Monday, April 04, 2005

My last Pope Post

Probably. You can start the applause.

My purpose, in posting about the Pope today, was not to judge the man, but to balance the record and the praise. Too many Jewish bloggers are whitewashing his career and refusing to grapple with the complexities of his record. In fact, Joe Schick is the only blogger I've found willing to say anything negative about this Pope. I find that troubling - not because I want the J-Bloggers to bury him, but because I want the J-blogs to consider his record honestly and completely.

After considering the facts, you can draw your own conclusions, but please don't insult your own intelligence by imagining actions like his beatification of Pius 9, arguably one of the most anti-Semitic men in history, his praise of Arafat, his knighting Kurt Waldheim, his support for Pius 12, and his holocaust apologetics were "symbolic," or "harmless."

(And please don't degrade yourself, simpering at the Pope's feet merely because he deigned to show the Jews some respect. That respect is our due, long withheld. It's unseemly to make a show of congratulation someone simply for giving you your due. It suggests that you are satisfied and content with crumbs when the Church owes us more, and more.)

In the coming days, I hope the J-blogs will show some intellectual vigor and consider the whole of the man's record. I hope they will discuss the inconsistencies: There's much in this Pope's record to appreciate, but there's what to criticize, too.