The Pope Francis Effect and Catholic-Jewish Relations The_Pope_Francis_Effect - Page 12

those who remembered Herzl’s diary post describing his 1904 audience with Pope Pius X, when he entreated rear their heads during his tenure, and are worth watching. Nonetheless, there are at least two challenges that may Catholicism’s leader to support the Zionist effort to establish One is theological/liturgical, and the other is historical. a Jewish state in Palestine. Herzl set down Pius X’s response: The former relates to the extraordinary rite (Tridentine) version of the Good Friday prayer “For the We cannot give approval to this movement. We Jews” promulgated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. It cannot prevent the Jews from going to Jerusalem— includes the hope, “May the Lord our God illuminate their but we could never sanction it. The soil of Jerusalem, hearts so that they may recognize Jesus Christ as savior if it was not always sacred, has been sanctified by of all men,” and “as the fullness of peoples enter into your the life of Jesus Christ. As the head of the Church Church, all of Israel may be saved.” 22 This controversial I cannot tell you anything different. The Jews have prayer’s intent was cla rified by Cardinal Walter Kasper, not recognized our Lord, therefore we cannot president of the Vatican Commission for Religious recognize the Jewish people. 21 Relations with Jews, as an eschatological hope and not a call to conversion, but the contretemps may linger. 23 As a result of the unprecedented nature of Francis’ The proselytization of Jews, even implicit, remains a positive history and interactions with the Jewish community sensitive topic for the Jewish people. past and present, the Francis effect has arguably had a more significant impact upon Catholic-Jewish relations difficult to resolve: the historical record of Pope Pius XII than in other arenas. Therefore, in predicting the future of during the Holocaust years. This entails the opening of Catholic-Jewish relations during the Francis era it seems the relevant Vatican archives and the controversy over the unlikely preexisting strains will evolve into full confrontations beatification process for Pius XII. As Cardinal Bergoglio, during his pontificate. A combination of his empathy for Pope Francis called for the full opening of the archives so the Jewish people and a perception among Jews that he is the truth may be known. 24 Pope Francis’ recent comments a friend should mitigate any potential tensions. Whatever about Pope Pius XII reveal his belief that perhaps the The latter challenge is likely to be more serious and disagreements might arise between Catholics and Jews, it is clear in the post-Nostra Aetate era, even more so in the Francis era, that differences will be resolved, or at least discussed, among friends, and Pope Francis is certainly a friend. 21. Raphael Patai, ed., The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl (New York/ London: Herzl Press/Thomas Yoseloff, 1960), 4: 1603. 10 22. Pope Benedict XVI, “New Tridentine Rite Good Friday Prayer for Jews,” (July 7, 2007) cited in Dialogika, http://www.ccjr.us/dialogika-resources/ themes-in-todays-dialogue/pasttopics/good-friday-prayer/440-b1608feb5-1, accessed March 5, 2015. 23. John Thavis, “Vatican Cardinal Defends Reformulation of Tridentine Prayer for Jews,” Catholic News Service, (February 7, 2008), http://www. catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/0800734.htm, accessed March 5, 2015. 24. Bergoglio and Skorka, On Heaven and Earth, 183. 11