Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Keep the Cardinal Out

On Facebook, Shaul Robinson, the Senior Rabbi at Lincoln Square Synagogue posted the following
This Shabbat, Parshat Zachor, the archbishop of New York , Cardinal Timothy Dolan will be visiting Lincoln Square Synagogue. He will be arriving at 11.30am, and after the service will be addressing the community on Catholic Jewish Relations. There may be time for a brief Q and A - what question would YOU like me to ask him.
So of course I find the whole thing outrageous. As I commented there: Why in the hell would you allow a cardinal into your sanctuary to address you on Shabbos.

The Church is an anti-Semitic organization that subjected us to two-thousands years of suffering, while cultivating the soil of Europe for the Holocaust. To date, they haven't repudiated their anti-Semitic Popes their bulls or their encyclicals; in fact, the Church currently is in the process of beatifying one of them. During the Holocaust, which, let's be clear, the Church helped cause and did nothing to prevent, churchmen stole Jewish children and, with the blessing of every subsequent Pope, refused to return the ones who had been baptized. But their representative should be welcomed into a shul on Shabbos and invited to preach? When, meanwhile, no Reform or Conservative Rabbi would ever receive such a welcome.

In short: To allow a Cardinal to address a Jewish congregation on shabbos is demeaning. It demeans the shabbos. It demeans the sanctuary.  It demeans the congregation.  To celebrate it is a confession of insecurity and an act of obsequiousness.  Until the Church renounces its shameful past, and completes a true and painful teshuva process, there's no reason for Jews to kiss the toes of St. Peter. The Church, by the grace of God, no longer has any power over us, and nothing to offer us. Self pride demands we remember that, and also what they did to us.

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