So often tidbits of news and history become philosophical mind-benders…so as beholders of the Truth, as we at OneJerusalem.com happen to be, we try and leave our stories open to the good rational minds of our readers…that is to say, we respect you.

So here’s the scoop, readers:

Pope Benedict XVI insists on a “great respect” between Catholics and Jews. Here’s a pocket-full of benefit of the doubt for the good Vicar…

The Pontiff is on his way to visit a synagogue in Rome… even as we speak. He says the visit will be a “further step on the path of harmony and friendship between Catholics and Jews,” he says there is a “climate of great respect and dialogue” between the two religions. This Roman synagogue is said to be the spiritual home of the oldest Jewish community in the Diaspora.

Jewish groups are divided however, due to Benedict’s praise of Pius XII – the World War II Pope. Some say, that this Pope did not do enough to save the Jews of these years from their fate of Holocaust. Now Pope Benedict is moving to Canonize Pope Pius.

In his 1940 encyclical Summi Pontificatus, Pius rejected anti-Semitism and he did protest to save certain Jewish populations from deportation to Poland. Despite this, many are still skeptical. He could not or did not save the fate of one-third of Italy’s Jewish population, who were murdered or expelled.

Jewish skepticism about the current Pope was sparked when it became known his German origins and service in the Hitler Youth program, beginning in 1941. But it became known that the program was compulsory for all German boys, and that the Pope witnessed firsthand, Nazi brutality towards German Catholics.

On one hand, Pope Benedict visited the Park East synagogue in New York City, during the eve of Passover in 2008 – and this came after his 2006 visit to Auschwitz and later Jerusalem and Yad Vashem.

He also visited a West Bank refugee camp during one of these trips, and spoke out about the need for a sovereign homeland for the Palestinian people. Needless to say this left many a questioning Zionist brow…

In 2007, Benedict issued the Summorum Pontificum, which allows wider use of the Tridentine Mass, which includes this Good Friday Prayer:

Let us pray also for the Jews: that almighty God may remove the veil from their hearts; so that they too may acknowledge Jesus Christ our Lord. Let us pray. Let us kneel. Arise. Almighty and eternal God, who dost also not exclude from thy mercy the Jews: hear our prayers, which we offer for the blindness of that people; that acknowledging the light of thy Truth, which is Christ, they may be delivered from their darkness. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Then, in 2009, he lifted an excommunication off of a British Bishop who denies that Jews were killed in Nazi gas chambers.

Me thinks, this guy is about as hard to decode as the Latin language. Nicer then some Popes have been, but tricky, yeah? Does he do it on purpose? Sorry Father, but Israel will not be embracing Jesus any time in the near future…at least, not on any sweeping basis…

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