Friday, August 05, 2005

Sticky Situation

I'm sure that most of you are aware of the recent unfortunate diplomatic confrontation between the Vatican and Israel. It has really cast a shadow over Vatican-Israeli relations, and probably will have some short-term implications for Jewish-Catholic inter-religious relations, as well.

A recap of the affair: One of the Pope's statements condemning terrorism, which did mention days-old incidents in Egypt and London, did not specifically mention less recent attacks in Israel. For some reason the Israelis took vehement exception to this and actually accused the Vatican of omitting their suffering, deliberately. The Vatican response stated that, of course, the Holy Father condemned all acts of terrorism, and the accusations were utterly groundless. At first it seemed to be a one-off spat; but then, an Israeli official publicly charged that it had been Vatican policy for years to ignore Palestinian terrorism.

The Vatican's response this time was much more stern; it stated that "It has not always been possible to follow every attack against Israel with a public declaration of condemnation ... The attacks on Israel were sometimes followed by immediate Israeli reactions not always compatible with the norms of international law; It would thus be impossible to condemn the (terrorist operations) and pass over the (Israeli retaliation) in silence."

It also included a long list of statements from John Paul II condemning acts of violence against Israeli civilians.

Needless to say, it is very unfortunate that all this should be happening right before the Holy Father visits a synagogue during his trip to Germany. Personally, I can understand why the Israelis are sensitive to European dismissals of their suffering, especially since it sometimes seems like certain European members of the United Nations spend much of their time drafting resolutions condemning Israel, while practically justifying Palestinan violence through silence. However, I think Israel's initial protests were a bit ... Could I say ... Silly? I mean, obviously, the Pope thinks it's horrible that civilians are being blown up in Israel. It hardly needs stating, does it? The point was that the attacks in Israel had taken place quite a while before, while the London and Egypt attacks were only a few days old. And to suggest that leaving the Israeli attacks out was deliberate is really quite nasty.

You can read a blow-by-blow assessment here. Warning: although the website is the Age, the article is from the Guardian, I believe. Guardian = Ick.


  1. Uh oh.

    Well, personally, I think the Israeli govt is justified in pretty much anything they do after a terrorist attack, you know? Hardly think they should be standing there waiting for the terrorists to blow up another donkey, etc.

  2. The Pope was, it seems to me, unusally stern....I'm not sure how to take it...except to say he is infallible when it comes to speaking ex cathedra on faith and morals and not when it comes to press releases regarding current politics....

  3. Do you know PETA called up Yasser Arafat to tell him to "leave the animals out of it"????? Actually maybe YOU told me that one! Another example of liberal nutters.

  4. I gotta disagree with ya on this one, Maggie (even if only a little bit!)

    You stated "...and probably will have some short-term implications for Jewish-Catholic inter-religious relations, as well."

    And to that, I say; so what? The only "inter-religious relations" we should have with non-Catholics should be converting them.

    We should remember as well, that the many Jews (especially those living within the State of Isreal) look upon Pope Pius XII bashing as the official National Past Time. You know, the whole "Hitler's Pope" fairey tale.

    So I reinterate, if the Jews are mad at our Holy Father... so what.

    Dominus Tecum

  5. Ha, Betsy, you read my blog and got the donkey reference, lol. (So honored to know you couldn't site the reference, though... JK!)

    (Does that mean ya'll are trying to convert me when I'm not paying complete attention? Lol!)

  6. Well, non sum is absolutely correct in that while the short term goal of ecumenism is to improve relations among believers (specifically, Christians) the long term, ultimate goal is to bring everybody in under the Holy Father, where we can all share the Truth and Holy Communion and much happiness, etc! All the talky-talky dialogue would be pretty pointless, otherwise, wouldn't it? Except for feeeeelings liberals and their ilk, har har!

    But no, we don't have a secret plot to convert you :) Although probably at this very moment there is some Archbishop Joe Schmo from the Roman Curia mushing his poor brains to figure out what is non-negotiable and what concessions the Church can make to reconcile the Anglicans, particularly the properly fascist Anglicans. At this point he is probably also entertaining assassination fantasies re: Gene Robinson, lol ;)

    Anyway I don't think what we do can be described as "ecumenism." It's more like "dropping by the awesome local branch of the awesome Anglican fascists, to congratulate them on their way-cool fascism (that is, non-homoeroticism)" ;)