November 21, 2007 | 9:22 am
Posted by Brad A. Greenberg
Italians have a wonderful phrase they use when things donât work out as they had hoped: âIt was better when it was worse.â
That was the thrust of controversial comments about the Catholic Churchâs relations with Israel by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, currently the Vaticanâs nuncio (ambassador) to the United States and formerly the papal envoy to the Jewish state.
Sambi, who was nuncio in Israel from 1998-2005, could not have been clearer about his discontent: âIf I must be frank, relations between the Catholic Church and the state of Israel were better when there were no diplomaticrelations.â
I want to pause here and note how easy it would be to turn this into a watershed moment for Catholic-Jewish relations, a revert back to 1960 or, worse, 1492. Sambi, it seems, is not trying to incite a pogrom or propagating the blood libel. He is reflecting on his experience with the Israeli government. (Yes, this is certainly questionable timing considering the peace summit at Annapolis next week.)
The Catholic culture regarding Jews has significantly improved during the last two papacies. Pope John Paul II was, of course, beloved by Jewish leaders, not least for his memorable visit in 2000 to Israel and the Western Wall. The German-born Pope Benedict XVI, who served in the Hitler Youth, also has proven a better friend of world Jewry than many expected.
We welcome your feedback.
Your information will not be shared or sold without your consent. Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com has rules for its commenting community.Get all the details.
JewishJournal.com reserves the right to use your comment in our weekly print publication.
12.10.13 at 11:33 am | Some 35 years after the LDS dropped the ban, the. . .
12.5.13 at 7:11 am | In some of the most astounding news I've heard. . .
12.3.13 at 7:11 am | The Supreme Court granted certiorari in ...
11.25.13 at 8:55 am | Judge Crabb ruled that the clergy housing. . .
11.23.13 at 7:46 pm | A time-lapse starting with Hinduism in 5,000 BC. . .
11.16.13 at 10:41 am | His kebab cafe on hard times, Zablon Simintov. . .
12.10.13 at 11:33 am | Some 35 years after the LDS dropped the ban, the. . . (149)
11.13.11 at 3:43 pm | Forensic anthropology may have something new to. . . (110)
12.3.13 at 7:11 am | The Supreme Court granted certiorari in ... (104)