Monday, 11 May 2009

Member of the Israeli Knesset tells Pope: You are Not Welcome.

A friend has sent me an article that appeared in the Israeli press, in which Nitzan Horovitz, a member of Israel’s parliament tells the Pope that he is not welcome in Israel.


Curiously, Horovitz is not a member of the right wing majority running the Jewish state but a member of parliament representing Meretz, a very small left of centre party. As such, I expected him to concentrate his efforts on sorting out Jewish religious coercion in Israel before telling the, at least formally, spiritual representative of a sixth of the world’s population that he is not welcome in Israel.


Horovitz, unnecessarily, hauls Ratzinger’s membership as a 14 year-old boy of the Hitler youth. He also makes much of the holocaust denying Bishop Williamson saga. The Williamson affair is an annoying mishap but it is a mishap. I do not believe that the Pope was aware of the holocaust denial of Williamson when he readmitted him to the Church. Popes run big operations and whoever had arranged for this schismatic group to return to the fold of the Church would not have bothered to report to the Pope that there was a problem with Williamson.


I fully agree with Horovitz that it is wrong to oppose the use of condoms and that especially in Africa this is a significant obstacle in the fight against AIDS. I also agree that gays should not be discriminated against in any area, including matrimony. I do not quite understand what business it is of this Jewish member of the Israeli parliament whether Catholic priests may or may not get married. They are not likely to be his constituents, are they?


My credentials are clear: In Double Cross: The Code of the Catholic Church, I called for the Catholic Church to be dismantled. But, Horovitz’s personal attack on the Pope is misguided. The problem is not the persona of this man but the institution that is unable to change. 


  1. Hi,

    I am a newcommer to your blog. It is a very interesting post (the previous one as well).

    I am curious of what you think of the recent developments at Yad-Va-Shem, where the Pope used the word "killed" to describe what happen to "innocent civilians" during the Holocaust. In addition he did not mention a few seemingly important points: The number (6 milion), the group of people who caused the Holocaust (Germans, Nazi), antisemitism or anti-Judaism, or finally the part the church played (or should I say did not play) in the war.


  2. Thank you Elad for your kind words.

    Visits to Yad Vashem by foreign dignitaries are a problematic issue, let alone when the dignitary is not only a German but also the head of the Catholic Church.

    There was little incentive for the Pope to veer from the Church’s language on the occasion of this visit, as I don’t think that he could have pleased Israel, whatever he would have said, without totally reneging on Church policy.