Monday, July 27, 2015

The Pope and the Vatican Should Be Confronted about Traditional Catholic Stances against Israel


The Pope and the Vatican Should Be Confronted about Traditional Catholic Stances against Israel

Instead of rejecting Israel as the Vatican does, evangelical leaders should do what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did

By Julio Severo
WorldNetDaily chief Joseph Farah accurately pointed the latest Vatican tragedy against Israel by saying that it is a “one-sided hostile action against Israel.” He said,
Pope Francis announced an agreement had been reached with the barbaric leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization recognizing “Palestine.”
It’s a barbarous act of political and historical tone deafness by the pope that puts the beleaguered Jewish state, the only reliable refuge for outnumbered, forgotten and abandoned Middle East Christians, deeper into the cross-hairs of international busybodies.
The Vatican’s deal was brokered with Mahmoud Abbas, the organizer of the Munich Olympics terrorist attack on Israeli athletes, a man who wrote his doctoral thesis denying the Holocaust – and still denies the Jewish death toll to this day.
The Vatican’s statement calls for the new Palestinian state to have its capital in Jerusalem – Israel’s capital since the time of King David. It calls for the Palestinian state, run by the same people who have overseen the destruction of Jewish religious and historical sites in its own territories, to be responsible for holy sites in Jerusalem and elsewhere.
What the Vatican did here was declare its unilateral and unconditional support of the terrorist Palestine Liberation Organization founded by Yasser Arafat.
There’s no other way to interpret this except as a one-sided hostile action against Israel.
Yet, this is not the first Catholic hostility against Israel. Jewish writer Janet Levy reports a number of anti-Jewish cases from the Vatican in her review of the book “The Vatican Against Israel: J’Accuse,” written by Catholic writer Giulio Meotti, who explores the theological foundation for 1,700 years of Catholic enmity toward Jews that led to manifold persecutory actions and atrocities through the centuries and how it continues to play out in the Catholic Church policy toward the Jewish State today.
Mr. Meotti explains how the Catholic Church has continued to undermine Jews through its politics, statements, and contemptuous relationship with the state of Israel. Since Israel’s founding in 1948, the Vatican has consistently worked against the best interests of the Jewish state and aided and abetted its enemies.
This extensive, historical Vatican enmity toward the Jews and the attendant atrocities have led to today’s shocking alliance with Islam and, even more surprisingly, has prevented the Catholic Church from aiding persecuted Catholics throughout the Muslim world. By disavowing Jewish roots and forging a strategic Muslim-Catholic alliance, the Catholic Church has embarked on a precarious path for the future of Christendom.
In “The Vatican Against Israel,” the author examines how the Catholic Church has continued to be a willing and eager partner in the destruction of the Jewish people in the modern era.
The Catholic Church helped promulgate the anti-Semitic hoax of a Jewish plan for global domination as set forth in The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, largely used by Nazis to justify their crimes against the Jews. The first translation of this damaging blood libel was translated by Arab Catholics and published by a periodical of the Catholic Community in Jerusalem in 1926.
When Adolph Hitler came to power in Germany, the Vatican was the first state to formally recognize the legitimacy of the Third Reich and it maintained diplomatic relations with the Nazi government through the very end of the war.
Pope John Paul II granted several audiences to Yasser Arafat, the father of modern terrorism and the head of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), who had ordered and carried out attacks against Jewish civilians and was seeking publicity and legitimacy on the world stage. While openly proclaiming hatred of the Jews and plans to annihilate Israel, Arafat and his henchman were granted respectability by the Catholic Church.
In 1974, the Vatican formally recognized the Palestinian Liberation Organization. It wasn’t until 1993, almost 20 years later, that the Catholic Church recognized the State of Israel.
When PLO Chairman Arafat died in 2004, the Pope John Paul II eulogized the terrorist as a great leader in this “hour of sadness” and spoke fondly of his closeness to the Arafat family.
Even today, many Vatican Catholic pilgrimage and tourist tour maps fail to mention Israel. Instead, the area is labeled “Holy Land” or “Palestine.”
