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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jewish-Catholic Hermeneutics

A papal visit to Israel would be a mistake, was my first thought when it was announced. But then, the pope is first and foremost head of the Catholic Church and not a former Hitler youth. If it only were that easy! Now he is there and everything goes as expected. Benedict's remarks did not go far enough, there was no apology expressed, something was missing, there had been no mention of the Germans or the Nazis and he uttered not a word of regret. He didn't mention the number six, he used the word "killed" instead of "murdered" and as he had chosen to speak English, not the perpetrator's language, even his German accent was worth a comment. SO bad the son of a piss-poor village policemen didn't learn his English at Eton, Harrow or at least Ampleforth.

And as if that hadn't been enough, yesterday, at an "interfaith meeting" at the Notre Dame church in Jerusalem, a Palestinian cleric/judge/activist grabbed the microphone to deliver a hate-filled barrage against Israel. After hearing the translation of the -- Arabic -- words, the pope walked out. Muslims state that Benedict failed to adequately apologize for using a quote offensive to Islam in his 2006 Regensburg speech and it seems that the pope has a lot of apologizing to do.

Maybe it is inevitable that Benedict XVI is seen as German first and neither as one of the greatest theologians of our time nor as the representative of the global Catholic Church who has to understand, and deal with, the interests of all Catholics everywhere. He can not and must not speak first and foremost from a standpont of German guilt. He is speaking, too, for Catholics who have been victims of the Nazis. As the Polish pope with his koran-kissing and shameless shoulder rubbing with Muslim interests was seen as a friend of the Jews because his and the Jewish people were both targets of German eliminatory goals, Benedict is seen as German and German only. People love simple solutions.

There is an interesting discussion here (in German), from which I have paraphrased.

More on Pope Benedict for example here, here and here.

Cross posted at Roncesvalles.

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Blogger Epaminondas said...

For the Pope's visit to Israel to have been of any benefit on any level, Pius XII would have to appear hereI can't seem to find any note of his activities in this realm ..altho he did get 3000 visas for jews to get to Brazil .. this kind of effort was far surpassed by the Chinese consul in AustriaThe Pope could have for all time left a mark of justice on the Vatican. Instead he acted as if the papacy was a pair of 4's...

I understand.

But that's just how it is

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 12:17:00 pm  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

a Palestinian cleric/judge/activist grabbed the microphone to deliver a hate-filled barrage against Israel. After hearing the translation of the -- Arabic -- words, the pope walked out.Thus goes the Pope's reaching out to the Moslem world.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009 1:32:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anybody have an idea on the Pope's thinking when he calls on Israel to agree to the "two states"?

I saw Epa's comments above, but those of you who are Catholic and who follow the Pope - I am honestly asking - do you think he really believes that Israel has a true "partner for peace" in either the PA or Hamas?

Is it not rather bizarre that the "cleric" chosen to represent (I am guessing here) the Palestinian "religious" viewpoint in an "interreligious dialogue" would be so aggressive?

Do you think that maybe he may have been enlightened by this experience?

Or is the Pope being "even-handed" to protect Catholics and other Christians from even more persecution from the radical Islamists?


Tuesday, May 12, 2009 10:03:00 pm  
Blogger Pastorius said...

Sadly, I think it is the latter. And, this is why I am more and more becoming a critic of the Pope, though I think he is a genius of the ages.

He is afraid that even one of his little lambs be murdered. He does not seem to understand that Priests and Nuns and other Missionaries are charged with the responsibility to assume martyrdom for their faith, if it comes to that.

I am confident that Benedict knows the problem of Islam, so why is he downplaying it?

If you do not believe he understands the problem with which we are faced, then please, for God's sake, read his book, Without Roots. It could have been written by Ye'or, Spencer, or Bruce Bawer, though it is more temperate in language.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 5:29:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Pastorius, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Christian believers in peril. Not just self-identified Catholic missionary types.

Many non-Catholic Christians look to the Pope as the "Bishop of Rome." And many non-Christians outside the West look at any Christian as identified with the Pope.

Although, as I think you have expressed "between the lines", the persecution of Christians by radical Islam doesn't need any particular motivation - either by the Pope or otherwise. Any such expressed motivation is just pretext anyway.

Convert, leave or die is the M.O., and Benedict, unfortunately, cannot change that by "evenhandedness." The entire Palestinian "issue" is also just pretext, too.

I will read "Without Roots." I have a very long summer reading list, it seems!



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