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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Armchair Papal Punditry

Much as been made in the Jewish Blogosphere of the passing of the Pope. There seems to be much disagreement in the ranks over how to address his legacy vis-a-vis "the Jews". Some seem to feel that the late Pope has already been accorded far too much respect by the Jewish Community at large. DovBear , for example. I've lost count of his vitriolic Pope-bashing posts at 15. And I didn't even go back to count posts from when he first got started on this vein, which was during one of the previous episodes of Papal Death Watch. He's gotten really busy since the series finale. Then there's the other side of the coin. Those bloggers and commenters who seem to feel that no amount of recognition is enough. Chakira feels that we should all be learning Torah in the Pope's memory. And apparently, Rabbi Arthur Schneier seems to feel that the world has lost one of the 36 righteous people that Jewish tradition tells us inhabit the earth at any given time.

My views lie somewhere in the middle - but much closer to those of Josh (Chakira). Though I'm not starting a Tehillim group in the Pope's memory, I do feel that the Pope definitely worked hard, throughout his lifetime, to change the anti-semitic views held by the Vatican in the past. The fact that he visited Israel and recognized its' right to exist means something to me. Did he accomplish everything he possibly could? Who, except for DovBear, ever expected him to? I am a firm believer that change is made in small steps. I feel that the Pope took many small steps, and some large. And yes, DovBear, I maintain that he changed the face of Jewish-Catholic relations for the better. And I'm sorry he's gone.

7 Comments:

Blogger DovBear said...

Hi, I don't like the fact that you called me misguided; furthermore, I think you, like many of the Pope's Jewish friends, are ignorant of the history. Do you know about Edith Stein? Have you read "We Remember" and the many critical editorials that appeard after it was published? Have you studied the anti-Semitic records of Pius 9 and Pius 12? Are you aware that JP II honored them both? Did you know he knighted Kurt Waldheim? Are you aware of his remarks upon the passing of Yasser Arafat?

The record of this pope is complex, granted. But it's the laziest sort of armchair history to glibly call him "good for the Jews."

9:51 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

I do think you're misguided, if only based on your all negative, all the time coverage of the pope's death.I am fully aware of the Pope's history. Both before and after reading your one-sided version. I don't necessarily disagree with any of your points, I just feel there were more points to make. In essence, we agree on the facts. We have just reached different conclusions.

10:17 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

I did hit the Pope's death with a full course press, but is it my fault that's the monster story of the week?

I find the whole thing facinating... the history, the plotiics, the pageantry. Sorry you don't.

And I wasn't fully negative. I've said some nice things about him.

10:29 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

One year later, I haven't changed my mind. Pope John Paul II was much less than most Jews imagine.

12:14 AM  
Blogger DovBear said...

Coming up on two years. I still haven't chnaged my mind.

2:37 PM  
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