To make things worse, evangelical leaders show that they deserve when the leftist media lump them together with the old Catholic hostility against Israel, even suggesting anti-Jewish Inquisition was not distinctively Catholic, but “Christian,” as if all Christians were equally involved in torturing and slaughtering Jews.
Even though U.S. evangelical leaders in the early America embraced the Jews and condemned the Vatican, times have changed. Today, mainline Protestant churches in U.S. embrace the Vatican and condemn Israel.
U.S. evangelicals have increasingly lost their prophetic voice about Israel and against enemies of the Jews, especially Muslims. So it is no wonder that when they meet the pope, they fail to voice their condemnation about the historic and current Catholic hostility against Israel. They also fail to condemn the Vatican alliances with Islam.
The only courageous attitude in a meeting with a pope came not from Protestants, but from a Jewish leader. In 2013, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Pope Francis at the Vatican, and gave the leader of the Catholic Church “The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain,” a book that largely revolves about Spanish Catholics questioning, torturing, and punishing Jewish converts to Catholicism, exposing how thousands of Jews were expelled from Spain or burned at the stake. Worse still, the inquisition of Catholic converts (and the use of torture to discover “heretics”) was first legally sanctioned by Pope Innocent IV, according to the Business Insider.
The Jewish Journal says that “The Origins of the Inquisition in Fifteenth Century Spain,” a scholarly magnum opus and in-depth tome on the Spanish Inquisition, describes how the Catholic Church persecuted, and often executed, masses of Jewish converts to Catholicism who were accused of secretly practicing Judaism.
The Business Insider notes that “it is important to think of the context of the book, which is written by Netanyahu's father Ben-Zion Netanyahu, a well-regarded historian who worked at both Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Cornell University.”
CBS News says, “Netanyahu’s father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu, was an Israeli historian… A Zionist activist who opposed partitioning Palestine between Arabs and Jews, he was best known in academic circles for his research into the Catholic Church's medieval inquisition against the Jews of Spain.”
The Business Insider said that “the book argues, the persecution of the Jews was not truly based on religious grounds, but on a racial prejudice and financial envy that would be echoed years later in the Holocaust.”
This “envy” has been too expensive for the Catholic Church. In a fascinating piece titled “Jews prove critical to founding of America,” WorldNetDaily shows how Jews had a fundamental role in the early America’s building. Most Jews in the early America had fled Brazil, expelled, under death threats from the Inquisition and from the Catholic government. Eventually, they founded the early banking system in America. If Catholic Brazil, or even the Vatican, had embraced these Jews, they would be living today the financial hegemony enjoyed by the U.S.
But anti-Jewish Catholic culture hindered them from it. This culture was predominant in Catholic nations even recently.
As a Brazilian, I remember a boy who was ostracized by other students at a public school in São Paulo. He was a Jew and other students talked about him as some kind of “plague.” I could empathize with him. As an evangelical, I was often taunted because I did not get involved with Catholic celebrations or other inappropriate behavior at the school. So probably I was the only student that could keep a normal contact with the Jewish student.
The anti-Jewish feeling from the other students came from the culture of Brazil, the largest Catholic nation in the world. In contrast, respect for Catholicism was supreme.
I do not know what could be done to change the Catholic culture against Israel, but U.S. and Brazilian evangelicals should follow the courageous example of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who confronted an anti-Jewish Catholic culture just with weapon: a book on the Inquisition.
Every evangelical leader should embrace Israel and its exclusive right to the Promised Land. They should not reject Israel for the sake of the Vatican and its traditions.
And they should also give the pope books on the Inquisition and remind him that it is past time for the Catholic Church to stop being against Israel.
Yet, if they keep embracing the Vatican at the expense of Israel, all of them should also be given books on the Inquisition by courageous Netanyahus.
Without perceiving, Netanyahu became a prophetic inspiration for evangelicals in their relationship with the Vatican.
With information from the WorldNetDaily, Business Insider, Israel National News, Janet Levy, CBS News and the Jewish Journal.
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