Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

Who’s an anti-Semite? – Jewish Journal

The Jewish left has been calling conservatives anti-Semites not to mention fascists and racists for as long as I have been alive.Yet, outside of the Muslim world, virtually all anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred comes from the left. Of course, to most left-wing (as opposed to liberal) Jews, Israel-hatred is not the same as anti-Semitism. One can even help those who wish to destroy Israel through supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, for example and still be honored by Jewish institutions. Two local examples: Ed Asner was just given a lifetime achievement award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. and Cornel West was invited by the UCLA Department of Jewish Studies to give a keynote address.

But no matter how destructive the left is not only to Jews and Israel, but to civilized society as demonstrated by the intolerance and violence at our left-wing universities its the right that frightens most American Jews.

Which brings me to an advertisement in the May 12 edition of the Jewish Journal by a Jewish leftist attacking Ann Coulter as an anti-Semite and me for defending her against that charge.

I dont know what prompted the ad, since none of the allegations against Coulter is recent. The issue is gone and largely forgotten. My best guess is that precisely because there is so much Israel- and Jew-hatred emanating from the left, the man who took out the ad felt it necessary to find a prominent right-wing example of anti-Semitism. And since it is so rare, he revived the Coulter issue.

The irony is that even if Ann Coulter were an anti-Semite, this lone voice would hardly come close to matching the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism coming from the left that permeate Western universities, intellectual life and the media.

But even that irony doesnt apply, since Ann Coulter is strongly pro-Israel. But, again, neither matters to most Jews on the left, since, as far as these Jews are concerned, being pro-Israel doesnt make you a friend of the Jews and being anti-Israel doesnt make you an enemy of the Jews.

Now, to the charges.

During the course of the second Republican presidential debate, Ann Coulter, tweeted: How many fing Jews do these people think there are in the United States?

Her explanation was that she was frustrated with the candidates remarks that concentrated on things nearly all Republicans agree on admiration of Ronald Reagan, opposition to abortion and support for Israel while ignoring what she considers Americas biggest domestic problem: illegal immigration. She regarded the candidates remarks as pandering to various Republican constituencies and tweeted out a series of critical and angry comments, including the one about Jews.

If all non-Jews were as anti-Semitic as Ann Coulter, we Jews would be living ina Jewish utopia,a world without enemies.

She was condemned by Republicans myself included and Democrats for the tweet. It was wrong, and it damaged, at least temporarily, Republican and conservative supporters of Israel. But as I wrote at the time in a piece published by both The Jerusalem Post and the Forward, Ann Coulter is not an anti-Semite. She constantly has defended Jews and Israel. Every mention of Jews or Israel Ive read in any of her books is a spirited defense of Jews and Israel, or an attack on those who attack Jews and Israel. I should add, for the record, that she has been to my home twice for Shabbat dinner.

If all non-Jews were as anti-Semitic as Ann Coulter, we Jews would be living in a Jewish utopia, a world without enemies.

Those Jews, like the ad writer, who label her an anti-Semite point to that 2015 tweet and to something she said in a 2007 interview with Jewish TV personality Donny Deutsch. She said that America (and presumably the world) would be better if everybody were a Christian.

Deutsch asked if that meant all Jews should become Christian. Coulter said yes, and Deutsch was offended. He was further offended when she labeled Christians and Jews who became Christians as perfected Jews.

But those are hardly anti-Semitic sentiments. Believing the world would be better if everyone were a Christian hardly renders one a bigot, let alone a Jew-hater. Dont progressives believe the world would be better if everyone were a progressive?

And why is the belief that Jews who become Christian are perfected Jews anti-Semitic? Why is that different from a Jew believing that a Christian or anyone else who converts to Judaism becomes a member of the Chosen People? Or from Orthodox Jews who believe that Christianity is idol worship? I dont agree with that view, but that hardly makes Orthodox Jews Christian-haters. I know a prominent Orthodox rabbi who thinks Christianity is idol worship and who works constantly with evangelical Christians whom he adores.

We need to be very careful before labeling people anti-Semites. This is especially so with regard to Christians who believe that the only way to salvation is through belief in Christ. The fact is that the Jews and Israels best friends in America are largely those evangelical Christians who believe that only faith in Jesus saves.

In addition, epithets are not always a good indicator of who our enemies are. Harry S. Truman wrote home when he visited New York City that he was in Kike-town and wrote very disparaging things about the Jews in his diary. Yet, as president, he became the man who had America recognize the newly formed State of Israel within minutes of its declaration of independence against the advice of his entire State Department.

When Hillary Clinton was accused of calling a campaign aide a fing Jew bastard an account attested to by three witnesses I wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal defending her against the charge of anti-Semitism. Unlike the ad writer who, like so many others on the left, smears ideological opponents, I defended Hillary Clinton, even though I have no respect for her. I defended Clinton because it was the right thing to do. And because if Jews cry wolf by calling virtually every opponent an anti-Semite, when the real anti-Semites come, no one will take us seriously.

And one more thought: With our universities more hostile to identifying Jews than at any time in American history, with many young Jews fearing to wear a Star of David or a yarmulke on more and more left-wing campuses, a Jew looks pretty foolish taking out an ad in a Jewish publication to attack Ann Coulter and Dennis Prager.

Dennis Pragers nationally syndicated radio talk show is heard in Los Angeles on KRLA (AM 870) 9 a.m. to noon. His latest project is the internet-based Prager University (prageru.com).

