Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ruth Ellen Gruber on Pope John Paul II

Ruth Ellen Gruber meets Pope John Paul II as part of a Jewish delegation in February 1995

Ruth Ellen Gruber Remembers Pope John Paul II

Ruth Ellen Gruber has written a very column remembering Pope John Paul II on the occasion of his beatification by the Roman Catholic Church. Ruth says that "the Polish-born pontiff was the best pope the Jewish world ever had." (She may be forgetting Pope Gregory VII in the 11th century).

Here is the article:

At a Jewish time of reflection, thoughts on a pope and Catholicism

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

ROME (JTA) -- Passover is over and Shavuot is weeks away. It's a season when Jews traditionally take time for contemplation and reflection.

This year, I've been reflecting on Catholicism. Rather on the complicated interfaith nexuses between Catholics and Jews.

In large part, of course, this is because of the beatification May 1 of Pope John Paul II.

Critics have questioned the decision by Pope Benedict XVI to waive the usual five-year waiting period and fast-track John Paul's road to sainthood.

And JP2 had his faults -- his handling of the priest sex abuse scandals has come under particular recent scrutiny.

But the Polish-born pontiff was the best pope the Jewish world ever had.

"There have been few times in the 2,000 years of Christian Jewish relations when Jews have shed genuine tears at the death of a Pope," the eminent Holocaust scholar Michael Berenbaum wrote in a recent column. "When Pope John Paul II died, I -- and many other Jews -- cried."

Read the whole article here.

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