As the world mourns the death of the Pope, we are learning more about his feelings toward the Jewish people as “the older brothers “of Christianity. His visit to Jerusalem and the Kotel marked the high point of that relationship. A young man during the Holocaust, he spoke both publicly and privately about this indelible stain on Christianity. As cable television fills the hours with interviews, we are presented with individual stories of his sensitivity to the generations of Catholic anti-Semitism.
One such interview was with maestro James Levine, who related to Larry King, his personal relationships to the Pontiff. This included Bar Mitzvah presents to each of his children and a letter that was read in his Orthodox synagogue on one such occasion. He also related the fact that the Pope insisted that a concert dedicated to the memory of the Shoah take place within the Vatican.
Much has been written and verbalized on the heroic efforts of the Pope in helping to support Solidarity in Poland, as well as complementing President Reagan in their successful efforts to destroy Communism.
Amidst all the good we hear in this “PEOPLES POPE” I would like to comment on two areas which he did not address and should be on the agenda of his successor. Normally as a non-Catholic, papal issues should be beyond my area to comment on. However both issues do influence our world and our future as a society In addition I adhere to a Latin motto I learned a long time ago “NIL HUMANI A ME ALIENUM PUTO “ nothing human do I consider alien.
Despite all the good will that the Pope engendered, the Churches in Europe are less than overflowing. In fact they are empty. Europe has become a secular society. EVEN Italy instituted divorce laws. Ordinarily that would be none of my business. However, nature abhors a vacuum, and it is Islam that is filling that void .Because of an extremely low birth rate which is insufficient to reproduce its population and the aging of the population a severe shortage of workers is developing ,necessary to maintain the “Welfare State “ in Europe. This void is being filled by immigrants from N Africa, who do not integrate into society .Moreover the mosques they build are financed and staffed by Saudi Arabia which exports its Wahabee brand of Islamic fundamentalism.
This problem is not new, but only now being recognized by governments and leaders.
From the point of view of concerned citizens of the world, it is time for European governments to deport those clergy who preach hate, violence, and non- integration. by immigrants into general society. Immigration must be restricted. The Church must get its House in order to meet this challenge
Secondly was the total failure of the Pope to crack down on the sex scandals that rocked the church both morally and financially. I wonder could it be that this pathology is limited to American Clergy. Perhaps an attempt to explore these issues in a public arena would raise questions about celibacy which strikes at the very basic religious orthodoxy of the church.
But sex scandals as I learned are not limited to the Church. I LIVED THROUGH THE LANNER ERA AT THE ORTHODOX UNION, AND WAS CRITICIZED AND OSTRACIZED FOR BRINGING ABOUT A FULL AND PUBLIC INVESTIGATION.( that scandel was limited to one person,and did not involve pedophilia,but rather mental,psychological and sexual abuse)
SEX scandals like white collar crime are part of the human experience, and religious and communal leadership must stand up on behalf of society ,even when it may be politically incorrect.