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Friends in High Places - Pope John Paul II, Hamas' Pope

Reader comment on item: The Vatican Confronts Islam

Submitted by Poles for Israel (United States), Jul 18, 2006 at 14:12

During Pope John Paul II's pilgrimage to the Holy Land which lasted from March 21 till March 26, 2000 protesting Jews were holding posters that read: "Pius XII – Hitler's Pope, John Paul II – Hamas' Pope." You can see these scenes in the newly released Polish film about this pilgrimage entitled The Double Promised Land.

In the aftermath of Vatican Council II the then Card. K. Wojtyla had written book entitled Grounds of Renewal which was intended to be a "synthesis of the most important teachings of Vatican Council II". There is no Polish edition of The Documents of Vatican II comparable to the American edition of 1966. Card. Wojtyla's book published belatedly in 1972 presented the documents of Vatican II to the Polish laity in a censored, or should I say, distorted version, especially the documents relating to the Christian-Jewish relations. Commenting on the words of Rom 11:28 ("the Jews still remain most dear to God…") quoted in Lumen Gentium, Card. Wojtyla remarked sardonically, "These words apply to the Jews who received Christ not." Card. Wojtyla did not quote Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions which could inform his Polish readers that: "The Church recalls too that from the Jewish people sprang the apostles, her foundation stones and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ to the world."

What Card. K. Wojtyla started, Pope John Paul II continued. In the above mentioned Declaration you can read: "In company with the prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and ‘serve him with one accord' (Soph 3:9; cf. Is 66:23; Ps 65:4; Rom. 11:11-32)." The quotations of the Old Testament suggest that the Lord whom all peoples will address in a single voice is the God of the Hebrew Bible, not of the New Testament. What is even more striking; a reference to "conversion" of the Jews was removed from an earlier version of this Declaration. And look how Pope John Paul II distorted this teaching of Vatican II in his book Crossing the Threshold of Hope: "The time when the people of the Old Covenant will be able to see themselves as part of the New is, naturally, a question to be left to the Holy Spirit. We, as human beings, try only not to put obstacles in the way" (p. 100). You see, there God alone knows when all people will address the Lord in a single voice; here the time when that happens is to be left to the Holy Spirit. You will grasp the full meaning of that change while contemplating the swastika shape of the Holy Spirit, the Protector of the Diocese of Arras in France. Recall that a certificate of baptism saved lives of Jews in Nazi occupied Europe.

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