Catholics & Jews (cont.): Responses to `The Vatican, Israel, & holy Zion'

Thompson, Andrew Baker, Robert Gorham Davis, Jane Redmont, Judith Banki, Kenneth W.

RESPONSES TO 'THE VATICAN, ISRAEL. & HOLY ZIT' Catholics...

...from the difficult arenas of politics where the severest tests In the first installment on doctor-patient confidentiality occur...
...There is more freedom and joy in the dialogue...
...He's mistaken resolutions demand...
...Take, for instance, the Second Vatican Council has had a profound influence on the friendship factor...
...on the contrary, each was challenged to PROFESSOR Friedmann's disclaimer of representative articulate religious values and community identity more status among Jewish organizations is unnecessary...
...Christian complicity in the Holocaust...
...tion and those who pointed to certain persistent problems in the The producers of the Columbia University Media and Socistructure and creeds of the several religious groups...
...bishop, fulfill this role...
...Professor Friedmann thinks that problems of theodicy should be left to theologians...
...such a reason should be beneath our consideration...
...a moral statement...
...vard law professor known for his series "Miller's Court," As Professor Friedmann argues, we need to approach such jokingly asks one panelist: "Do you have a pathological desire questions in the context of man's hubris and human survival...
...It sacres of Palestinians by Lebanese Christians, there might may be that this papacy will be remembered for a strong and never have been a final solution...
...The teaching of the magisterium on Catholicmessy...
...lemma in the Newsroom" (1982...
...It is to Friedmann as However, this must be balanced, we are told, by the though the church were simply a bit tardy in sending a sym- church's responsibility for "safeguarding the interests of pathy note...
...Even the Reform Movement in Judaism (which fifty years ago declared America RABBI ANDREW BAKER is director of the Washington chap- to be "our Zion") now speaks in its liturgy of a "new light ter of The American Jewish Committee...
...Commonweal: 532...
...the moderator roams eration suffers shipwreck to their immediate political needs...
...Live taping means fore, impresses the outsider as being a little too arcane and that two elements crucial to theater are present: the audienceabstract to have any profound consequences...
...ments along the lines of "the Jewish people disobeyed God, but we Christians follow the Gospel, which is love, not law...
...tence in the diaspora...
...and "Anatomy of a Libel: Business interests, an issue which Professor Friedmann raises at several vs...
...Some of the questions concerned our topic: What some interesting observations to offer, but he seems to miss the do you think of people who aren't Catholic - Protestant and main point in most places along the way...
...legitimacy according to those very principles...
...Still, Christian purpose in a "love of the same God" and in "tend- Friedmann allows that diplomatic relations would be possible ing towards a like end in the future" are cited throughout as, if the church were to "persuade" Israel to return to the preexamples of the church's new brotherly spirit...
...Is Catholicism superior teaching that Christians who sin knowingly are more responsito their religions...
...of Israel, warts and all, is testimony to the Jewish people's Finally, I am sickened by Friedmann's comparison between determination to control a piece of their own destiny through Israeli authorities' treatment of Palestinians and the fate of the FACT friends of american catholic theology asks your support for the CHART-FS E CUMILAN DEFENSE Friends of American Catholic Theology (FACT) is an incorporated organization of students in the Department of Theology at The Catholic University of America...
...What "The magisterium and its followers" is not, despite the matters is the way that people treat their neighbors...
...the audience sits behind the table so that their Some of the discussion of Catholic-Jewish relations, there- reactions may also be seen by TV viewers...
...Jewish relations [not to mention, ecumenism] has, in some Often the causes and the signs of change appear neither in way - usually indirectly - reached the laity...
...Our conversations may not always which has made it possible: the setting of U.S...
...envision a panel of Scholastics disputing with each other Today it has shifted more to religious and historical issues...
...Catholics living in the vast Muslim world," which apparently Church statements that speak of a common Jewish and would be jeopardized by Vatican recognition of Israel...
...The call for religious tolerance can be a health care measures ip to viewers' now-heightened expectapolitical weapon which the weaker side invokes...
...It is clearly...
...I recall vividly the intensity of the process - updated so that the participants include a Supreme exchange within the Board of Editors of Christianity and Court justice, a few presidents and faculty of prestigious Crisis...
...Other instances abound...
...Yet the great majority of 1563) from whose Catechism these words are drawn and from the Arab Middle East has denied Israel's right to that existence which they are invoked in the 1985 Vatican "Notes...
