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April 3, 2002

The old ways are the best ways L’Osservatore Romano, 1898 (quoted in James Carroll’s Constantine’s Sword:)
“Jews can no longer be excused or rehabilitatated.”
L’Osservatore Romano, April 2, 2002 (reported by Reuters:)
“Rarely has history been violated with this crudeness and pushed backward by a clear will to offend the dignity of a people…The land of the Uprising is profaned with the iron and the fire and is the victim of an aggression that wants to destroy.”
The words are more carefully chosen. The basic attitude hasn’t changed a lot.

Palestinians? Why, theirs is “the land of the Uprising.” But Israelis? That’s different; theirs is “an aggression that wants to destroy.”

And of course Israelis, unlike Palestinians, “profane.” That’s an important point, now: profane. Make a note.

After all, “The Jewish race, the deicide people, wandering throughout the world, brings with it everywhere the pestiferous breath of treason.” That’s more from L’Osservatore Romano, over 100 years ago. Isn’t it reassuring to see traditional values upheld? (None of that liberal moral relativism stuff here).

Definitely, the Vatican, and their official newspaper, are exactly the people I turn to for a nuanced, thoughtful view of events, particularly tragic, complex, and morally difficult events, involving the Jews. Don’t you? [07:24 PM]

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Comments on The old ways are the best ways:

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2002, 10:01 AM:

I'd wondered why they weren't apoplectic over the Palestinian gunmen in the Church of the Nativity. I'm a very good lapsed Catholic, but I love Christmas, and I think howling is more than justified. And John Paul is supposed to be such a conciliatory figure towards the Jews. How many divisions does the Pope have, again?...

Avram ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2002, 12:10 PM:

Does anyone else think "Urbi et Orbi" would be a good name for a pair of Tom & Jerry-like cartoon characters?

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 04, 2002, 10:57 PM:


Gary Farber ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2002, 12:57 AM:

"John Paul is supposed to be such a conciliatory figure towards the Jews." Uh, well, opinions and perspectives on that vary, Chris. aaIt's fair to say he's made some gestures. It's also fair to say that the Church had, shall we say, a long way to go. It might be fair to say that there's still some striding room. There are still quite a few incidents and issues presently on the table, and I'm not one who keeps particular track, either.

Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: April 05, 2002, 12:57 PM:

Sigh. And then there are the people who think Mother Theresa of Calcutta was some kind of saint ...

Chris Quinones ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 01:10 AM:

Gary, my comment about JPII wasn't intended naively; I realize it's a drop in the bucket, what he's done. But I did think this at least was a shining bit of progress in a large morass of regress, and I'd hoped he'd act more forcefully to defend Israel and rein in the Curia, especially with the gunmen in the church in Bethlehem. Jews just would not profane a church with armaments that way, if only because the Orthodox rabbis would eat them alive.aaJPII has a childhood friend from Poland who's Jewish, who is supposedly an influence on the Pope's thinking. I hope this isn't another case of "some of my best friends are Jews."