More Pope

18 February 2013

Maradiaga and the Jews

Another papal candidate with a ?

By David Guy (@5MFI)

The Pope matters. Since I wrote Papabile a new candidate with a history has caught the tipsters’ eyes: Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. Prof. Alan Dershovitz wrote in a letter to the editor of the Miami-Herald that Maradiaga was a notorious anti-Semite. (I wonder if the Cardinal could sue? That would be an interesting law suit). Intriguingly, Maradiaga together with Cardinals Cláudio Hummes was considered to be opposed to Ratzinger’s elevation to the papacy.

Cardinal Maradiaga, in a May 2002 interview with the Italian-Catholic publication 30 Giorni, claimed that in order to divert attention from the Israeli-Palestinian crisis; Jews influenced the media to exploit the current controversy regarding sexual abuse by Catholic priests. He later apologised to Abraham Foxman of the ADL, saying he never meant his remarks to be taken as an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory.

One must wonder. Was the apology as a man; as a politician or as an official of the Catholic Church?

It gave me considerable food for thought that, at a time of total media focus on developments in the Middle East with all the injustices being perpetrated against the Palestinian people, U.S. television and press people were obsessed with sex scandals of 30 or 40 years ago.

Cardinal Rodrigues Maradiaga

Cardinal Oscar Maradiaga

Oscar Maradiaga (Honduras  71)
Instinctively blames Jews?

Jew Hatred is a basic part of Catholic Christianity. To deny it is to deny the Gospels and much of the last two thousand years up to modern times. It is clear that many Christians, among them many Catholics, no longer feel this way. Maradiaga may well have spoken without reflection but his instinct to blame the Jews and, of all the issues in the world, to pick the Palestinian, itself is damning.

Perhaps scarier is Maradiaga’s connections with South American revolutionaries. He was  accused by deposed President Manuel Zelaya of conspiring and collaborating with the coup leaders against him in the 2009 Honduras Coup. Whether that is proven or not, his statements could well have been understood as indicative of where the Church stood.

Where as Pope would he stand in an effort to overthrow the state of Israel? I expect it would not be with us.

Further reading:

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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