Orthodox Christianity and anti-Semitism

April 25th, 2007

Not much time for posting these days, but here are a couple of items.

First, have you heard of the Greek Orthodox custom of Burning Judas? No, neither had I. This came courtesy of Abravanel

Easter in the christian orthodox tradition has always a far greater weight than Christmas and it’s celebrations are always solemn in churches and joyous in the countryside.

One of the characteristic celebrations is the “Burning of Judas” which is also presented as the “Burning of the Jew” and at least in one place as the “Burning of the Nigger”. In the last days of Easter a stuffed doll in humanlike dimensions is being prepared, stuffed with inflammable material and often with fireworks. It is hanged, in some places shot upon and ultimately burned. All this is accompanied by insults, curses but also great joy from the children. In the past it was also a chance for an occasional outburst of the population as various ethnographic and literary sources tell us; the mob set fire to a house or two in the local jewish neighbourhood but usually it was reduced to stone throwing - almost never human casualties were noted but an occasional beating of a jew found nearby, wasn’t completely rare. Of course all these happened where jewish communities were present; lacking jews the “Burning of the Jew/Judas” took a more folkloristic turn with absolutely no physical violence involved and this is the form we find it today.

More on the topic of Orthodox Loving God and Hating Jews.

I know little of the Greek Orthodox Church, so am relying on zorkmidden of Discarded Lies, who points to this small note of hope: Priests: Remove anti-Semitic liturgy

A group of 12 Orthodox priests have called on their Church to review its longstanding theological positions toward Jews and the State of Israel, and to excise anti-Semitic passages from its liturgy.

Sadly, only twelve just men. I hope they succeed.

Sadly, there are some Orthodox Christians who propagate disgusting anti-Semitism under the banner of Orthodoxy, which is incompatible with Christianity," said Rev. Innokenty Pavlov, professor of theology at Moscow's Biblical Theological Institute.

"We have to raise our voices and call on Orthodox laity and the Church leadership to formulate an official position of the Orthodox Church toward our relations with Judaism, as it was formulated a few decades ago by the Catholic Church," he added, referring to the Second Vatican Council of 1962 to 1965.

Enough of bad Catholics, here are some good ones

March 30th, 2007

Tired of ignorant Irish bishops likening Gaza to a prison? Or prejudiced German bishops comparing Jewish self-defence to Nazi behaviour?

Let us recall some good Catholics. The German bishops who likened Israel to their own Nazi forebears might learn a lesson from this Polish woman. Irena Sendler was among their victims.

Irena Sendler saved nearly 2,500 Jewish children from the Nazis, organizing a ring of 20 Poles to smuggle them out of the Warsaw Ghetto in baskets and ambulances.

The Nazis arrested her, but she didn’t talk under torture. After she survived the war, she expressed regret - for doing too little.

The German Catholic bishops should humbly note the following detail.

Lawmakers in Poland’s Senate disagreed Wednesday, unanimously passing a resolution honoring her and the Polish underground’s Council for Assisting Jews, of which her ring of mostly Roman Catholics was a part.

Reminder: the bishops were not even brave enough to criticize Israel while they were there, but waited until they were safely in the land of her enemies.
It took additional courage for these Polish Catholics to do so much for Jews, not just in the face of Nazi dangers, but threats from fellow Poles.

Allegations of anti-Semitism in Poland have continued to the present day.

Kaczynski’s government has been chided for its coziness with Roman Catholic Radio Maryja, which aired a commentary last year accusing Jews of ”trying to force our government to pay extortion money disguised as compensation payments” for property lost during World War II, saying it was part of a ”Holocaust business.”

Poland’s chief rabbi was punched and attacked with what appeared to be pepper spray in downtown Warsaw last year in what police said may have been an anti-Semitic attack.

And let us not forget the heroic Odoardo Focherini.

The Catholic journalist Odoardo Focherini saved more than 100 Jews before he died in a concentration camp during World War II, at the age of 37.

He was remembered recently by the Catholic Union of the Italian Press on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth. "The journalist was the administrative director of L'Avvenire d'Italia and president of the Italian segment of Catholic Action."

Focherini organized a network to move Jews out of Italy to safety in Switzerland. He was arrested for this on March 11, 1944. After stops in several prisons, he died from an infected leg wound on Dec. 27, 1944, in the Hersbruck concentration camp in Germany

The Leopard

March 23rd, 2007

The leopard cannot change its spots, we are told. Christian Aid is not a leopard, though ? it is an organization made up of human beings with free will, who can make choices either for or against evil. In their case, the spots are more like boils, filled with? oh, never mind. You might be eating something as you read this.

