Pope Benedict's visit Jan. 17 to the Great Synagogue of Rome caused quite a stir in some quarters. NCR senior correspondent John L Allen Jr. wrote about visit, , and later tried to eplain it, Making Sense of Benedict’s Jewish Policy, and later to put it into context, A theologian-pope sidelines theology.
Over on Belief.net, Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, comments on Allen's analysis, Making Sense of Benedict XVI. Read the full column, but here's the money quote:
... it's remarkable hubris on our part to assume that the leader of more than 1 billion Catholics is primarily concerned with us! We need to get over ourselves, don't you think? I will say this though about Allen's analysis of the Pope's thinking: anyone who thinks that they can be whoever they want to be internally, without that effecting who they are in the "outside world", is seriously kidding themselves. So while I have no concerns for example, about Catholics returning to a mass which occasionally includes a prayer for the conversion of the Jews, perhaps they should - not for our sake, but for their own.
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