Israel-Vatican ties: A complex relationship

Selected articles and opinion pieces pertaining to the controversies surrounding the ties.

pope Pius XII and williamson 248.88 (photo credit: AP)
pope Pius XII and williamson 248.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Vatican and Israel (and the Jewish people) have had a delicate relationship since establishing diplomatic ties in 1993. The following are selected articles and opinion pieces pertaining to the controversies surrounding the complex relations: Dear Bishop Williamson, by David Harris (Feb. 10, 2009) Bishop Williamson, what really explains your refusal to accept perhaps the most documented - and monstrous - crime in recorded history, a crime so unique that Churchill referred to it as "a crime without a name"? Rabbis after pope meeting: Williamson Crisis over (March 12, 2009) In a letter to the German Episcopate, released Thursday, Benedict admitted his error in the case, stating that a "mishap" had taken place due to the insufficient study of information taken from the Internet. Western Wall rabbi says pope should not wear cross at site (March 17, 2009) "My position is that it is not fitting to enter the Western Wall area with religious symbols, including a cross." Pius's pious pretension (Nov. 6, 2008) In Pius's case, sanctimonious affectation enveloped profound immorality - like failing to advise staunch Catholics in Germany, Poland and elsewhere in Europe that it's not nice to condemn people to extermination merely because they were born to Jewish parents. Haifa's chief rabbi makes unprecedented Vatican synod address (Oct. 7, 2008) Expresses his opposition to beatification of Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII last month during an unprecedented address before the Vatican's Synod of Bishops. Vatican historians discuss Pius XII at Yad Vashem (March 9, 2009) Gathering signals growing willingness on part of both Israeli and Vatican officials to try to resolve one of their most sensitive disagreements - the pope's action or inaction during the Nazi genocide. Israel outraged at cardinal's likening of Gaza to 'big concentration camp' (Jan. 8, 2009) Vatican Justice and Peace Minister Cardinal Renato Martino: "Defenseless populations are always the ones who pay. Look at the conditions in Gaza: more and more, it resembles a big concentration camp." Interior Minister Yishai against yielding sovereignty of 6 Christian sites to Vatican (May 4, 2009) Peres had asked to give up sovereignty over six sites, including the Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the Coenaculum on Mount Zion, Gethsemane on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, and the Church of the Multiplication on the Kinneret. Vatican envoy voices 'frustration' with Israel (Nov. 20, 2007) At the core of the dispute is hundreds of millions of shekels in overdue property tax that the Vatican and an array of Christian churches in Jerusalem owe the city. Vatican irked by 'blasphemous' Israeli TV show (Feb. 21, 2009) Channel 10 TV host Lior Shlein sarcastically denied Christian traditions - that Mary was a virgin and that Jesus walked on water - saying he was doing so as a "lesson" to Christians who deny the Holocaust.