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Who’s an anti-Semite? – Jewish Journal

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Christian film ‘In Our Hands’ brings Six Day War to the big screen – Jerusalem Post Israel News


Jerusalem Post Israel News
Christian film 'In Our Hands' brings Six Day War to the big screen
Jerusalem Post Israel News
We believe the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled the Jews are back, and Israel has been reborn, he said. The Jews have been set apart, unable to assimilate into the cultures of the dispersion and are being gathered once more to the land of
Israeli President: Christians Are Our brothersIsrael Today
50 Jerusalem Facts for the 50th Anniversary of Its ReunificationAlgemeiner
Jewish nation-state bill: Israel's precarious identity is Palestine's nightmareArab American News
National Post –Christian Daily –The Christian Times
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Christian film ‘In Our Hands’ brings Six Day War to the big screen – Jerusalem Post Israel News

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Muslim cleric faces lawsuits after describing Christians and Jews as followers of corrupt beliefs – Daily News Egypt

Prominent Islamic cleric and former deputy minster in the Endowments Ministry Salem Abdel Galil faces a lawsuit accusing him of contempt of religion and threatening national unity after he claimed last Thursday that Christians and Jews follow corrupt religions and are non-believers.

Members of the Egyptian parliament (MPs) announced that they have filed the lawsuit against Abdel Galil on Thursday after his remarks during an episode of his television show Muslims Ask, aired on 3 May on Al-Mehwar TV.

MP Emad Gad said in press statements that Abdel Galils statements are not suitable for a phase of establishing national unity among all Egyptians. Gad added that the problem is that Abdel Galil is a prominent cleric who represents the Ministry of Endowments and that a television channel is not the right place for what he said.

The MPs who filed the lawsuit against Abdel Galil are Tharwat Bakheet, Emad Gad, Mohammed Abu Hamed, Ehab Mansour, Reda Nassif, Nadia Henry, John Talaat, and Margaret Azer.

Moreover, Abdel Galil is set to face a trial at the Cairo Misdemeanor Court on 24 June on charges of contempt of religion and threatening national unity, according to lawyer Naguib Gibrail who filed another lawsuit.

As a reaction to his statements, Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said on Thursday that Abdel Galil would not be allowed to lead Friday prayers unless he retracts his comments.

Hassan Rateb, head of Al-Mehwar TV, said on Thursday that he canceled Abdel Galils contract with the station. Rateb offered apologies to all Christian brothers.

Furthermore, the Islamic Research Complex, which is affiliated to Al-Azhar, held a meeting on Thursday, headed by Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb. It issued a statement to denounce what Abdel Galil said.

The Complex said that Salem Abdel Galil represents himself and does not represent Al-Azhar, which refuses apostatising anyone.

After the wave of criticism, Abdel Galil claimed in a statement published on his Facebook page that he was explaining a Quranic verse and did not mean to hurt the feelings of Christians.

He added that he apologises for hurting Christians feelings but would never apologise for his religion.

He explained that even if Muslims view non-Muslims as followers of corrupt religions, it does not legitimise killing them or stealing their belongings.

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Muslim cleric faces lawsuits after describing Christians and Jews as followers of corrupt beliefs – Daily News Egypt

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May 13, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Egypt: Islamic cleric suspended from ministry after denouncing Christians and Jews – Catholic Culture

Catholic World News

May 12, 2017

Egyptian authorities have suspended an Islamic preacher from public ministry, after he denounced Christians and Jews as infidels.

During a television broadcast, Salem Abdel Galil referred to Christianity and Judaism as corrupt faiths, whose practitioners cannot go to heaven. His comments were roundly criticized by other Muslim leaders, who observed that his language was similar to that of radical preachers who had stirred up violence against the countrys Christian minority. In his own defense, Galil said that he believed Christians and Jews hold corrupt doctrinesjust as Christians and Jews believe that Islamic doctrines are corrupt. He declined to retract his statements.

The Egyptian ministry of religious affairswhere Galil once workedannounced that the preacher could not make television broadcasts or lead public prayers until he apologized for his comments. A television station that had broadcast his sermons, issued its own apology.

Galil also faces criminal charges, under a law against defamation of religious faiths. Naguib Gobrali, a Christian lawyer, filed a complaint, saying that Galils words constitute confessional defamation. A court will hear the case in June.

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Egypt: Islamic cleric suspended from ministry after denouncing Christians and Jews – Catholic Culture

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May 12, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Qatar’s Anti-Christian And Anti-Semitic Policies Should Bar It From UNESCO Seat – The Daily Caller

Irina Bokova made history when she acceded to the role of Director General of UNESCO. She was the first woman and first person from a former communist state to lead the organization which has an annual budget of over half a billion dollars.

Now the race is on to find a successor to Bokova and Qatars former minister of culture,Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, is seen by many to be the frontrunner.

Qatars long history of intolerance towards Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities should dissuade the United Nations from choosing Al-Kawari as the head of UNESCO.

A host of Jewish groups have pointed out that Qatari publishers routinely publish anti-Semitic tracts which are featured at Qatars Doha Book Festival and other events in the region. Al-Kawari himself wrote a forward to a book of Arabic poetry which includes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories according to theSimon Wiesenthal Center. Some of these anti-Semitic books were part of Qatari funded display at a German book festival.

At UNESCO, Qatar is opposed to any Jewish character for Jerusalem.

Qatars treatment of Christians and Christanity within the emirate is also worth noting.

There is nary a mention in Doha of the countrys Christian heritage where Christianity flourished into the 9thcentury A.D long after the arrival of Islam. Despite the fact that Isaac of Ninevehe the last saint (chronologically speaking) to be recognized by every apostolic Church of the Christian East was born there.

This lapse is just one example of how Qatar lags behind its Gulf neighbors in religious tolerance towards non-Muslims. Nearby Bahrain is home to a historic synagogue and an American Mission Hospital founded in 1903. In the hospitalscemetery Christians, Muslims, and Jews are all buried together. Dubai has had an active Hindu temple over a hundred years.