...Translated into current terms by such immensely popular books as Hal Robert Gorham Davis Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth, the prospect has inflamed many imaginations, including that of Ronald ReaROBERT GORHAM DAVIS, educator, author, editor, is pro- gan...
...society with its touch on Catholic-Jewish relations or on religion, but in these human diversity, religious liberty, and democratic governvaried settings we form bonds of respect, trust, and collegial- ment...
...faith are working for social betterment in the third world and clergy and other parish staff and, on occasion, the local for control of the escalating nuclear arms race...
...In the area of Catholic-Jewish relations, the mother to suburban homemaker...
...the Media"(1985...
...I would say, to the contrary, that WE ARE all in debt to Dr...
...Many Jewish organizations have seek reactions to the article from a number of perspectives, called for people to remember the Holocaust and its historical Jewish and Christian...
...The ecumenical rallying cry may conceal "Managing Our Miracles: Health Care in America" airs an appeal to self-interest...
...he has taught his parishioners from Except for the youngest among them, these women were the pulpit and in the classroom that Judaism is a living religion raised on extra ecclesiam nulla sales [outside the church there and that the Hebrew Bible is more than an "old Testament...
...It looks quite different, and equally distincIn other words, there are factors besides church teachings tive, I am sure, in France, Germany, Tanzania, the Philipand contexts other than church life which affect the attitudes of pines, and Chile...
...Yet we should also Vatican, Israel, & Holy Zion" by F. G. Friedmann, profes- acknowledge they do not erase the past, and they do not speak sor emeritus at the University of Munich...
...words - a formulation "which raises...
...To characterize their relationCatholic-Jewish relations correctly identifies those is- ship as one where the diaspora gives money, while in return sues that have drawn the most discussion and con- diaspora Jews receive a "boost to their self-confidence," is troversy in the ongoing dialogue, but he has presented them in untrue and insulting...
...While those involved in promoting Catholic-Jewish Catholics speak to each other and to their elders about issues understanding must always be open to fresh insights and new which they all face: the changing roles of men and women, an perspectives, Friedmann's comments seem unlikely to aduncertain economic situation, and the cloud of the nuclear vance such understanding, other than bringing Catholics and threat...
...I remember several Catholic college students telling me, during my years as a campus minister, about their relationships with Jewish roommates...
...In this, the Holy Father confronts both an opportunity and a challenge which calls for all the vision and persistence of which he is capable to make concrete what is yet a notable proclamation...
...Unfortunately, Dr...
...Though neighborhoods and workplaces are character of life at the grassroots, simply by encouraging still divided along religious and ethnic lines throughout the among Catholics worldwide a different stance toward differU.S., many are not, and there Catholics and Jews meet, talk, ence and diversity: "Other" is no longer evil...
...new and awkward Commonweal: 530 questions," it has done so since the Council of Trent (1545- sovereign control of a piece of land...
...But to lenged at length and refuted...
...or example...
...Perhaps he Contrast this with the remarkably understated criticism of forgets that at a time when Arab propagandists and antithe church for being "slow and cautious" in reacting to the Western forces have united in support of the calumny that Nazis' treatment of the Jews and "slow and cautious" in Zionism is a form of racism, such a "moral boost" would be "expressing its regrets" after the destruction was completed...
...Friedmann's insistence on the primacy in all ecumenical dis- JANE REDMONT has been a campus and parish minister, cussion of human survival itself...
...fessor emeritus at Columbia University...
...The women where Hispanic, magisterium has taken the lead...
...I ADDRESS 3 We solicit your tax deductible contribution...
...dawning" in the land of Israel...
...Certainly the church documents nor in churches...
...The sermon was a classic: it used a badly exegeted reading from the Hebrew Bible as a foil for the (equally misinterpreted) Epistle and Gospel readings...
...No," comes the reply, "I'm a doctor, not a Yet the raising of the question is necessary and proper and lawyer...
...The Constitution: That Even in the 1950s and 1960s, the key issue was mutuality of Delicate Balance" (1984...
...there is clear from his article that he writes as a "private peralso an urgency of a different sort, as younger Jews and son...
...In the 1970s and 1980s, some parties every Tuesday evening on PBS through December 2. Episodes who have spoken out for religious and political tolerance have range from discussions of organ transplants to the human heart been rather narrower in their ecumenical outreach than in machine, medical treatment for the aged, battered children, earlier years...
...I also was about to say how warmly Christians and non- Jane Redmont Christians, theists and non-theists alike, should welcome Dr...
