Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yad Vashem Honors Byzantine Catholic Bishop

CWN is carrying this story on Blessed Pavol Gojdic, a Byzantine bishop who served in Slovakia during the period of the Holocaust. I was at Yad Vashem just last Friday. The story notes that some Jewish people believe Catholics in Solvaka assisted in their persecution. I can't speak to that, but I did note that the museum had two separate stations on the Catholic Church, both of which seemed to provide a less than positive commentary on the Church's relationship with Judaism, before and during the Holocaust.

The first reference mentioned the "ambivalent" attitude of the Church toward Jews, whom some believed were responsible for murdering their savior. This station had a quote from St. Augustine, unattributed if I recall correctly, mentioning that Christians should disperse the Jews, not kill them. I fon't know if he said any such thing, but without context, it's difficult to say whether he was advocating perscution or mercy.

The second reference dragged up the the accusations against Pope Pius XII, mentioning that the claims were controversial, yet not providing any hint that the claims had been soundly refuted... by Jews even.

All in all, I thought the museum was excellent, but I wish they would have presented a more balanced perspective in those two cases.
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