Against considerable public backlash Qatar finally openedits firstchurchin this century in 2008. Despite the rather generic appearance of the building it was widely protested by Qataris. I guess thats progress neighboring Saudi Arabia still does not allow public places of worship for non-Muslims.

Yet, Qatar which has a population of just over 2 million has instead tried to buy its way into becoming a cultural super-power with mixed results. In 2013, while Al-Kawari was culture minister, Doha hosted an exhibit titled,The Olympics Past and PresentIt was a big deal for Qatar and for Greece. Qatar wants to be seen as a possible future Olympic host after it hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Greece is always looking for another country to bail it out. Thus, Greece sent an official government delegation and ancient Greek statues to the exhibit.

The Greeks were shocked however to find the naked statues had been hidden behind a black cloth by the Qatari exhibitors. In an authoritarian state like Qatar it is highly doubtful such a move was taken without Al-Kawaris personal orders. The Greeks asked the statues be unveiled. Qatar demurred and sent thestatuteson air freight shipment back to Greece.

To smooth over the Diplomatic row, Qatars ruling emir at the time pledged to invest in Greece. Though not exactly in the manner the Greeks had likely hoped. The Emir announced plans to build palaces for some of his wives on Greeks islands.

It is bad enough that autocracies with a history of extensive human rights violations vote in the UnitedNations and serve on U.N. commissions. They should not be allowed to buy seats and influential positions in international humanitarian organizations.

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Qatar’s Anti-Christian And Anti-Semitic Policies Should Bar It From UNESCO Seat – The Daily Caller

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May 11, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Jews among minorities impacted by new Texas adoption rules – Jerusalem Post Israel News


Jerusalem Post Israel News
Jews among minorities impacted by new Texas adoption rules
Jerusalem Post Israel News
… Texas – Adoption agencies in Texas would be able to reject foster parents on religious grounds under a bill approved by the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives that critics say discriminates against LGBT Texans and non-Christians.
Texas adoption bill would OK rejection of gays, Muslims, Jews who want to adoptGreensboro News & Record
Proposed Bill Would Allow Adoption Agencies To Ban Gays, Muslims, Jews, Interfaith CouplesPatch.com
Texas adoption agencies could ban Jews, gays, MuslimsGetReligion (blog)

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Jews among minorities impacted by new Texas adoption rules – Jerusalem Post Israel News

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May 10, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Jakarta’s Christian Governor Gets 2 Years for Blasphemy against Koran – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Government of the Province of Jakarta via Wikimedia

The Christian governor of Jakarta Basuki Ahok Tjahaja Purnama was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison, after an Indonesian court ruled he was convincingly proven guilty of blasphemy.

Ahok, 50, who is Jakartas first non-Muslim governor and its first ethnic Chinese leader, said he would appeal the verdict. He was then taken to jail, and replaced by his deputy.

Last September, while campaigning for his re-election, the governor gave in a speech in Thousand Islands where he suggested that some citizens would not vote for him because they are being deceived using verse 51 of Surah Al Maidah and variations of it, a reference to the line, O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people.

Surahs are chapters of the Koran.

Some of Basukis Muslim opponent groups have cited this verse as grounds to oppose him. The provincial government of Jakarta uploaded the video recording to YouTube in a channel which often features the governors activities. This was followed by strong criticism suggesting citing the Surah was an insult to the Koran. An online petition against him collected tens of thousands of signatures.

Several organizations, including the Islamic Defenders Front and a local chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council, reported Basuki to the police, accusing him of having violated Indonesias Law On Misuse and Insult of Religion.

On October 10, 2016, Basuki publicly apologized to those he offended with his statement, insisting that it was not his intention to do so. He pointed out that his policies had benefited Muslims, including granting permits for Islamic schools, providing welfare Smart Cards to Muslim students, and building a mosque in the City Hall complex.

He also pointed out that no one in his audience had felt insulted during his campaign speech, in fact, they laughed, appreciating his knowledge of Koran and his sense of humor.

Apparently, the panel of five judges on Tuesday was not amused. In fact, the 2-year prison sentence came after the prosecution had only demanded a 2-year probation for the governor. The maximum sentence for blasphemy in Indonesia is five years in prison.

The lead judge, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, said that as part of a religious society, the defendant should be careful to not use words with negative connotations regarding the symbols of religions including the religion of the defendant himself.

In Indonesia, 90 percent of a population of 255 million are Muslim. But this country has had a long tradition of pluralism, and it is home to substantial populations of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Watch: Messianic Jews centre attracts protest by ultra-Orthodox Jews – Premier

The site, in the city of Dimona in the Negev Desert, is part of the same complex housing the office of a local Rabbi.

The demonstration, captured in a video posted on Facebook, was followed by a crowd breaking windows and causing further damage at the homes of two congregation families.

The centre was opened by Albert and Esther Knoester, and their house was one of the two targeted, according to Kehila News Israel. Albert serves as an elder at the Nachalat Yeshua church in nearby Beersheba.

The protestors are believed to be associated with Yad LAchim, a group which has previously targeted Messianic Jews and Christians across Israel with demonstrations and legal action.

Congregations of Messianic Jews in southern Israel have suffered violence at the hands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the past.

More than 600 men and women stormed a baptismal services of the Nachalat Yeshua congregation in Beersheba in 2005, attacking church goers and damaging property.

According to the Christian organisation, Middle East Concern, local believers are appealing for prayer.

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Is the Pope ‘Anti-Jewish’? | Commonweal Magazine – Commonweal

Depending on the daily lectionary readings, Pope Francis does have a habit of uncritically repeating Gospel polemics against various Jewish leaders in Jesus day. This most often happens in the daily homilies he delivers in Domus Santa Marta in the Vatican. In a recent reflection, for example, he spoke of the Temple high priests as manifesting arrogance and tyranny toward the people by manipulating the law:

But a law that they have remade many times: so many times, to the point that they had arrived at 500 [sic] commandments. Everything was regulated, everything! A law scientifically constructed, because this people was wise, they understood well. They made all these nuances, no? But it was a law without memory: they had forgotten the First Commandment, which God had given to our father Abraham: Walk in my presence and be blameless. They did not walk: they always stopped in their own convictions. They were not blameless!

