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Chief Rabbinate clashes with Vatican

Israel’s Chief Rabbinate broke relations with the Vatican and abandoned a scheduled conference. The move is unrelated to theological differences: Israeli Rabbinate has no problem cooperating with those whom its members deride in daily prayers as idolaters; isn’t it funny when the rabbis sit at a conference with Catholics, then retreat to say Aleinu prayer which vilifies them, and then return to the conference?

The break with the Vatican is also unrelated to burning issues such as the ownership of immensely valuable Jewish manuscripts confiscated by the Vatican after pogroms. Nor is the Israeli Rabbinate concerned about a flood of anti-Semitic incitement from Catholic pulpits from Poland to Venezuela.

The rift relates to a technical decision by the Pope to rescind excommunication of a marginal fundamentalist group, one of whose members denies the Holocaust. Would the rabbis abandon their relationship with Israel because there are many Neo-Nazis here?

The Vatican has largely ignored the fulminating Jews: in response to the Chief Rabbinate’s note of protest, its director got merely a call from the Vatican’s secretary. In a goodwill gesture, the Pope expressed his solidarity with Jews.

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