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Miscellaneous thoughts and ramblings
Friday, July 14, 2006
Vatican condemns Israel for attacks on Lebanon
Vatican condemns Israel for attacks on Lebanon

The Vatican on Friday strongly deplored Israel's strikes on Lebanon, saying they were "an attack" on a sovereign and free nation.

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano said Pope Benedict and his aides were very worried that the developments in the Middle East risked degenerating into "a conflict with international repercussions."

"In particular, the Holy See deplores right now the attack on Lebanon, a free and sovereign nation, and assures its closeness to these people who already have suffered so much to defend their independence," he told Vatican Radio.

I call bull****.

Ed at Captain's Quarter's elaborates.

Forgive me, Father Sodano, but that argument has no bearing on reality. I do not necessarilly think that attacking Lebanon makes the best strategy, but Israel has plenty of justification for it. The attack on Israel also came against a "free and sovereign nation". Hezbollah's armed forces exist with the complicity of the Lebanese government, and they launched their attacks from Lebanon's sovereign territory. That constitutes an act of war, and Israel has the right to respond militarily to destroy the threat to their own sovereignty. etc.
As I recall, the Vatican didn't have much to say when the Palestinians were attacking the Catholic Allawites in Lebanon way back when. Of course, I could be wrong.
And what about when Palestinians took over the Church of the Nativity last year?

It's a sad day when the Wall Street Journal has more moral clarity than the Catholic Church. My friends know I'm a big Catholicophile. (That's not a word. Is there a word that means what I'm trying to say?) But there's been a consistent thread of pacifism that really confuses me. Catholicism is not pacifist. Obviously it is for peace but it does not hold that all violence is wrong. So whence is all the "cycle of violence" "both sides show restraint" moral equivalence nonsense? It's also been surprisingly silent about radical Islam which has been a serious threat to Christians especially in Africa.
And the fact that the Katuyusha fired on Haifa landed in the Stella Maris monastery?

By the way, guys. I changed the sidebar picture. I realize that that's cheating since I'm not a contributor. If you object, I'll change it back.
I'd say that's quite appropriate!
Obviously, this shines a spotlight on the real reason for the double standard applied to Israel and all the calls to "show restraint":

They don't consider Israel to be a "free and sovereign nation." They consider it to be occupied arab land.

That's why in all statements concerning terrorism against Israel, there is an undercurrent which implicitly infers that Israel deserves what it gets.

Unfortunately, too many people, including Jews in Israel, buy into this.

Let's think again about what Russia would do if Chechnya were lobbing rockets into Russia on a daily basis, shall we?
The Catholic Church has made real, positive changes over the last few decades, in its attitude towards Jews. That's all very praiseworthy, and I welcome those changes. The Catholic Church is also a natural ally to religious Jews in the culture wars.

However, that old current of anti-Semitism has never completely dried up and probably never will. Besides that, the Church has also had a long-time policy (maybe policy is too strong a word -- maybe it's just a reflexive instinct) to appease the powerful. They always hesitated to openly condemn the Soviet Union for example. With a billion people, Islam is the biggest guy in the room and they are not going to mess with that gorilla. So that mild residual anti-Semitism + the appeasement instinct = condemn Israel, don't condemn the Arabs.

What the Church is doing reminds me of that famous story of the cat who was trained to be a waiter -- to walk on its hind legs, to wear a uniform, to carry a tray and so on -- but when someone let a mouse loose in the dining room, the cat forgot all about being a waiter, dropped on all fours and went after the mouse.
Wow,Im Catholic.I support the Catholic church on this matter.I did'nt realise that the Jews hated us.You guys are shameful.
Well, I've been saying nice things about the Catholic Church for years and still do, but how the Church reflexively condemns ISRAEL in the present circumstances is simply beyond understanding.
You have to look hard at who is making the condemnations too. If you read what Ratzinger says, and read how "vatican officials " interpret it, you get more of a feel for the problems of politics in the church.
Og - that is intriguing. Could you please elaborate or point me to some articles/blogs/sources?

Anonymous - I know, the truth hurts. If you find hate in any of the above statements, you're not reading them closely. Or even far-ly.
The Catholic Church has made real, positive changes over the last few decades, in its attitude towards Jews.

They've given us scraps. But Jews aren't dogs. Until the Vatican opens its archives on the Holocaust years, or revises its grudging, theology-tainted policy toward Israel, or discontinues it's campaign to usurp the Holocaust, or repudiates the anti-Semitic popes (some of whom, the Vatican, instead, wishes to cannonize) discussing "real positive changes" is premature.

That's all very praiseworthy, and I welcome those changes. The Catholic Church is also a natural ally to religious Jews in the culture wars.

