Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vatican Rags

Vaticanologist Sandro Magister looks at the church's position on the fighting in Gaza:
Of course, the authorities of the Catholic Church do not defend the existence of Israel -- which its enemies want to annihilate, and is ultimately at stake in the conflict -- with the same explicit, powerful determination with which they raise their voices in defense of the "nonnegotiable" principles concerning human life.

This has been seen in recent days. The authorities of the Church, and Benedict XVI himself, have raised their voices in condemnation of "the massive violence that has broken out in the Gaza Strip in response to other violence" only after Israel began bombing the installations of the terrorist movement Hamas in that territory. Not before. Not when Hamas was tightening its brutal grip on Gaza, massacring the Muslims faithful to president Abu Mazen, humiliating the tiny Christian communities, and launching rockets every day against the Israelis in the surrounding area.

About Hamas and its vaunted "mission" of wiping the Jewish state from the face of the earth, about Hamas as an outpost for Iran's expansionist aims in the Middle East, about Hamas as an ally of Hezbollah and Syria, the Vatican authorities have never raised the red alert. They have never shown that they see Hamas as a deadly danger to Israel and an obstacle to the birth of a Palestinian state, in addition to its being a nightmare for the Arab regimes in the area, from Egypt to Jordan to Saudi Arabia.

In the December 29-30 issue of "L'Osservatore Romano," a front-page commentary by Luca M. Possati, checked word by word by the Vatican secretariat of state, claimed that "for the Jewish state, the only possible idea of security must come through dialogue with all, even those who do not recognize it." Read: Hamas.

And in the same issue of the Vatican newspaper -- in a statement also approved by the secretariat of state -- the Latin patriarch of Jerusalem, Fouad Twal, after decrying Israel's "disproportionate" military reaction, reiterated the same concept: "We must have the humility to sit at the same table and listen to each other." Not a word about Hamas and its prejudicial refusal to accept the very existence of Israel. . .

There remains another reservation, at the Vatican, about the acceptance of Israel. Not about the existence of the state, but about its actions. This reservation is expressed in the most varied forms and on all sorts of occasions, and consists in repeating, every time a conflict erupts, the judgment that the Arabs are the victims, and the Israelis are the oppressors. Even Islamist terrorism is traced back to this basic cause:

"Many problems that are now attributed almost exclusively to cultural and religious differences have their origin in countless economic and social injustices. This is also true in the complex history of the Palestinian people. In the Gaza Strip, human dignity has been trampled on for decades; hatred and murderous fundamentalism are nourished."

These remarks -- the latest from the Vatican authorities -- come from Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the pontifical council for justice and peace, in an interview with "L'Osservatore Romano" on January 1, 2009.

Not a word about the fact that Israel withdrew from Gaza in the summer of 2005, and that Hamas seized power there by force in June of 2007.
By the way, some Romans proposed to boycott Jewish-owned stores.

(via The Corner, reader Anita)


Geoffrey Britain said...

I was 'loosely' raised as Catholic, so I have some familiarity with the religion.

For all of Christianity, Judaism holds a uniquely important distinction. As, whether acknowledged or not, Jesus was born, lived and died a Jew.

The Catholic church's attitude toward Israel and Jews does not mirror the Christian evangelical perception of Israel, which is one of unqualified support. (I also regularly attended services at an Evangelical Church for a number of years)

Christian evangelicals maintain their support of Israel because of their interpretation of certain passages within the Bible.

Compared to Evangelical regard, the Bible has much less of an exalted position of relevance with Catholics and thus lies the reason for Catholic 'resistance' to those passages.

Because of this, Catholics more strongly hold against the Jews their inherent denial of Jesus' divinity.

Not his death, which took place 2000+ years ago. No, it's the Jew's unrelenting denial of Jesus' DIVINITY that bothers the Catholic Church, for they lack the Evangelical's Biblical rationale that leads to the perception, that support for Israel is required by God.

That in a certain subtle way leads the Catholic Church to presuppose that one way for the Jews to earn salvation (Catholics are different in how salvation may be attained, than Evangelicals) is to show that they spiritually 'get' Jesus' dictum of "turning the other cheek".

It matters not how many times Israeli's turn the other cheek, they must always do it again, no matter what the circumstance. For at any point, to finally fight back is to deny Christ's dictum.

The hypocrisy of asking others to do what the Catholic church's hierarchy is clearly unwilling to ask of their own religion's adherents is irrelevant...because this is the Jews penance.

The only true way for them to atone for their denial of Jesus Christ's to follow Jesus' example is, behaviorally, to follow his 'way'.

And following his "way", of loving even our enemies is what he asked of us. (Anyone ready to die to show Islamic terrorists the error of their ways?)

The problem of course for the Jews is precisely that, unerringly following Jesus' dictum literally is a formula for National Suicide.

But Israel committing suicide would demonstrate remorse...