Christian Aid supports Palestinian terrorists who have stated openly that they will ?drink the blood of Jews?, and refuse to recognize the Jewish State.

Lift boycott on new Palestinian government says Christian Aid

The UK government must engage with Palestinian political leaders to end the humanitarian crisis and revive the peace process, following the formation of a national unity government. If the crippling boycott of the Occupied Palestinian Territories continues public administration will collapse, Christian Aid has warned.

Rival politicians from Hamas and Fatah announced the formation of the national unity government on Saturday after months of negotiations. This is a bold initiative that deserves international recognition and support.

Just because two terrorist gangs have joined up to form one big terrorist gang doesn?t make them any better.

The Palestinian Authority has been starved of funds since Hamas was elected in January 2006. Israel has also been withholding millions it owes the Palestinian Authority in tax revenues.

Ah, poor things! But, wait a minute ? what?s this?

Palestinian aid rises to $1.2 b.

International aid to the Palestinians grew from about $1 billion in 2005 to more than $1.2 billion in 2006, despite a boycott of the Hamas-led government, officials said Wednesday.

Much of it was emergency aid from Europe, the United Nations and the Arab world that was funneled to people outside the government to ease a humanitarian crisis largely triggered by the international sanctions.

But Christian Aid prefers it to go the Combined-Terrorist-Government which refuses to recognize Israel or to renounce violence.

Distorted vision

March 14th, 2007

Some damage limitation has been operating since the German Bishops told us how they really felt about Israel. Is it cynical to suspect that this is only because there were so many protests about them likening Israelis to Nazis?

More Catholic and Anglican failure to see the obvious is demonstrated in Dr Irene Lancaster’s The Blind Leading the Blind

Interesting that the Catholic Tablet of March 10th devotes a long article to a Catholic Bishop who supports Venezuelan 'acclaimed populist leader, Hugo Chavez'. The author of this article states that Chavez 'has ... been the object of charater assassination - not least in Britain - which suggests, mendaciously, that he is an anti-Semitic dicator ....'

I think people can judge for themselves.


But then, there was another populist leader once and the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to that one as well, when it wasn't actually endorsing him.

So no wonder it can report the recent statement made by Catholic German Bishops here in the 'Holy Land', in which the Warsaw Ghetto (as seen in Yad Vashem) is compared to the 'Ramallah ghetto', not as a Catholic prejudice but simply as 'Germans re-open old wounds'

Irene points out something forgotten by those who are keen to blame Israel for all the problems of the Palestinians.

As my grandmother, who I never knew, died in the Warsaw Ghetto at the hands of German and Polish Catholics, I take great exception to the present generation of German Catholics comparing Ramallah, which is under the jurisdiction of Hamas, and before that of Arafat and his cronies, to the unspeakable cesspit in which my grandmother and millions like her, perished for the crime of being Jewish.

The writer of the Tablet article (Hugh O’Shaunessy) also dismissed Chavez reference to Bush as “the Devil” as a mere ‘diplomatic blunder’. If Bush called Chavez the Devil, would he laugh that off as a little diplomatic blunder, also? I could make a diplomatic blunder or two about the writer, but enough of that. Mention of the Devil has just reminded me of the St John Chrysostom theory of road resurfacing in hell. Maybe it's paved with a few skulls of journalists as well as bishops.

I wish I'd said that...

March 9th, 2007

...but I didn't. Catholic Friends of Israel comments on the German Bishops who likened Israel to the Nazis.

'Cardinal Joachim Meisner, the Archbishop of Cologne, added, as the group crossed an Israeli counter-terrorism checkpoint into eastern Jerusalem, “This is something that is done to animals, not to people." He said the security fence sparked memories of the Berlin Wall.'

What memories, Herr Meisner? Memories of German Catholic equivocation with regard to the two Germanys? I've got a news flash for you, comrade, the Berlin wall was put up to keep people inside a totalitarian country. Israel's security barrier was constructed to keep your friendly, peaceful Palestinians from turning Jewish busses into portable Auschwitz ovens.

Where are these smug bastards when the body parts of Jewish children are strewn all over the wreckage of Sbarro's Pizza? Where are our "pro-life" Bishops when an eight-month pregnant Jewish mother and her three daughters are executed by Palestinians who will later get a heroes welcome in the PA-controlled areas?

Read the rest of it, too.