A listener or reader could readily be excused for wondering if the pope saw Judaism in the time of Jesus as heartlessly legalistic because of its focus on the Torah. Might that hold true for Jewish spirituality today as well?

Similarly, when preaching on the woman caught in adultery in Johns Gospel, Francis remarked about the Pharisees: they thought they were pure because they observed the law…but they did not know mercy…. The description used by Jesus for them is hypocrites: they had double standards.

Rabbi Laras was correct in asserting that postconciliar documents issued by the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews caution against such use of Gospel polemics. Its 1985 instruction on how to present Jews in preaching and education, for instance, noted that The Gospels are the outcome of long and complicated editorial work…. [S]ome references hostile or less than favorable to the Jews have their historical context in conflicts between the nascent church and the Jewish community. Certain controversies reflect Christian-Jewish relations long after the time of Jesus. In particular, the commission stressed that the Phariseeswidely understood to have been the precursors of rabbinic Judaismshared with Jesus many defining convictions: the resurrection of the body; forms of piety, like almsgiving, prayer, fasting (Matthew 6:118) and the liturgical practice of addressing God as Father; [and] the priority of the commandment to love God and our neighbor (Mark 12:2834).

Does this mean that Pope Francis harbors anti-Jewish attitudes? To answer that question we need to understand the popes homiletic purpose in using polemical Gospel texts in this way. In no case does he criticize either Judaism as a religious tradition or Jews today. Rather, he invites Christians to examine their own consciences. In particular, he deploys the harsh and sweeping rhetoric of the New Testament against clericalism among Catholic priests and hierarchy. It is his fellow priests and bishops, not Jews, that he has in mind. In the homily cited above about the high priests, Francis went on to criticize that spirit of clericalism, found in the church today. Clerics feel they are superior, they are far from the people; they have no time to hear the poor, the suffering, prisoners, the sick…. The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing!… Today, too, Jesus says to all of us, and even to those who are seduced by clericalism: The sinners and the prostitutes will go before you into the Kingdom of Heaven.

It is regrettable that Pope Francis does not occasionally mention the affinity between Jesus and his Pharisaic contemporaries or simply attribute to only some of the scribes or Pharisees the human temptation to sanctimoniousness or arrogance. Without such caveats, he risks unintentionally reinforcing Christian caricatures of Judaism. However, this blind spot hardly amounts to anti-Judaism, particularly when he has elsewhere spoken eloquently and consistently about his love for the Jewish people and traditions.

On the subject of Judaisms Torah-centered spirituality, in February Francis greeted Rabbi Abraham Skorka, brother and friend on the occasion of being presented with a limited edition publication of a new illuminated volume of the Torah. [We are] together today around the Torah as the Lords gift, his revelation, his word, Francis said. The Torah, which Saint John Paul II called the living teaching of the living God, manifests the paternal and visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a love that becomes covenant.

Although expressed in everyday speech, Francis also offered some profound reflections on the Torah to the International Council of Christians and Jews in 2015:

The Christian confessions find their unity in Christ; Judaism finds its unity in the Torah. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh in the world; for Jews the Word of God is present above all in the Torah. Both faith traditions find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word. In seeking a right attitude towards God, Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah. This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra aetate (cf. no. 4), and upon this solid basis can be and must be developed yet further.

The pontiff sees that since the Second Vatican Council, Jews and Catholics have undertaken a journey of friendship, which is why he wrote in Evangelii gaudium:

Dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus disciples. God continues to work among the people of the Old Covenant and to bring forth treasures of wisdom which flow from their encounter with his word. For this reason, the church also is enriched when she receives the values of Judaism. While it is true that certain Christian beliefs are unacceptable to Judaism, and that the church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah, there exists as well a rich complementarity which allows us to read the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures together and to help one another to mine the riches of Gods word.

In fact, during his 2015 visit to Philadelphia, Francis stopped briefly with his friend Rabbi Skorka to view an original sculpture by artist Joshua Koffman depicting exactly this concept. Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time, commissioned by Saint Josephs University to mark the golden jubilee of the conciliar declaration Nostra aetate, reverses medieval portrayals in which the feminine figure of the church triumphs over the defeated feminine figure of the synagogue. Francis blessed the new artwork in which two sisters of equal dignity enjoy studying their sacred texts together.

Franciss awareness of the long history of Christian oppression of Jews was also clearly evident when he wrote:

I too have cultivated many friendships through the years with my Jewish brothers in Argentina and often while in prayer, as my mind turned to the terrible experience of theShoah, I looked to God. What I can tell you, with Saint Paul, is that God has never neglected his faithfulness to the covenant…and that, through the awful trials of these last centuries, the Jews have preserved their faith in God. And for this, we, the church and the whole human family, can never be sufficiently grateful to them.

There is an added poignancy to a pope expressing gratitude to Jews for remaining faithful to their covenantal life with God when one realizes that it was Christians who were oppressing them over the last centuries.

It is clear that Pope Francis has great personal reverence for the Jewish people and tradition, for the Torah, and for the journey of friendship that Jews and Catholics have undertaken for more than fifty years. It is unfounded and unfair to accuse him of being anti-Jewish on the basis of a handful of ill-chosen comments intended as criticism of his own church. This kind of reproach seems grounded less in a concern for Catholic-Jewish relations than in broader critiques of Franciss theology and style.

Seen more broadly, these recent incidents demonstrate the constant, conscious effort that is needed to overcome the legacy of the painful past between Jews and Christians.

