Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Anyone Want a Chip?

Currently Pope Benedict is touring the Middle East an area that has been in conflict for many generations. From the Crusade through today the Church has been smack in the middle of the whole affair. Regrettably, not all of the conduct conducted on the part of the Church has been in the best interest of humanity. I mean after all, slaughtering cities full of people in the name of God may have been acceptable foreign policy back then but clearly we as a people have grown well beyond that period. Clearly the Pope is an emissary of Peace. He does not take sides. His mantra like any of the modern Popes before him has been in the interest of peace and justice for all. There are and candidly in our faith cannot be any distinctions. Which brings me to the point of this post.

Despite best intentions and the apparent adjustments to the Holy See PR apparatus the trip has had the result of the Holy Father being used like a cheap prop in a grammar school play. Both sides, the Israeli and Palestinian have attempted to manipulate each and every public event to their political advantage while alternately bashing the Pope in the press for failure to show proper remorse.

Pope Benedict has made numerous, heartfelt and thorough apologies to both the Muslims and Jews for events that have transpired throughout history. He has maintained the posture that was employed by John Paul II in that no matter what stupidity the Church or people in her name have done, He as the Vicar of Christ would make amends, apologize and perform whatever acts of institutional or personal mortification had to be accomplished to show the true sadness and sorrow for these sins. Current events however beg the question, when is enough, enough?

His remarks at Israel's national Holocaust memorial were almost immediately condemned as incomplete citing the absence of the phrase "Nazi" and "murder". Israeli newspaper columnist Tom Segev wrote "One would have expected the Vatican's cardinals to prepare a more intelligent text for their boss.". Clearly, no effort on the part of this Pope or anyone else seems to be enough anymore.

Pope Benedict XVI went to the Middle East with the clear aim of promoting Peace, Love and Reconciliation between the Muslim and Jewish communities. By their conduct it is apparent that rather than embrace this message preached by Christ himself the vocal leaders of these two peoples just can't get that chip off their shoulder. It seems as if no matter what we as Christians try to do they still want to sack our cities or nail us to a tree.

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