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Top 10 Questions for the Pope

Top 10 Questions for the Pope

As the Pope visits Israel, what key issues would you raise?

by Aish.com Staff

On May 11-15, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Israel.

We asked Aish.com readers: If you could have a private audience to ask the Pope any question, what would it be?

There were over 100 great questions submitted in the comments section, and from there we identified the Top 10:

1) When will the Church address the question of Jewish manuscripts and Holy Temple vessels that may be in possession of the Vatican? Will you allow Israeli officials to search the hidden vaults?

2) How can the Jewish people feel part of a trusting relationship, in light of the failure of the Church and Pope Pius XII to speak out and act while Jews were being decimated in the Holocaust? And what is the Catholic Church doing today to prevent the rising anti-Semitism in Europe today?

3) How should Jews react to your move this year to reinstate Holocaust-denier Bishop Richard Williamson?

4) Why does the Church hold such a pro-Palestinian stand, like the recent comment accusing Israel of treating Gaza like a "big concentration camp"? And how do you explain your position of expecting Israel to give land away, in light of the clear biblical idea that the Land of Israel has been given to the children of Israel and is sealed by a covenant for all time?

5) Why did it take until 1993 for the Vatican to formally recognize Israel, and why does the Vatican continue to refuse to appoint an ambassador to Israel?

6) At which point will the Vatican stand up and actively fight the threats of Islamic fundamentalism worldwide?

7) Do you believe that the only way to God is through Jesus, and without Jesus that all wind up burning in hell? If "yes," then can you honestly befriend any non-Christians without hypocrisy?

8) I understand that you have reinstated a prayer calling for the conversion of the Jews. Is this true, and why would you bring back such an offensive practice?

9) Will the Catholic Church join the wider Christian movement in allowing priests to marry?

10) Regardless of the past, how do you intend to nurture future relations with the Jewish people, in and outside of Israel?

Click here to read all the submitted questions.

Published: May 9, 2009


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Visitor Comments: 29

(28) Jamil, May 5, 2014 10:12 PM

Great Questions: a Response

These were great questions. Although the majority are to the matter, there are a few, however, that need a response from a Catholic POV. I am, however, not defending the Catholic position and answer outside of either side of this equation, as an objective observer.

1) I'm wondering this too. Needs to happen asap! Give back to
Israel what is Israel's!

2) Agreed.

3) Bishop Richard Williamson was not, in fact, "reinstated." He remains outside the fold. He was offered an opportunity to reconcile and is not explicitly excommunicated anymore, but he IS excommunicated by virtue of his schismatic status. He is not and can not serve as a "Catholic" in any manner (ie. he has no ministerial faculties).

6) I have to admit that I thought the Vatican had opposed Islamic fundamentalism almost too harshly. Remember Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's harsh statements about the sword of Islam?

7) Catholics do believe this, but not as an explicit matter but as a matter of ontology. Instead, the church clearly notes that God alone saves based on the heart and His judgement, although even an atheist who is "saved" is saved, ontologically, through Jesus.

8) I believe I did hear something about this. However, as an objective commentator here, I have to admit that there are equal issues on both sides of the fence here. Recall the daily prayers of the Siddur that thank G-d for not creating one a Goi.

9) Only time will tell. This is a practice not a dogma.

10) Can't wait to see, but I pray more of this will happen.

(27) Margaret, May 14, 2009 5:32 PM

A thought

Rabbi David Rosen might be a good starting point for many of the questions. He used to be the Chief Rabbi of Ireland. He is currently the chairman of the International Jewish Committe on Interreligious Consultation

(26) julia, May 14, 2009 12:05 AM

Catholic Bashing

I wanted to respond to the Catholic gentleman and thank him for his support. As a convert I spent a lot of time hearing other people's opinions of Judaism. You are a healthy, well adjusted individual who knows what they stand for. There are a lot of people who are passionate, but they don't exactly have it all worked out. Coming across those people is always jarring & a surprise. Thank you for knowing who you are and reminding me that there are just as many normal & passionate people as there only seem to be of those closet nuts that leave a more blunt impression. In short, You Rock!

(25) Kevin, May 12, 2009 11:32 PM

A Catholic In Support Of The Nation Of Isreal

I'm a Catholic and a proud citizen of the United States of America. I do NOW, and have ALWAYS supported the State of Isreal, and will, whenever given the chance, be a strong defender of the Jewish faith. My support of Isreal is even more strident than many fellow Americans I know who are Jews themselves, and I am always at the ready to do battle at the slightest sign of anti-Semitism when and whereever I find it. This will not change. But I am disheartened, and I can say right now that I am completely fed up with the ongoing Cathilic bashing that is on display by certain members of the left wing of the political spectrum, and SO many within the Jewish faith itself. While I have been a subscriber to this website for as long as I have, I am close to cancelling because I am offended by positions and remarks so readily directed at my Catholic Faith, which I am confronted with on the Aish website, far too frequently. Please note that the overwhelming majority of Catholic Americans feel, as I do, a compelling necessity to defend Judaism AND and the State of Isreal. Not quite as an aside, we are all now finally aware of the atrocities that are taking place in Darfur but few know that prior to this current genecide, through the entire '90s approximately 2 million Christians werer eradicated from the Sudan and no one said a word THEN, and no one mentions it NOW.

(24) Wassim, May 12, 2009 6:17 PM

Reply to #18

Yes, I know it's a Jewish site, that's why I love it so much, because I'm in the process of converting to Judaism. I am only Muslim by birth and name, my thinking is much more Jewish than I am Muslim. You say that "the questions submitted reflect Vatican's relation with the Jews/State of ISrael"... Oh, now I understand... you don't want to push him into a corner where he is forced to lie about Mary's "virginity", because you want better relations between the Vatican and the Jews/Israel... I can see the merits of that strategy, I just hope it works (I predict it won't). I think it's much wiser to put another dent in the Pope's credibility. Historically the Pope is not an ally of Jews. The only thing differentiating this Pope from Pius XII is geopolitical circumstances. Israel is too strong now a days, so some people are trying to be your friends, when under different circumstances and different times you'd see their true colours more clearly... but perhaps I'm wrong. Best wishes either way. Thanks for your feedback.

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