Behind the Scenes, Pope Francis Is Moving
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  • wigwag

    “But John XXIII is beloved by liberal Catholics; he was the pope who convened the Second Vatican Council and proclaimed it his mission to update the church for modern times.” (Walter Russell Mead)

    While it may not have been related to the decision to canonize him, Pope John, XXIII was also beloved by the Jews. While Pope Benedict was marching in the Hitler Youth, Angelo Giuseppe Roncali was saving the lives of tens of thousands of Jews racing to escape from the Nazis. There are literally hundreds of thousands of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of these Jewish refugees alive today because of the courageous action that Roncali took in the 1930s.

    Roncali removed the description of Jews as “perfidious” from the Good Friday liturgy and he was the first Pope to apologize and confess the

    • Tom

      The part where Benedict was a teenager and John was an adult at the time should also be remembered.

      • wigwag

        It is true; Benedict was a child when he became a member of the Hitler Youth. Nothing in his later life demonstrated a sympathy for Nazis or Naziism. As Pope, Benedict did make some efforts to reach out to Jews and he was better than some of his predecessors when it came to Catholic-Jewish relations but certainly not as good as either Roncali or Karol Wojtyla.

        You should also remember that Benedict made some highly unpopular and deeply offensive decisions including the repopularization of the Tridentine Mass which includes a Good Friday prayer referring to the “blindness” and “darkness” of Jews (the Muslim Brotherhood could hardly have said it any more clearly).

        Then there was the decision to reverse the excommunication of the Holocaust denying Bishop Richard Williamson and the Beatification of Pius XII. The behavior of Pius during World War II was ambiguous at best and his role in the Orphans Controversy is viewed with suspicion by Jews for obvious reasons. It is hard for a Jew to understand why anyone would choose to revere Pius XII as a Saint.

        On the other hand, it is easy to understand why everyone would revere Roncali as a saint. I’m no expert in Catholic theology, but isn’t one of the signs of sainthood performing a requisite number of miricles? Roncali performed thousands of miricles; to see how many, just count the number of Jews he saved from the Nazis. Then count how many of their off-spring are alive today.

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