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Is the Pope ‘Anti-Jewish’? | Commonweal Magazine – Commonweal

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May 8, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Who’s an anti-Semite? – Jewish Journal

The Jewish left has been calling conservatives anti-Semites not to mention fascists and racists for as long as I have been alive.Yet, outside of the Muslim world, virtually all anti-Semitism and Israel-hatred comes from the left. Of course, to most left-wing (as opposed to liberal) Jews, Israel-hatred is not the same as anti-Semitism. One can even help those who wish to destroy Israel through supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, for example and still be honored by Jewish institutions. Two local examples: Ed Asner was just given a lifetime achievement award at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival. and Cornel West was invited by the UCLA Department of Jewish Studies to give a keynote address. But no matter how destructive the left is not only to Jews and Israel, but to civilized society as demonstrated by the intolerance and violence at our left-wing universities its the right that frightens most American Jews. Which brings me to an advertisement in the May 12 edition of the Jewish Journal by a Jewish leftist attacking Ann Coulter as an anti-Semite and me for defending her against that charge. I dont know what prompted the ad, since none of the allegations against Coulter is recent. The issue is gone and largely forgotten. My best guess is that precisely because there is so much Israel- and Jew-hatred emanating from the left, the man who took out the ad felt it necessary to find a prominent right-wing example of anti-Semitism. And since it is so rare, he revived the Coulter issue. The irony is that even if Ann Coulter were an anti-Semite, this lone voice would hardly come close to matching the anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism coming from the left that permeate Western universities, intellectual life and the media. But even that irony doesnt apply, since Ann Coulter is strongly pro-Israel. But, again, neither matters to most Jews on the left, since, as far as these Jews are concerned, being pro-Israel doesnt make you a friend of the Jews and being anti-Israel doesnt make you an enemy of the Jews. Now, to the charges. During the course of the second Republican presidential debate, Ann Coulter, tweeted: How many fing Jews do these people think there are in the United States? Her explanation was that she was frustrated with the candidates remarks that concentrated on things nearly all Republicans agree on admiration of Ronald Reagan, opposition to abortion and support for Israel while ignoring what she considers Americas biggest domestic problem: illegal immigration. She regarded the candidates remarks as pandering to various Republican constituencies and tweeted out a series of critical and angry comments, including the one about Jews. If all non-Jews were as anti-Semitic as Ann Coulter, we Jews would be living ina Jewish utopia,a world without enemies. She was condemned by Republicans myself included and Democrats for the tweet. It was wrong, and it damaged, at least temporarily, Republican and conservative supporters of Israel. But as I wrote at the time in a piece published by both The Jerusalem Post and the Forward, Ann Coulter is not an anti-Semite. She constantly has defended Jews and Israel. Every mention of Jews or Israel Ive read in any of her books is a spirited defense of Jews and Israel, or an attack on those who attack Jews and Israel. I should add, for the record, that she has been to my home twice for Shabbat dinner. If all non-Jews were as anti-Semitic as Ann Coulter, we Jews would be living in a Jewish utopia, a world without enemies. Those Jews, like the ad writer, who label her an anti-Semite point to that 2015 tweet and to something she said in a 2007 interview with Jewish TV personality Donny Deutsch. She said that America (and presumably the world) would be better if everybody were a Christian. Deutsch asked if that meant all Jews should become Christian. Coulter said yes, and Deutsch was offended. He was further offended when she labeled Christians and Jews who became Christians as perfected Jews. But those are hardly anti-Semitic sentiments. Believing the world would be better if everyone were a Christian hardly renders one a bigot, let alone a Jew-hater. Dont progressives believe the world would be better if everyone were a progressive? And why is the belief that Jews who become Christian are perfected Jews anti-Semitic? Why is that different from a Jew believing that a Christian or anyone else who converts to Judaism becomes a member of the Chosen People? Or from Orthodox Jews who believe that Christianity is idol worship? I dont agree with that view, but that hardly makes Orthodox Jews Christian-haters. I know a prominent Orthodox rabbi who thinks Christianity is idol worship and who works constantly with evangelical Christians whom he adores. We need to be very careful before labeling people anti-Semites. This is especially so with regard to Christians who believe that the only way to salvation is through belief in Christ. The fact is that the Jews and Israels best friends in America are largely those evangelical Christians who believe that only faith in Jesus saves. In addition, epithets are not always a good indicator of who our enemies are. Harry S. Truman wrote home when he visited New York City that he was in Kike-town and wrote very disparaging things about the Jews in his diary. Yet, as president, he became the man who had America recognize the newly formed State of Israel within minutes of its declaration of independence against the advice of his entire State Department. When Hillary Clinton was accused of calling a campaign aide a fing Jew bastard an account attested to by three witnesses I wrote a column for The Wall Street Journal defending her against the charge of anti-Semitism. Unlike the ad writer who, like so many others on the left, smears ideological opponents, I defended Hillary Clinton, even though I have no respect for her. I defended Clinton because it was the right thing to do. And because if Jews cry wolf by calling virtually every opponent an anti-Semite, when the real anti-Semites come, no one will take us seriously. And one more thought: With our universities more hostile to identifying Jews than at any time in American history, with many young Jews fearing to wear a Star of David or a yarmulke on more and more left-wing campuses, a Jew looks pretty foolish taking out an ad in a Jewish publication to attack Ann Coulter and Dennis Prager. Dennis Pragers nationally syndicated radio talk show is heard in Los Angeles on KRLA (AM 870) 9 a.m. to noon. His latest project is the internet-based Prager University (prageru.com).