Not really. The Catholic Church opposes the dealth penalty, but American Right wingers do not. The Catholic Church opposes abortion and birth control in all instances, but Judaism does not. The danger in Jews taking the Catholics as allies in the culture war is that we'll modify our own teachings on matters like birth control, abortion and even homosexuality so as not to seem "less frum" then the Catholics. I've already seen it happen.

Furthermore, supporting an institution that, to this day, wishes to bestow it's highest honors on avowed anti-Semites (Kurt Waldheim, Pius 9, Pius 12, etc, etc) is not something any Jew with an ounce of self-pride should be able to stomach.
Hmmm... sure are a lot of anonymous types in the coffeehouse these days. Probably the guys over there in the corner wearing black turtlenecks, berets and goatees...
Is it a coincidence that the two anonymous commenters have positions more extreme on either side than any of the other comments?

Everyone else has bent over backwards to say that they have generally warm and fuzzy feelings toward the Church but disagree on this matter. But if you're anonymous then either "The Jews" hate Catholics or the Church is still virulently anti-semitic. (How that can be said given the work of the last Pope on Church-Jewish relations is mind boggling.)

Come on guys, pick a nickname. Then we'll pass out some stale pastries and we can sing kumbaya.
How that can be said given the work of the last Pope on Church-Jewish relations is mind boggling


We can call into question John Paul's character, because he never repudiated the anti-Semitic policies, practices or proclamations of his predecessors.

These include:

* Urban II's crusade of 1095

* Egenius III's promise in 1145 to absolve debts owed to Jews by anyone who joined his Crusade

* Innocent III's declaration (at the fourth Lateran of 1215) that Jews must wear yellow badges

* Gregory IX's (1231) establishment of the Inquisition

* Gregory IX's (1241) call for an investigation of the Talmud that leads to the burning of 24 cartloads of Jewish manuscripts, in France by King Louis.

* Paul II's (1464) introduction of the Palio, humiliating forced races of near naked Jews through the streets of Rome during carnival time.

* Julius III's burning of the Talmud in 1553, with Cardinal Carrafe (later Pope Paul IV) presiding.

* Cum Nimis Absurdum, a bull published in 1555 by Paul IV, established the Roman ghetto, forces Jews to wear a special cap and forbids them to own real estate or practice medicine on Christians.

* Pius V's (1569) expuslsion of the Jews from the Papal States

* Gregory XIII's (1557) demand that the Jews hear weekly forced sermons

* The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara, by Pius IX in 1848

* The canonization in 1867 of Peter Arbues, a 15th-century inquisitor famed for forcible conversion of Jews, by Piux IX, who said in the canonization document, ''The divine wisdom has arranged that in these sad days, when Jews help the enemies of the church with their books and money, this decree of sanctity has been brought to fulfillment."

* The Vatican's endorsement of things like the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the guilt of Alfred Dreyfus and the charge that Jews regularly commit ritual murders of Christian children.

* Leo XIII's refusal to denounce La Croix's vicious demonization of Alfred Dryfus, though he criticized the paper for other reasons. [La Croix has since apologized]

* Pius X refusal to intervene in the 20th century's most famous trial of a Jew on the ritual murder charge, a trial conducted in Kiev in 1913. After a Catholic priest testified to the court that such murders were an established fact of history, British Jews requested from the pope a denial of the libel (based on a bull published by a Clement VI in 1348) . Pius X's secretary of state acknowledgedthe existenceof the bull in writing to the British Jews, but he would not send information about it directly to the presiding judge.

* Pius XII's refusal to speak out against Nazism, or the extermination of Jews (even after 1943 when Rome was in Allied hands, and remember: this is the Pope who, in 1948, had the courage, to excommunicate every single communist in the world.)

John Paul never repudiated any of this.

Furthermore John Paul's own policies, practices and proclamations demonstrated contempt for Jews and Jewish sensibilities.

These include:

* The beatification (and continued efforts to canonize) Pius IX and Pius XII, the Joker and the Riddler in the rogue gallery of anti-semitic popes.

* The canonization of Edith Stein [A cold-blooded attempt to claim victimhood for the Church in the Holocaust]

*"We Remember" [Proclaimed that the Catholic church in the past objected to Jews only on theological grounds, not racial ones, and suggested that Catholism did nothing to pave the way for Nazism. Both are falsehoods, easily destroyed.]

The more difficult task, I think, is to defend the idea that John Paul was an especially good friend to the Jews. Yes he was better than most Popes, but most popes were worse than awful. Saying he was better than his predecesors, is faint praise indeed.
As a Catholic, I love the Church, the Vatican, and the Pope, but...

they are totally clueless on this one.

Israel is a beacon of light in a sea of darkness in the Middle East.

I fully support Israel's right to exist, exist in peace, and administer a severe ass-whoopin' on those who threaten her existence.

I would convert to Judaism, before I would abandon Israel or accept this bogus analysis from my Church!

Legal Eagle

p.s. Oops. Blasphemy. Better confess this weekend.
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