I found the weirdest piece of news on my day off from my new temp job. It’s ridiculous enough to write a post on it:
A re-established and self declared Israeli Sanhedrin, the religious High Court composed of 71 sages, has declared that it is putting Pope Francis on trial unless he retracts his statement that the Jews have no right to the land of Israel or to Jerusalem.
In February 2013, the Vatican officially recognized the “State of Palestine” but more significantly, the Vatican signed a treaty in June with “Palestine” in which the Holy See switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the “State of Palestine”. This treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and as such, constitutes an official recognition.
The trial and judgment will be on September 20th, 2015. If Pope Francis chooses to ignore the summons, he will be judged in absentia.
Here is the letter the “Sanhedrin” issued on the matter:
“Because the Vatican recognized the organization known as the Palestinian Authority as a nation, and has begun to refer to it as a nation in its documents. His honor has named the head of said authority as an ‘Angel of Peace’, as was explained by a spokesman for the Vatican, that his intention was to encourage Abu Mazen to advance towards peace. These actions, to our great dismay, are consistent with a long series of actions and stances that are as in the days of the Roman Catholic Religion, that swore to persecute Israel because we refused to accept their Messiah as the Messiah of Israel, and to renounce our faith. The recent announcements and actions of the Vatican are a rebuke to the Jewish Nation and to the Bible, which you use to interpret the prophecies, as if God has abandoned his original Nation of Israel. Reality has proven the opposite to be true.”
“We require from you an apology for your recognizing as a nation those who stole the land, those who are known as the Palestinian Authority, and we are informing the Vatican that the sole God given right to the land of Israel is to the Nation of Israel. If His Honor the Pope, and the Vatican, do not apologize within two weeks of receiving this letter, and if he does not change his ways, we shall judge these actions in the Court of Mount Zion, in a court of 71 Jewish elders of Zion, and enact the prophecy of ‘The liberators will rise up upon Mount Zion, to judge the Mountain of Esau and the kingdom shall be God’s’ (Obadiah 1:21). The court shall judge the Vatican in its presence or in absentia, and it is possible that the Vatican will be found guilty of anti-Semitism, as has been known to be done several times throughout history, and to place responsibility upon the Vatican for all of the outcomes of its actions.”
The Elders, it must be said, have no legal authority:
The Sanhedrin has no political or legal status, and clearly has no authority over the Vatican…
It would be interesting to see who they would turn the pope over to execute whatever the sentence might be. This is an odd, very odd, development that seems to have sacrificed the developments documented in John Connelly From Enemy to Brother: The Revolution in Catholic Teaching on the Jews, 1933-1965 for a rigidly nationalistic reading of Francis’s attempts to negotiate between Israel and the state of Palestine.
Such mock trials are a demonstration of the lengths we all will go through to scapegoat others in order to keep up the myth of being eternal enemies. As Rene Girard frequently points out, the victim is the ultimate value everyone in the world agrees upon (and it is a Jewish and Christian value).
The perversity lies in the fact that victim status is frequently used to justify victimizing others (think: America after 9/11) as is frequently the case when it comes to both sides in the Palestine v. Israel conflict.
Everything can be used in a perverse manner, as was the crucifixion of Jesus by Catholics for ages. I can only imagine this trial will only encourage the latent anti-Semitism in some Catholic circles.
This is why we can’t have nice things.
I really do hope this is a really bad joke, but everything indicates that it isn’t.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0Zxd5jp-lI