Friday, March 12, 2010

This week...

...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?


Sister Maria said...

Dear Aunty Joanna,
We just saw the Catholics Arise DVD with Fr Holden, Fr Schofield and yourselves and greatly appreciated it thank you!
Thank you for not feeling that the last forty years are wasted and that the future is in the past, or that a hate-filled sort of 'traditionalism' is what our Papa (we call him that too!) desires.
Thank you for your courage and for helping us to feel that we are not the only people on our particular perch,
assuring you of our prayers,
Sr maria

Ty Mam Duw Poor Clare Colettines

Former Catholic said...

You are right Auntie. One of the reasons which caused me to leave the RC Church were the activities of the 'Traditionalists' who are linked up with some very unsavoury groups outside the Church. When you hear some of them recommending The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion as a guide to modern politics then you realise they have really lost the plot.

Dominic Mary said...

Truth compels me to say that there are some really sickeningly anti-Semitic people in the Church even nowadays : I once overheard someone quite well known in London Catholic circles (and not specifically 'traditionalist' ones, either) make an anti-Semitic remark in the most appalling taste - and what distressed me even more was that none of those who heard it appeared to be anything other than gratified by it !

pattif said...

I grow weary of arguing with Catholics (trad and non-trad) who insist that Jews worship a "different God" from Christians. When St. Peter confessed "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God", what God was he talking about? The one he had worshipped all his life, or a different one?