...The hard issues that divide are left unexplored...
...God, and other peoples' are no less valid than my own...
...technological hubris with a "ratio enlightened by faith...
...The (September 30), the ebullient moderator Arthur Miller, a Harobserver wonders if he is being exposed to rhetoric or reality...
...to be accurate...
...affects equally all inhabitants of the planet...
...from the standpoint of "a Jew who is not a representative of Instead, he points to "Jewish demands for ever new conany Jewish organization, but- simply a private person...
...It Granted, this is a very small sample...
...Another ety Seminars have already earned an armload of awards for difference worth noting was the far greater emphasis on three previously televised series - "Eyeball to Eyeball: DiProtestant-Catholic understanding in that moment in history...
...especially Moslems who live under harsh military rule within Israel's expanded borders...
...Israel is a refuge for Jews that need help, such a fashion as to engender only further misunderstanding but it is also a repository of Jewish history and the recognized and distrust...
...20064 (202) 526-0527 2 We invite your request for an NAME information sheet which includes further suggestions...
...people are awe before the ineluctable mystery of the universe, I have to aware of the content of specific church documents, or even of ask "what kind of faith...
...it portrayed the people of Israel as having definitively failed God, and made no distinction between ancient Israel and modern Judaism...
...As his presentation makes clear, the context of present-day discussion has characteristics that differ from IMAGINE a Socratic dialogue in a spectator-filled Greek those of the 1950s and 1960s...
...border problems...
...As political interests place such groups in con- and more...
...Muslims...
...He takes responsibility for his own continu- ing some version of this answer...
...This is not a dismissive question, for the existence of such documents...
...Jews together in mutual irritation at his tone of moral superiorI spent half of the summer traveling in four Midwestern ity toward both...
...and to that sovereignty...
...In turn, Kenneth W. Thompson Jewish leaders must reach out to meet halfway the efforts to give life to more enlightened practices as well as understandKENNETH W. THOMPSON is director of the White Burkett ing...
...Friedmann introduces two themes at the end of his argument which are not necessary for his thesis and ~~ WONDER what effect the magisterium of the church which would, if insisted on, make such unity far more dif- has on the `praxis' of its followers," Professor ficult...
...As a For most Catholics, the teaching of the magisterium is secular humanist who loves life and experiences not hubris but mediated by the local parish community...
...Friedmann writes...
...In a suburban parish I know, the pastor, a man of the same generation as the preacher of the disastrous homily, educated before Vatican II, is active in Christian-Jewish dialogue on the 10 October 1986: 529 local and regional levels...
...For starters, if the Orthodox Christians...
...and it implied, of course, that the Christian covenant supersedes and obliterates the covenant between the Holy One and Israel...
...Virtually accepted facts...
...All but 2 of the 33 women I interviewed He has encouraged schools in his region to offer a curriculum answered my questions without a trace of triumphalism, givon the Holocaust...
...the fact that made during Vatican Council II when Nostra Aetate was the present State of Israel, like all nation-states, is less than under consideration but Christian communities of the Middle perfect - all this is beside the point...
...occasionally visited each other's houses JUDITH BANKI is associate national director of the American of worship...
...Rome is rarely the active I feel close comradeship with those religious groups who out of authority - the direct educator - in the lives of the laity...
...Might there be an unfair double standard at work here...
...Roman Catholic reality is, in practice, infinitely more generation...
...Both fessions of guilt to be made by the Christian churches," but Commonweal and the author thought it would be valuable to offers no citation...
...He turns out to Early in the summer, I was visiting a parish in a small be, however, not the God of peace, of the Sermon on the town and nearly walked out during a homily filled with stateMount, but the God of Jericho and Armageddon...
...Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville...
...We can agree that the modern state of Israel is not "holy Zion, the Zion at the end of all time," without reducing it to Rabbi Andrew Baker just a "secular state dominated by Jews...
...simple as the statement about "leaders and followers" im- How did such a change in attitude occur within a single plies...
...Does God love us ble for the death of Christ than the Jews are - in Friedmann's more and love them less...
...also recognized by the Vatican, and with states much tougher If the hierarchy in some parts of the world had pursued the on their Catholic populations than Israel...
...I 0 SEND INFORMATION SHEET Jews in the Holocaust...
...is no salvation...
...the fact that important events took place It should not be forgotten that similar threats of retaliation were in Jewish history when there was no Jewish state...