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Christian film ‘In Our Hands’ brings Six Day War to the big screen – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Jerusalem Post Israel News Christian film 'In Our Hands' brings Six Day War to the big screen Jerusalem Post Israel News We believe the times of the Gentiles have been fulfilled the Jews are back, and Israel has been reborn, he said. The Jews have been set apart, unable to assimilate into the cultures of the dispersion and are being gathered once more to the land of … Israeli President: Christians Are Our brothers Israel Today 50 Jerusalem Facts for the 50th Anniversary of Its Reunification Algemeiner Jewish nation-state bill: Israel's precarious identity is Palestine's nightmare Arab American News National Post  – Christian Daily  – The Christian Times all 1,008 news articles »

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May 17, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Muslim cleric faces lawsuits after describing Christians and Jews as followers of corrupt beliefs – Daily News Egypt

Prominent Islamic cleric and former deputy minster in the Endowments Ministry Salem Abdel Galil faces a lawsuit accusing him of contempt of religion and threatening national unity after he claimed last Thursday that Christians and Jews follow corrupt religions and are non-believers. Members of the Egyptian parliament (MPs) announced that they have filed the lawsuit against Abdel Galil on Thursday after his remarks during an episode of his television show Muslims Ask, aired on 3 May on Al-Mehwar TV. MP Emad Gad said in press statements that Abdel Galils statements are not suitable for a phase of establishing national unity among all Egyptians. Gad added that the problem is that Abdel Galil is a prominent cleric who represents the Ministry of Endowments and that a television channel is not the right place for what he said. The MPs who filed the lawsuit against Abdel Galil are Tharwat Bakheet, Emad Gad, Mohammed Abu Hamed, Ehab Mansour, Reda Nassif, Nadia Henry, John Talaat, and Margaret Azer. Moreover, Abdel Galil is set to face a trial at the Cairo Misdemeanor Court on 24 June on charges of contempt of religion and threatening national unity, according to lawyer Naguib Gibrail who filed another lawsuit. As a reaction to his statements, Minister of Endowments Mokhtar Gomaa said on Thursday that Abdel Galil would not be allowed to lead Friday prayers unless he retracts his comments. Hassan Rateb, head of Al-Mehwar TV, said on Thursday that he canceled Abdel Galils contract with the station. Rateb offered apologies to all Christian brothers. Furthermore, the Islamic Research Complex, which is affiliated to Al-Azhar, held a meeting on Thursday, headed by Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayeb. It issued a statement to denounce what Abdel Galil said. The Complex said that Salem Abdel Galil represents himself and does not represent Al-Azhar, which refuses apostatising anyone. After the wave of criticism, Abdel Galil claimed in a statement published on his Facebook page that he was explaining a Quranic verse and did not mean to hurt the feelings of Christians. He added that he apologises for hurting Christians feelings but would never apologise for his religion. He explained that even if Muslims view non-Muslims as followers of corrupt religions, it does not legitimise killing them or stealing their belongings.

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May 13, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Egypt: Islamic cleric suspended from ministry after denouncing Christians and Jews – Catholic Culture

Catholic World News May 12, 2017 Egyptian authorities have suspended an Islamic preacher from public ministry, after he denounced Christians and Jews as infidels. During a television broadcast, Salem Abdel Galil referred to Christianity and Judaism as corrupt faiths, whose practitioners cannot go to heaven. His comments were roundly criticized by other Muslim leaders, who observed that his language was similar to that of radical preachers who had stirred up violence against the countrys Christian minority. In his own defense, Galil said that he believed Christians and Jews hold corrupt doctrinesjust as Christians and Jews believe that Islamic doctrines are corrupt. He declined to retract his statements. The Egyptian ministry of religious affairswhere Galil once workedannounced that the preacher could not make television broadcasts or lead public prayers until he apologized for his comments. A television station that had broadcast his sermons, issued its own apology. Galil also faces criminal charges, under a law against defamation of religious faiths. Naguib Gobrali, a Christian lawyer, filed a complaint, saying that Galils words constitute confessional defamation. A court will hear the case in June. References: Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in. All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

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May 12, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Qatar’s Anti-Christian And Anti-Semitic Policies Should Bar It From UNESCO Seat – The Daily Caller

Irina Bokova made history when she acceded to the role of Director General of UNESCO. She was the first woman and first person from a former communist state to lead the organization which has an annual budget of over half a billion dollars. Now the race is on to find a successor to Bokova and Qatars former minister of culture,Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari, is seen by many to be the frontrunner. Qatars long history of intolerance towards Christians, Jews, and other religious minorities should dissuade the United Nations from choosing Al-Kawari as the head of UNESCO. A host of Jewish groups have pointed out that Qatari publishers routinely publish anti-Semitic tracts which are featured at Qatars Doha Book Festival and other events in the region. Al-Kawari himself wrote a forward to a book of Arabic poetry which includes anti-Semitic conspiracy theories according to theSimon Wiesenthal Center. Some of these anti-Semitic books were part of Qatari funded display at a German book festival. At UNESCO, Qatar is opposed to any Jewish character for Jerusalem. Qatars treatment of Christians and Christanity within the emirate is also worth noting. There is nary a mention in Doha of the countrys Christian heritage where Christianity flourished into the 9thcentury A.D long after the arrival of Islam. Despite the fact that Isaac of Ninevehe the last saint (chronologically speaking) to be recognized by every apostolic Church of the Christian East was born there. This lapse is just one example of how Qatar lags behind its Gulf neighbors in religious tolerance towards non-Muslims. Nearby Bahrain is home to a historic synagogue and an American Mission Hospital founded in 1903. In the hospitalscemetery Christians, Muslims, and Jews are all buried together. Dubai has had an active Hindu temple over a hundred years. Against considerable public backlash Qatar finally openedits firstchurchin this century in 2008. Despite the rather generic appearance of the building it was widely protested by Qataris. I guess thats progress neighboring Saudi Arabia still does not allow public places of worship for non-Muslims. Yet, Qatar which has a population of just over 2 million has instead tried to buy its way into becoming a cultural super-power with mixed results. In 2013, while Al-Kawari was culture minister, Doha hosted an exhibit titled,The Olympics Past and PresentIt was a big deal for Qatar and for Greece. Qatar wants to be seen as a possible future Olympic host after it hosts the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Greece is always looking for another country to bail it out. Thus, Greece sent an official government delegation and ancient Greek statues to the exhibit. The Greeks were shocked however to find the naked statues had been hidden behind a black cloth by the Qatari exhibitors. In an authoritarian state like Qatar it is highly doubtful such a move was taken without Al-Kawaris personal orders. The Greeks asked the statues be unveiled. Qatar demurred and sent thestatuteson air freight shipment back to Greece. To smooth over the Diplomatic row, Qatars ruling emir at the time pledged to invest in Greece. Though not exactly in the manner the Greeks had likely hoped. The Emir announced plans to build palaces for some of his wives on Greeks islands. It is bad enough that autocracies with a history of extensive human rights violations vote in the UnitedNations and serve on U.N. commissions. They should not be allowed to buy seats and influential positions in international humanitarian organizations.

