Wednesday, February 27, 2008

View from the Jewish side

Ever since the New Catholic Encyclopedia came out (in 15 volumes) in 2003, I have used it as a sort of general purpose encyclopedia of religion - looking up articles on Buddhist holidays, the differences between Lutheran synods, etc. Then last year the library got the latest edition of Encyclopaedia Judaica (in 22 volumes!), but I never thought to use it in the same way - until last week. My eyes are opening!

Just out of curiosity, I decided to look up "Church, Catholic" in the Jewish encyclopedia. It was a respectful article, but very painfully factual about centuries of the Church's mistrust, prejudice, hatred, and violence toward Jews. It ends with information about current attempts at apologies and reconciliation, but I was left feeling deep shame. This was a watershed moment in my personal education. I had always had a vague notion that the Catholic Church had not treated Jews well, but never knew the particulars. Once again, I realize how much I have left to learn! A lifetime is never enough for the important things.


  1. The Catholic Church does have an unsavory past. We just hope that 1. these terrible things don't happen again and 2. we learn the lesson.

  2. Until the Catholic Church EMBRACES everyone as a child of God in humility and love, it will always find someone to pick on. Learnt its lesson? I don't think so. And please don't think the Church is against whomever (Muslims/GLBTQs) because they are "sinful." That's what the Church said for centuries about Jews, too.


What do you think?