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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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But on the other hand, you know, this certainly is a serious crisis in Jewish-Catholic relations. And I think it will probably leave behind a residue of ambivalence and doubt about where exactly the pope comes down that will not be easy to erase.
Probably the next major test of what the future of the relationship will be will come in May when Benedict XVI is scheduled to visit Israel. I think, in some ways, this will be analogous to the trip he took in late November and early December 2006, which -- to Turkey, which came three months after he had given a very controversial lecture in which he quoted a 14th-century Byzantine emperor to the effect that Muhammad, the founder of Islam, had brought things only evil and inhuman. That set off a firestorm of protest in the Islamic world.
Benedict's trip to Turkey gave him an opportunity to exercise some damage control. And by all accounts, he did that quite artfully.
Clearly, assuming it goes ahead, his trip to Israel this May will be another chapter in his attempt to heal what is right now a very badly fractured relationship with another religious community, in this case, Judaism.
Caught this on today's run from last night's Lehrer News Hour. John Allen is one of the really good religion reporters out there. Read it all.
Filed under: * International News & Commentary Middle East Israel * Religion News & Commentary Inter-Faith Relations Other Churches Roman Catholic Pope Benedict XVI Other Faiths Judaism
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