...While Catholicdissemination of the new attitude toward Jews and Judaism Jewish relations and Vatican-Israel relations are not the same with the vigor and determination that it has pressed the thing and can be separately considered, full diplomatic recogchurch's position on abortion, for example, there would surely nition would place the church squarely behind the legitimacy be less of the kind of superstitious ignorance Friedmann re- of Israel's existence - not behind any particular solution to cords...
...The two can be disasof the tens of millions of Moslems in the Middle East, and trously related...
...I N ITS September 26 issue Commonweal published "The if he imagines they were (and are) not...
...It is removed performer dynamic and the possibility of surprise...
...and discussed without inhibition interreligious Jewish Committee and the editor of the Committee's Interdating and marriage...
...ahead" of the majority of believers - and sometimes not...
...If the German perhaps long overdue...
...plagues far more ecologically harmful than those of the Exodus and then a great war, centered on Israel, in which heavenly and earthly armies are engaged...
...In none of the cases I know did these religious Newsletter...
...This surely is an issue which journalist, and active participant in interreligious dialogue...
...Yet theological once having said that, the document said nothing about Israel's development has never been spawned in a historical vacuum...
...Now, televise such a sion is also different...
...WASHINGTON, D.C...
...Happily, their new ten-part series on points in his essay...
...of Catholic-Jewish relations, was written, as the author said, But the author's charge is more than one of ingratitude...
...The comparison is obscene...
...The validity and vitality of Jewish exis- several places and who can resonate to arguments of prudence...
...I don't critical role of church leadership, an accurate way of represent- want Protestants or Jews to become Catholics, and I don't ing Roman Catholic reality, or in particular, the way change think my way is better than theirs, just because it happens to be occurs in the Catholic church...
...the Arab Middle East is one that can be sympathetically underIt is in his writings about Israel that Friedmann seems to go stood by Jews who, after all, have vulnerable minorities in widest of the mark...
...Granted that popular attitudes may The Vatican has full diplomatic relations with imperfect frequently depart from official church positions, one may states, with states that have border disputes with other states question the amount of effort expended to bring them into line...
...Especially in the sixties, the amphitheater . . . or, leap quite a few centuries and emphasis of the dialogue was on social and political issues...
...It is, nevertheless, a does take prophetic positions, but more often than not, change diverse one, including all levels of income and education and a begins at the grassroots and the magisterium follows, some- variety of lifestyles from dairy farmer to urban single working - times reluctantly...
...Therefore, the possicover-up of their government's foreknowledge of the mas- bility of widening and deepening understanding is enhanced...
...The picture "out there," then, is a Far from being rejectors of God, some of the most bellicose mottled one, in which parish staff play a key part...
...Catholic-Jewish relations here reflect our quirks and ity...
...Is he implying that such changes are sus- ence to the common principles of international law," but that, pect because history is intruding on theology...
...uniformity is no and work together...
...Make checks I AMOUNT DOTHER D$10 D$25 D$50 payable to FACT...
...But in this area as in other white, and black, and varied in their relationship to the instituareas of our common life - liturgical renewal, teachings on tional church from thoroughly alienated to enthusiastically social and economic matters - the picture is not nearly as involved...
...ground of unity in the expectation of the coming of Christ or Or perhaps Professor Friedmann would rather have us believe the Messiah, preceded by a period of peace and social justice...
...There are different paths to ing education...
...Catholic thinkers have taken the lead in people had mounted a public demonstration opposing Nazi raising some of the most crucial issues...
...Here they are offered casually, Friedmann, it would "constitute only a moral boost by emwith their primary intention to negate or diminish any moral or phasizing the righteousness of the Zionist cause," as though ethical claim made by the Jewish state...
...The differences in ecumenical understanding then were universities, eminent lawyers, surgeons, members of Conmostly between the idealists and the realists or those who saw gress and the clergy - and you have veteran producer Fred W. few obstacles to full ecumenical understanding and coopera- Friendly's formula for "instructional television...
...forthright stand on Catholic-Jewish relations...
...Israel is nurtured by Criticisms of Israel are not always without merit, but here diaspora Jewry, but it offers a special nurturing in return...
...we have controversial charges presented as though they are What of Vatican diplomatic recognition of Israel...
...We have worked and argued and celebrated longer a paradigm for holiness...
...In response to the action of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Chancellor of The Catholic University of America Father Charles E. Curran is defending his right to teach theology at Catholic University...
