Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Renewed Catholic-Jewish relations still with a blemish

It is a good sign we may find some trials of the new pope, Francis I, to bring the monotheist faithgroups Jews Christians and Muslims closer to each other again.

The Jews of Antwerpen
The Jews of Antwerpen (Photo credit: CharlesFred)
Catholic-Jewish relations for sure need some boost now we can see many fundamentalist groups trying to undermine such relations and trying to bring more extreme right-wing thoughts in the forefront. In Western Europe we might see again a growing anti-Semitism and a growing hate against Muslims. That hate is mostly triggered by fundamentalist faith-groups giving their 'religion' a bad name.

The world should always remember that the minority faith where people only wanted to honour Only One God Who created heaven and earth, suffered centuries of persecution. The world was warned already in the old days, many centuries before Jesus was born, that those people were the chosen people of God, but would also have to suffer much because of their choice. Also Jeshua, the Nazarene Jew warned his followers they should know when they would like to follow him, they would be a target of spot and bullying. Followers of Christ would in case they originally did not belong to the People Israel, also be taken up in the Family of God. But that would mean they also as part of the Body of Christ, would be part of God's people and would have to suffer likewise. though they may become protected more than those who did not accept the Messiah.

The Jews would have to live in ghettos and face the horrors of the Holocaust. Christians were persecuted but Jews were more and still are persecuted and shunned.

It is a pity the Jews have one distorted picture of the Christians, because they always see the majority of them being Trinitarians often raging against Jews. It is true when they say Christianity began as an offshoot of Judaism, because Jeshua (Jesus Christ) was a Jew, who never intended to make an other religion. After the church leaders of followers of that Jew made a bond with the men in power they took on the Greek-roman cultur with its many gods and holy days. they made Jeshua part of a three-une god like in the pagan cultures and as one bigger group they formed Christendom that became the main religion across Europe. It was that group which treated the tiny minority that did not follow Jesus as a tri-une god with persecution, exclusion and expulsion. Many Christians and Jews found their death as other people who did not want to confirm to the doctrines of that church.

Archbishop Angelo Roncalliin Worl War II was using his wartime post as Vatican ambassador in Istanbul to run a network of nuns, diplomats and other people to issue forged visas and baptismal and immigration certificates to Jews from the Balkans to get them to Turkey and then to British-mandate Palestine.
Later as Pope John XXIII he modernised the Roman Catholic Church at the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), whose landmark document "Nostra Aetate" (In Our Times) repudiated the 2,000-year-old concept of collective Jewish guilt for the death of Jesus.

Rabbi David Rosen, International Director of Inter-religious Affairs of American Jewish Committee, said:
"Nostra Aetate ushered in amazing changes in Catholic-Jewish relations around the world, even if the degree to which it was internalized depended on whether Catholics and Jews lived side by side." 
Today we can see a lesser nice site of that Roman Catholic Church which got several of its members really helping Jews out of love for the children of God. But some of them also could have taken action and used the situation to 'win more souls' for the 'good faith'.

A great many individual Catholics, priests, nuns, bishops, and others acted heroically to save Jews and to oppose Hitler. To pick one example among many, Archbishop Jean-Geraud Saliege of Toulouse bluntly declared that ”the Jews are our brothers, like so many others, and no Christian can forget this fact.” The Archbishop said this from the pulpit, in 1942, in the middle of occupied Europe. He was not alone in such heroism.
Unfortunately, as an institution the Catholic Church, particularly Pope Pius XII, spectacularly failed. The Church bears general responsibility and (in many cases) specific guilt both its failure to intervene and for particular actions taken against Jews.
Not many Catholics shamed themselves for certain actions taken by their church against people of other faiths. Several Roman Catholics became right wing fighters against those who did not want to come to the real faith of the god son Jesus. All others where considered blasphemous, and the Jews traitors to God. Many in charge of that Roman Catholic Church did not want to react against the way some of their flock were thinking. For years the West could see what was going on in Germany, but not many reacted against the genocide taking place.

Pope Pius XII called Pastor Angelicus, was the...
Pope Pius XII called Pastor Angelicus, was the most Marian Pope in Church history. Bäumer, Marienlexikon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As head of the Chruch you would think Popes Pius XI and Pius XII could do something against the Nazi doctrine, but they failed to plainly condemn Nazism and specific genocide against Jews (and others). From historical sources we know that diplomats representing France, Poland, Brazil, the United States, and Britain approached the Vatican more than once with the request that the Pope specifically denounce Nazi crimes against Jews. British diplomat Francis D’Arcy Osborne, wrote:
A policy of silence in regard to such offences against the conscience of the world must necessarily involve a renunciation of moral leadership and a consequent atrophy of the influence and authority of the Vatican…
Terrible was it when after the war the Catholic Church did not enough to bring the Jewish kids back to their family or did not allow them to keep their faith. Instead they tried to keep them away from their faith.

  in his article The Pope at Yad Vashem writes:
Some misdeeds continued beyond the war. Jewish children were hidden in Catholic homes or religious institutions during the war. When children were baptized, the Church sometimes deliberately obstructed their return to surviving Jewish relatives. As one notorious 1946 memorandum directed:
1) Avoid, as much as possible, responding in writing to Jewish authorities, but rather do it orally.
2) Each time a response is necessary, it is necessary to say that the Church must conduct investigations in order to study each case individually.
3) Children who have been baptized must not be entrusted to institutions that would not be in a position to guarantee their Christian upbringing.
4) For children who no longer have their parents, given the fact that the Church has responsibility for them, it is not acceptable for them to be abandoned by the Church or entrusted to any persons who have no rights over them, at least until they are in a position to choose themselves. This, evidently, is for children who would not have been baptized.
5) If the children have been turned over by their parents, and if the parents reclaim them now, providing that the children have not received baptism they can be given back.
It is to be noted that this decision of the Holy Congregation of the Holy Office has been approved by the Holy Father.

He bears no personal stain for actions undertaken almost seventy years ago.

Some Christians do not seem to like what he is doing the last few weeks, which shows how there are still too many Christians who do not want to see their connection with the Jews, and how many still consider a whole people guilty for what some of their folks did. It would be the same as the Jews would consider all Christians guilty for killing so many Jews. The same with the Muslims, too many Christian are generalising the Islamic community, equalising them all with those lunatic fundamentalists. You also could say it would be the same if we all would consider the Christians on the same line as some freaky fundamentalist Christians like the Westboro Church a.o.

We should welcome Pope Francis I his efforts to helpfully mediate the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis even at a time when still a debt remains unacknowledged and unpaid.

Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international interreligious affairs and former head of the IJCIC, welcomed the Pope’s speech as conciliatory.
“Pope Francis is a very good friend of the Jewish people, and we rejoice in the fact that he will continue to advance the path of his predecessors in deepening the Catholic-Jewish relationship.”

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