And Israel getting up on the 'cross' of genocide would demonstrate a willingness by Jews to share the 'passion' of Christ...

Yes, it is quite warped but an agenda is always at work when reasonable men cannot look at an issue rationally.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Geoffrey goes for a deeper cause than I do, and I think he is right. On a far simpler level, however, I find it is wise to remember that the Catholic Church is very Continental European in its attitude. The RCC does have the ability to set itself apart and take other, historically Christian factors into account, but the intellectual foundations of all the individuals in the Vatican were European schools.

It is a fascinating ironic twist on the St Francis Xavier (Jesuit) motto "Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man." European schools got the early training of the Catholic hierarchy. That hierarchy thus has a very Post WWII European style to its anti-semitism: no active attacks on Jews, but lots of excuse-making for their enemies.

I believe the quote is not actually Xavier's BTW.

OBloodyHell said...

Most everyone with a brain left Europe by 1920 and came to America. What few were left that weren't brain-dead came here after WWII.

That's really all you need to know to understand Europolitics.

You think about how utterly dunderheaded US politicos are...

They're all descended from the smarter ones.

Scary thought, innit?

But a light of clue begins to dawn, doesn't it?

OBloodyHell said...

> (Anyone ready to die to show Islamic terrorists the error of their ways?)

Last time I checked American soldiers were doing exactly that.

...And The Left was pillorying them for it.


Geoffrey Britain said...


Just to be certain I'm clear. Following Jesus' dictum is NOT what our soldiers are doing. Ultimately, Christianity calls upon us to 'yield our throat' to the butcher's knife if that is what it takes to awaken them.

American soldiers are dying in defense of liberty but their goal is that "the other son-of-a-bitch die for his country" (Gen Paton)

Anonymous said...

For the record Geoffrey your interpretation of "turn the other cheek" is culturally inaccurate, in the old times Jesus lived in slavemasters would often strike their slaves on the left cheek as an insult denigrating the slave as beneath the slavemaster, turning the other cheek then meant that slave and slavemaster were equals. So, as you can see the passage is clearly not about passive acceptance of violence.

Carl said...

I agree with Anonymous on this. Despite the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus was no pacifist. See Luke 22:36 ("one who does not have a sword should sell his cloak and buy one"). It is also permissible to defend one's self and property against an unjust agressor. And ejecting the moneychangers from the temple (e.g., Luke 19:45-46) should be read broadly as sanctioning the defense of Jews in Israel. So both American and Israeli soldiers are consistent with Jesus' dictum.

I want to consider some more before I respond to GB's first point.

Carl said...


I'm not very familiar with Catholic doctrines (outside of Just War) but, like AVI, I think there's a lot of truth in what you say in your first comment (though not the passivity point). Question for you or other Catholics: did Vatican II formally remove any suggestion that Jews are blameworthy for denying Christ's divinity?

OBloodyHell said...

> Just to be certain I'm clear. Following Jesus' dictum is NOT what our soldiers are doing.

Ah, but if you read it carefully, that's not what *I* said the soldiers were doing, either.

What I said was that they were "showing that they were willing to die to show the terrorists the errors of their ways".

I didn't say they had any actual plans to die. I just said that they showed that they were willing to do so for the opportunity to provide the terrorists with some very much needed correction, and getting f*** all appreciation for it in waaaay too many quarters (present company excluded, I believe).

I'm pretty careful how I say things...


OBloodyHell said...

> > I want to consider some more before I respond to GB's first point.

> I was 'loosely' raised as Catholic, so I have some familiarity with the religion.

Uh, what's to consider, Carl...???


Carl said...

From Assistant Village Idiot:

"Currently, Jesus as an early version of the Dalai Lama (or Gandhi) is popular. By this telling, He was centuries ahead of His time, but taught little more than that we should be generous to the poor and be pacifistic toward the powers of the world.

I have stated before and will repeat here that Christian pacifism may be adopted for righteousness sake, particularly in specific circumstances, but Jesus did not teach it as a strategy for conquest. That is a modern idea. General pacifism has popped up in a few places in church history, especially in the form of withdrawal from the world, but it is not the teaching of Christians in most times and places. You may become a pacifist because you believe that Jesus teaches that your individual righteousness is of more account than worldly justice, and even believe that in the longest of long runs it will endure, but you cannot take it up just because you think it is a clever strategy that Jesus said would work."

Anonymous said...

The problem is that one brainwashed generation gets to brainwash the next generation and the ugliness and hatred are passed on. Perhaps religions should be illegal. They sure have proven to be destructive to human happiness and life itself. France will rot in the growing Islamic hatred and slavery now sweeping that once-great nation unless they stop Islam quickly. Islam respects no religion but themselves. Islam believes in lying and murder. This is religion?!?! I forget why people thought religion was good. Oh, yeah. People don't have to think for themselves. That is soooooo unAmerican!