

posted May 14, 2009 at 1:47 pm


Bill – With all due respect, that wall is not “about security.”
While the original idea may have been spawned as a way to cut down terrorist intrusion, it is no longer being built for that reason. It is a way of including land in Israeli territory and disenfranchising Palestinians. The wall does not run along the lines of the 1948 borders but at times is almost 30 kilometers away … and not on the Israeli side.
The Pope is making the right statement, because walling people out and erecting barriers is definitely NOT the Christian way, and it is not conducive to the peace so necessary for the area.
It’s not about walls. You may find it interesting to listen to this essay by David Hare http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00kjb73



report abuse
 

Gerard Nadal

posted May 14, 2009 at 1:52 pm


“Many others did object or resist, and suffered the consequences”
Which is why the Israelis act like petulant school children. Any Catholic of note from that time, living in that place who outlived the war is obviously guilty of not doing enough, not saying enough, as evidenced by their very presence today.
It’s easy to recognize a free agent like Schindler. It’s hard to give credit to Popes and other ranking officials at the level of the Vatican Secretariat. That might put the lie to the Jewish propaganda that we’re inherently anti-Semitic. That might cause an outbreak of responsibility in diplomatic and ecumenical governance, which has as its driving force the guilt-manipulation of Jewish Victimhood.
If the blood of Catholic martyrs during WWII and the eyewitness testimony of the Jews and periodicals of that time (don’t panic David, I won’t threaten your spin by reprinting it here again) isn’t enough, if Nostra Aetate isn’t enough, if John Paul II wasn’t enough, if Benedict showing up wasn’t enough, then maybe its the Jews who are afraid to let go of the certitude of past hurts for the uncertainty of ecumenical brotherhood.
To what lengths have they extended themselves since WWII in the ecumenical arena? Being on the receiving end of our outreach doesn’t count. Where is the reciprocation of equal magnitude?
How about starting by recognizing the voice of the WWII Jews and taking Pope Pius XII out of Yad Vashem’s Hall of Shame?



report abuse
 

bill bannon

posted May 14, 2009 at 2:07 pm


Cindy
I grew up in an area wherein two people I know were murdered within a block of my house in entirely different years. I had large muggers challenge me to fist fights on the NY waterfront as I worked for college money in Sadlier Book Publishers (catholic) of all places. I lived for years intimate with danger. I believe the people who are to decide about such things as walls after terrorism has been visited on them is the potential victims not an itinerant visitor who has the Swiss Guard guarding him wheneven he wishes.
You wrote: ” erecting barriers is definitely NOT the Christian way”. Actually…it is varying with the threat… consult the Christian scriptures not christian writers on exclusionary choices. Christ noting that after one has reproved another in private and then with 2 or 3 witnesses and then with the Church…and he still does not hear you… “let him be to thee as the heathen and the publican”. That’s Christ telling you to erect a barrier between you and that person henceforth. Paul when apprised of the man caught in incest wrote to the Christian community: “Expel the wicked man from your midst.” Now imagine if Ratzinger and John Paul had obeyed the example of Paul in that incident but with our sex abuse priests who had the same numbers in John Paul’s first ten years as they had in the ten years before him. They should have been exclusionary and at that, they should have been exclusionary quickly.
The Jews know that…ie the papal expertise in the sex abuse crisis…and it’s speed. They’d be foolish to see us as experts in security.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted May 15, 2009 at 12:23 pm


NO MATTER WHAT,HOW,WHY AND WHERE HAVE BEEN THE EVENTS OCCURED,LET
US ALL BE THANKFUL TO GOD FOR PRESERVING EACH OWN HONOR AND RESPECT
AS WE ALL HAVE TAKEN PART OF OUR RESPONSIBILITIES IN DOING GOOD TO
OUR FELLOWMEN.LET US ALL REJOICE IN THE GOOD OUTCOME OF THE VISIT
OF THE SPIRITUAL LEADERS IN ISRAEL,LET US GIVE THANKS AND PRAISE
TO A GOD THAT NEVER CONDEMNS SINNERS,FOR IT IS THE VERY REASON WHY
JESUS CHRIST DIED THAT WE MAY HAVE LIFE AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY.ABUN
DANCE IN EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING.SOO…PEOPLE IN THE HOLY LAND SHOULD
SHOW AN ABUNDANCE IN THEIR CHARACTER THAT THEY WILL BE THE ROLE
MODEL OF GOODNESS BESIDES THEY WERE IN THE HOLY LAND SOO MAY ALL
BE AT PEACE WITH ANYONE WHO STEP THEIR FEET IN THAT HOLY PLACE,BY
DOING SO,YOU ARE INDEED A CHOSEN RACE AMONG THE EARTH BY DISPLAYING
THEMSELVES A ROLE MODEL THAT THE WEAK MAY FIND STRENGTH BY YOUR EXAMPLES AND START TO LIVE AND ASSUME CHRIST LIKE IMAGE.FOR IT IS
BY BECOMING A ROLE MODEL THAT THE CHILDREN WILL LEARN AND LIVE THE
WAY A ROLE MODEL DO.MAY THE IGNORANT LEARN AND LIVE AS WELL.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Pontifications. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Faith, Media and Culture Prayer, Plain and Simple Happy Blogging!!!  

posted 2:38:01pm Aug. 27, 2012 | read full post »

Moving on, and many, many thanks...
So...my recent vacation and related absences also coincided with an offer from PoliticsDaily.com to cover religion for them, as editor Melinda Henneberger announces here in her roundup on the site's very successful first 100 days. That means, in short, that I'll have to sign off from blogging h

posted 8:29:24pm Aug. 02, 2009 | read full post »

Calvin at 500, Calvinism 2.0
If you thought you knew John Calvin--who turned 500 last week--you probably don't know enough. For example, that he was French, born Jean Cauvin. And if he was in fact scandalized by dancing, he was also a lot more complex than that. I explored the new look Calvin in an essay at PoliticsDaily, "Patr

posted 11:53:35am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

Apologia pro vita sua...Kinda
 In my defense, I've had computer outages and family reunions and a few days of single-parenthood, which is always a bracing reminder of what many parents go through all the time. And this weekend it's off for a week's vacation. Anyway, hence the long absence. Apologies to those who have chec

posted 10:51:36am Jul. 16, 2009 | read full post »

When Benny met Barry: "I'll pray for you!"
The first word via Vatican Radio and first image (that I saw) via Rocco: Speaking to Vatican Radio, Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi said "moral values in international politics, immigration and the Catholic Church's contribution in developing countries" were key topics of discussio

posted 12:54:28pm Jul. 10, 2009 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.