...states, conducting interviews for a book on Catholic women in Friedmann writes about very important matters and has U. S. society...
...FACT judges that this situation constitutes a crisis for American Catholic theology and asks your help for this effort...
...How could the Holocaust not have stiffed a re-examination of Concern about the fate of vulnerable Catholic minorities in traditional Christian teachings...
...Each discussion is taped live...
...Incidentally, what angered Jews so much Friedmann questions whether historical events such as the about the treatment of Israel in the "Notes" was not the Holocaust might have motivated changed attitudes toward document's claim that Israel should be envisaged "in referJews and Judaism...
...He is associate editor of The Review of Poli- Media tics and the author of several books including Principles and Problems of International Politics...
...gifts and "flaws...
...States, to be published by William Morrow...
...First, the facts don't fit...
...Jews...
...Five such responses follow...
...center for Jewish study and culture...
...together in the civil rights and peace movements and in more Finally, underlying the friendship factor is the context traditional party politics...
...course, a critical question...
...HOLY ZIT' Catholics & Jews (cont...
...lessons - and the Holy See itself has recently issued just such THE EDITORS a call - but none has demanded a "confession of guilt...
...Professor and hubristic of our leaders are precisely those who make Friedmann's question brought to mind two parish situations political capital out of demanding that God be given more which I have personally experienced in New England: official acknowledgment in our national life...
...among them...
...Judith Banki These students asked one another candid questions about their beliefs and practices...
...THE GREAT virtue of Professor Friedmann's discussion on A PORSCHE OF A SERIES Catholic-Jewish relations is its renewing of an important ecumenical dialogue in the context of the mid- MANAGING HEALTH CARE MIRACLES 1980s...
...Very few...
...Friedmann for his acute theodicy and theology generally should be everyone's conanalysis - sympathetic yet realistic - of Vatican- cern, and that we should question our leaders as closely about Israeli relations, and for his reminder of how they bear their conception of God and God's intentions for humankind as upon the fate not only of the Jews of Israel and the diaspora but about their conduct of national affairs...
...The diaspora has not disappeared with the creation of Israel, but that does not make Israel P ROFESsoR Friedmann's admittedly personal review of just another settlement of Jews...
...The point is that the State East did not suffer for the church's righting of a terrible wrong...
...I would like to address the assumpFor the nuclear threat which hangs over us he blames the tions about the role of the magisterium which lie behind the modern mind's "renunciation of God," and would counter question...
...this to be just another example of "slow and cautious" In the Book of Revelation the Second Coming is preceded by decision-making...
...it can also be tions...
...most welcome...
...We ask your support in the following ways: FFACT BOX 172 CARDINAL STATION THE CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY OF AMERICA 1 We encourage educational projects...
...The article, a survey directly to our still uncommon present...
...The passing references to Israeli arms sales to all Jews (and many Catholics) would see it as an appropriate South Africa, maltreatment of Palestinians by Israeli au- and overdue acknowledgment by the church of the role Israel thorities, and an Israeli obsession for security could be chal- plays in the spiritual and physical life of modem Jewry...
...The magisterium is sometimes the way for me...
...encounters dilute or destroy any student's sense of identity ai a Catholic or a Jew...
...The withholding of full and formal Whether the attitudes of everyday Catholics - what Fried- diplomatic recognition of Israel by the Vatican may lend mann calls "praxis" - have caught up with recent theological credence to the claim by rejectionist Arab states that Israel's and catechetical rethinking about Jews and Judaism is, of very existence is illegitimate...
...If we can achieve She is working on a book on Catholic women in the United some agreement here, other agreements may follow...
...Fifteen to twenty flict, their commendable vision of greater harmony and coop- panelists sit around a U-shaped table...
...Are we better than they...
...It is heartening that on persecution of Jews that brought the same proportion of the this question, if not on all the most urgent world problems, the public into the streets as Israelis mounted against a possible source of leadership is the Holy Father...
...Commonweal: 528 Are these the normal "preconditions" for Vatican recogni- That is why I also wonder that Dr...
...Catholics toward Jews today...
...Its purpose is to encourage and promote the effort f American Catholic theologians...
...Friedmann can assume a tion...
...Friedmann 1967 borders, a move, by the way, that not even relevant U. N. urges that they should have been "welcomed...
...on stage before cheering troops of students, and you have the Perhaps for that reason, the tone and texture of the discus- rudiments of the modern university...

Vol. 113 • October 1986 • No. 17


 
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