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May 11, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Jews among minorities impacted by new Texas adoption rules – Jerusalem Post Israel News

Jerusalem Post Israel News Jews among minorities impacted by new Texas adoption rules Jerusalem Post Israel News … Texas – Adoption agencies in Texas would be able to reject foster parents on religious grounds under a bill approved by the state's Republican-controlled House of Representatives that critics say discriminates against LGBT Texans and non- Christians . Texas adoption bill would OK rejection of gays, Muslims, Jews who want to adopt Greensboro News & Record Proposed Bill Would Allow Adoption Agencies To Ban Gays, Muslims, Jews , Interfaith Couples Patch.com Texas adoption agencies could ban Jews , gays, Muslims GetReligion (blog) all 198 news articles »

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May 10, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Jakarta’s Christian Governor Gets 2 Years for Blasphemy against Koran – The Jewish Press – JewishPress.com

Photo Credit: Government of the Province of Jakarta via Wikimedia The Christian governor of Jakarta Basuki Ahok Tjahaja Purnama was sentenced on Tuesday to two years in prison, after an Indonesian court ruled he was convincingly proven guilty of blasphemy. Ahok, 50, who is Jakartas first non-Muslim governor and its first ethnic Chinese leader, said he would appeal the verdict. He was then taken to jail, and replaced by his deputy. Last September, while campaigning for his re-election, the governor gave in a speech in Thousand Islands where he suggested that some citizens would not vote for him because they are being deceived using verse 51 of Surah Al Maidah and variations of it, a reference to the line, O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. Surahs are chapters of the Koran. Some of Basukis Muslim opponent groups have cited this verse as grounds to oppose him. The provincial government of Jakarta uploaded the video recording to YouTube in a channel which often features the governors activities. This was followed by strong criticism suggesting citing the Surah was an insult to the Koran. An online petition against him collected tens of thousands of signatures. Several organizations, including the Islamic Defenders Front and a local chapter of the Indonesian Ulema Council, reported Basuki to the police, accusing him of having violated Indonesias Law On Misuse and Insult of Religion. On October 10, 2016, Basuki publicly apologized to those he offended with his statement, insisting that it was not his intention to do so. He pointed out that his policies had benefited Muslims, including granting permits for Islamic schools, providing welfare Smart Cards to Muslim students, and building a mosque in the City Hall complex. He also pointed out that no one in his audience had felt insulted during his campaign speech, in fact, they laughed, appreciating his knowledge of Koran and his sense of humor. Apparently, the panel of five judges on Tuesday was not amused. In fact, the 2-year prison sentence came after the prosecution had only demanded a 2-year probation for the governor. The maximum sentence for blasphemy in Indonesia is five years in prison. The lead judge, Dwiarso Budi Santiarto, said that as part of a religious society, the defendant should be careful to not use words with negative connotations regarding the symbols of religions including the religion of the defendant himself. In Indonesia, 90 percent of a population of 255 million are Muslim. But this country has had a long tradition of pluralism, and it is home to substantial populations of Christians, Hindus and Buddhists.

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Watch: Messianic Jews centre attracts protest by ultra-Orthodox Jews – Premier

The site, in the city of Dimona in the Negev Desert, is part of the same complex housing the office of a local Rabbi. The demonstration, captured in a video posted on Facebook, was followed by a crowd breaking windows and causing further damage at the homes of two congregation families. The centre was opened by Albert and Esther Knoester, and their house was one of the two targeted, according to Kehila News Israel. Albert serves as an elder at the Nachalat Yeshua church in nearby Beersheba. The protestors are believed to be associated with Yad LAchim, a group which has previously targeted Messianic Jews and Christians across Israel with demonstrations and legal action. Congregations of Messianic Jews in southern Israel have suffered violence at the hands of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the past. More than 600 men and women stormed a baptismal services of the Nachalat Yeshua congregation in Beersheba in 2005, attacking church goers and damaging property. According to the Christian organisation, Middle East Concern, local believers are appealing for prayer.

