Tons of great stuff...

| this week's Word from Rome.

But first, a disclaimer: I don't agree with the National Catholic Reporter on many things, but John Allen is a great journalist. His column is always full of solid reporting with true balance. Occasionally, I don't agree with the tone of something he writes, but it's very rarely and usually a very mild offense.

Anyway, on to the Word.

Allen discusses the Pope's views on Islam, including a lengthy excerpt from Ratzinger's The Salt of the Earth discussing Islam.

He also discusses the Vatican-Israeli dispute that occurred this week, including one possibility for Israel's drastic over-reaction:

Some looked to explain the harshness of the Israeli reaction. One commentator suggested the broadside was an excuse to scuttle a meeting between Israeli and Vatican negotiators scheduled for Monday, to discuss agreements on the financial and juridical status of church institutions in Israel. Those negotiations have been dragging on for 11 years.

Others suggested that traditional Jewish sensitivity to alleged papal "silences" on anti-Semitism, and not the specifics of the current negotiations, were more likely the underlying motive.

Whatever the case, sources tell NCR that the Israeli/Holy See negotiations are currently stalled, among other things, over the question of what force an agreement would have under Israeli law. In essence, the Israelis want the agreement to be subject to the ordinary legislative process, so that if the Knesset decides a year from now to overhaul the country's tax system, church institutions would be included. Vatican negotiators insist that the point of a bilateral agreement is that its terms cannot be unilaterally altered by one party.

Optimism that an agreement could be worked out quickly seems, in the wake of this dispute as well as the new diplomatic flap, to have abated.

Perhaps the biggest news in the Word is that Allen has heard that the next World Youth Day will be held in Sydney, Australia in 2008. That's great and all, but it doesn't look like a party me and the fam are gonna be able to attend.

There's also a peculiar piece concerning the United Nations. I don't understand all of the U.N. politics involved, but the gist seems to be that some European countries want to "eliminate the distribution of emergency food in Africa and other famine-stricken regions," alleging that the U.S. uses these distributions as an outlet for surplus agricultural goods. One U.S. ambassador is outraged and is asking the Holy See to weigh in.

I'm not sure why these distributions are supposed to be harmful. The food is going to feed starving people who couldn't otherwise purchase it. Furthermore, the European idea of replacing those distributions with cash donations handled by the United Nations seems to rank somewhere behind Crystal Pepsi on the All Time Greatest Ideas list - why not just have the Chicago Water Department handle it? Allen doesn't discuss the implications, but it would be interesting to see if the Holy See takes the side of the U.S. against the E.U in this debate.

Anyway, like I said, lots of good stuff here.

Bookmark and Share


Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Papa-Lu published on July 30, 2005 8:27 AM.

Tell me again what Republicans are good for? was the previous entry in this blog.

Worse and worse is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.