...I attended a study day organised by the Council of Christians and Jews. We were welcomed to the very beautiful Bevis Marks synagogue in the City of London. It is place which has a tangible sense of prayer, 350 years old and still in use for regular worship both on the Sabbath and on weekdays.
By coincidence, two items came my way this week. One was a rather horrid feature in an American publication, in which the Holy Father's recent visit to a synagogue was mentioned, and the impression given that he was rudely treated, which he certainly was not. It was written by a "traditionalist" Catholic and was frankly offensive as well as inaccurate. The other, arriving today, was the March issue of Catholic World Report which not only has a lively and accurate report on the synagogue visit, which was a huge success, the Holy Father being several times interrupted by applause, but also a detailed and interesting analysis of current Catholic/Jewish relations. Papa Benedict has done more than anyone else to further the theological discussions at the heart of all of this, and has some profound and important insights which a number of leading members of the Jewish community have appreciated and valued. We can expect this to be taken a lot further.
It is horrible that the media - aided,alas by the ability of the Internet to communicate widely any inaccuracy that gets into the mainstream press and to magnify its message a thousandfold - is seeking to push a message of Catholic/Jewish tension.
But I am at a loss to understand why any Catholic would want to do do the same. Why would any Catholic seek anything other than good relationships between Catholics and Jews?