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May 9, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed

Is the Pope ‘Anti-Jewish’? | Commonweal Magazine – Commonweal

Depending on the daily lectionary readings, Pope Francis does have a habit of uncritically repeating Gospel polemics against various Jewish leaders in Jesus day. This most often happens in the daily homilies he delivers in Domus Santa Marta in the Vatican. In a recent reflection, for example, he spoke of the Temple high priests as manifesting arrogance and tyranny toward the people by manipulating the law: But a law that they have remade many times: so many times, to the point that they had arrived at 500 [sic] commandments. Everything was regulated, everything! A law scientifically constructed, because this people was wise, they understood well. They made all these nuances, no? But it was a law without memory: they had forgotten the First Commandment, which God had given to our father Abraham: Walk in my presence and be blameless. They did not walk: they always stopped in their own convictions. They were not blameless! A listener or reader could readily be excused for wondering if the pope saw Judaism in the time of Jesus as heartlessly legalistic because of its focus on the Torah. Might that hold true for Jewish spirituality today as well? Similarly, when preaching on the woman caught in adultery in Johns Gospel, Francis remarked about the Pharisees: they thought they were pure because they observed the law…but they did not know mercy…. The description used by Jesus for them is hypocrites: they had double standards. Rabbi Laras was correct in asserting that postconciliar documents issued by the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews caution against such use of Gospel polemics. Its 1985 instruction on how to present Jews in preaching and education, for instance, noted that The Gospels are the outcome of long and complicated editorial work…. [S]ome references hostile or less than favorable to the Jews have their historical context in conflicts between the nascent church and the Jewish community. Certain controversies reflect Christian-Jewish relations long after the time of Jesus. In particular, the commission stressed that the Phariseeswidely understood to have been the precursors of rabbinic Judaismshared with Jesus many defining convictions: the resurrection of the body; forms of piety, like almsgiving, prayer, fasting (Matthew 6:118) and the liturgical practice of addressing God as Father; [and] the priority of the commandment to love God and our neighbor (Mark 12:2834). Does this mean that Pope Francis harbors anti-Jewish attitudes? To answer that question we need to understand the popes homiletic purpose in using polemical Gospel texts in this way. In no case does he criticize either Judaism as a religious tradition or Jews today. Rather, he invites Christians to examine their own consciences. In particular, he deploys the harsh and sweeping rhetoric of the New Testament against clericalism among Catholic priests and hierarchy. It is his fellow priests and bishops, not Jews, that he has in mind. In the homily cited above about the high priests, Francis went on to criticize that spirit of clericalism, found in the church today. Clerics feel they are superior, they are far from the people; they have no time to hear the poor, the suffering, prisoners, the sick…. The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing!… Today, too, Jesus says to all of us, and even to those who are seduced by clericalism: The sinners and the prostitutes will go before you into the Kingdom of Heaven. It is regrettable that Pope Francis does not occasionally mention the affinity between Jesus and his Pharisaic contemporaries or simply attribute to only some of the scribes or Pharisees the human temptation to sanctimoniousness or arrogance. Without such caveats, he risks unintentionally reinforcing Christian caricatures of Judaism. However, this blind spot hardly amounts to anti-Judaism, particularly when he has elsewhere spoken eloquently and consistently about his love for the Jewish people and traditions. On the subject of Judaisms Torah-centered spirituality, in February Francis greeted Rabbi Abraham Skorka, brother and friend on the occasion of being presented with a limited edition publication of a new illuminated volume of the Torah. [We are] together today around the Torah as the Lords gift, his revelation, his word, Francis said. The Torah, which Saint John Paul II called the living teaching of the living God, manifests the paternal and visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a love that becomes covenant. Although expressed in everyday speech, Francis also offered some profound reflections on the Torah to the International Council of Christians and Jews in 2015: The Christian confessions find their unity in Christ; Judaism finds its unity in the Torah. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh in the world; for Jews the Word of God is present above all in the Torah. Both faith traditions find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word. In seeking a right attitude towards God, Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah. This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra aetate (cf. no. 4), and upon this solid basis can be and must be developed yet further. The pontiff sees that since the Second Vatican Council, Jews and Catholics have undertaken a journey of friendship, which is why he wrote in Evangelii gaudium: Dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus disciples. God continues to work among the people of the Old Covenant and to bring forth treasures of wisdom which flow from their encounter with his word. For this reason, the church also is enriched when she receives the values of Judaism. While it is true that certain Christian beliefs are unacceptable to Judaism, and that the church cannot refrain from proclaiming Jesus as Lord and Messiah, there exists as well a rich complementarity which allows us to read the texts of the Hebrew Scriptures together and to help one another to mine the riches of Gods word. In fact, during his 2015 visit to Philadelphia, Francis stopped briefly with his friend Rabbi Skorka to view an original sculpture by artist Joshua Koffman depicting exactly this concept. Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time, commissioned by Saint Josephs University to mark the golden jubilee of the conciliar declaration Nostra aetate, reverses medieval portrayals in which the feminine figure of the church triumphs over the defeated feminine figure of the synagogue. Francis blessed the new artwork in which two sisters of equal dignity enjoy studying their sacred texts together. Franciss awareness of the long history of Christian oppression of Jews was also clearly evident when he wrote: I too have cultivated many friendships through the years with my Jewish brothers in Argentina and often while in prayer, as my mind turned to the terrible experience of theShoah, I looked to God. What I can tell you, with Saint Paul, is that God has never neglected his faithfulness to the covenant…and that, through the awful trials of these last centuries, the Jews have preserved their faith in God. And for this, we, the church and the whole human family, can never be sufficiently grateful to them. There is an added poignancy to a pope expressing gratitude to Jews for remaining faithful to their covenantal life with God when one realizes that it was Christians who were oppressing them over the last centuries. It is clear that Pope Francis has great personal reverence for the Jewish people and tradition, for the Torah, and for the journey of friendship that Jews and Catholics have undertaken for more than fifty years. It is unfounded and unfair to accuse him of being anti-Jewish on the basis of a handful of ill-chosen comments intended as criticism of his own church. This kind of reproach seems grounded less in a concern for Catholic-Jewish relations than in broader critiques of Franciss theology and style. Seen more broadly, these recent incidents demonstrate the constant, conscious effort that is needed to overcome the legacy of the painful past between Jews and Christians.

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May 8, 2017   Posted in: Christian  Comments Closed


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