Monday, May 29, 2006

The Pope & The Jews

The Pope visited Auschwitz today. That’s nice—he’s recognizing the indescribable atrocities this place symbolizes. Auschwitz is the biggest of hundreds of “death” camps around Europe which the Nazis ran in WWII in order to corral and murder as many Jews, and other non-combatant civilians who were “sub-Nazi” standard, as possible.

Jewish leaders are pleased at the Pope’s highlighting of the Holocaust. There are so many Catholics in the world—1.1 billion total—and there aren’t that many Jews in comparison—13 million, a fraction of a percent of the number of Catholics—it seems like the Jews could use all the friends they could get:

Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder and dean of the Los Angeles, California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, told The Associated Press that Benedict's presence at the camp and his remarks were firm reminders that Holocaust deniers were not speaking the truth.

"He wore the uniform of the Hitler Youth. For him to now go there as the pope and acknowledge the horrors the Holocaust visited on the Jewish people and all mankind is important," he said.My Way News

Well, yeah, Rabbi Hier is right—any recognition of a major stain on human history such as the systematic industrial killing of 11,000,000 people is good—but what’s the remark about “Holocaust deniers were not speaking the truth?” Is that a popular media interjection, or how the Jews feel today? I have believed for years that these fringe-lunatic rabble-rousing “holocaust-deniers” were just that-fringe. Now the media implies that the head of the primo foremost Nazi-recollection/memorial museum and head hunter—that they’re glad the Pope went to Auschwitz so it proves that it all really happened?

Let’s recount: The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church, which is located in the Vatican, a tiny walled-off area within Rome that houses St. Peter’s Basilica, offices, chapels (like the Sistine) libraries, museums. It’s less than ¾ the area of the “mall” in Washington D.C which includes the Capitol, Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. The Vatican is a separate nation-state within Italy—it’s not part of Rome or Italy, it’s a country unto itself.

In this tiny so-called nation of the Vatican, there are enough riches in art and documents, that the individual elements could be called “priceless,” and the total is “totally priceless.” In lay jargon, this means “worth millions and millions of dollars, euros, yen, --you name it!”

The Sistine Ceiling, fresco painted by Michelangelo; The School of Athens, fresco painted by Raphael—either one on Ebay alone could fetch enough…let’s just say someone would be willing to pay enough for either to feed the entire world—hungry or not. 2 helpings, probably!

During WWII, Hitler made a pact with Mussolini, the big-time mafiosa wannabe who got to be in charge of Italy. Mussolini wasn’t paving the road to genocide alongside Hitler. He was more or less looking for a way to keep his place as numero uno Italiano.

Pope Benedict XVI also didn’t bring up the controversy over Vatican aid to Nazi victims in WWII:

He also did not mention the controversy over the wartime role of Pope Pius XII, who some say did not do all in his power to prevent Jews from being deported to concentration camps. The Vatican rejects that accusation.--My Way

Well, wouldn’t you?

All that wealth, located within this little confine within the city of Rome, ally to Germany in WWII—any false move and, what?—the German engineers and scientists come flocking down to Rome to figure out how to move all this wealth, art and architecture—out of Rome and back to Berlin, for the thousand-year Third Reich progeny to behold in their honor. Deport some Jews, or cost the church its untold wealth? Hmmmm.

What’s my point? You’ll be surprised.

“A shadow was cast over the papal visit by Saturday's attack on Poland's chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, who was to say Kaddish, or the Jewish prayer for the dead, during the ceremony led by the pope.

Schudrich told The Associated Press he was attacked in central Warsaw after confronting a man who shouted at him, "Poland for Poles!" The rabbi said the unidentified man punched him in the chest and sprayed him with what appeared to be pepper spray. He was not injured.

Police said they were treating the incident as a possible anti-Semitic attack.
Schudrich, said the most important part of Benedict's message "was his physical presence at Auschwitz" but that some Jews wished he had gone further by directly addressing anti-Semitism.

"It was a very powerful statement and the words that we heard were powerful, but I'm sure some felt a glaring omission ... on the question of anti-Semitism. Jews are very sensitive to that and we are used to hearing the words of John Paul II."--My Way

“Poland for Poles” is a symbolic statement from WWII when it meant “get rid of the Jews.”

Well, here’s my point. Words are more powerful than we know. As the Pope spoke in Auschwitz, it was cloudy and raining. He stopped to pray.

"To speak in this place of horror, in this place where unprecedented mass crimes were committed against God and man, is almost impossible -- and it is particularly difficult and troubling for a Christian, for a pope from Germany,"--CNN

Then the sun appeared, with a rainbow.

Now what the hell do you make of that!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments signed Anonymous will not be published.