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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘pope’

Pope Using Religious Terminology to Bewail ‘Plague of Terrorism’

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

Pope Francis has condemned the deadly terror attack on a nightclub in Istanbul, in which a gunman opened fire just one and a half hours into 2017 at revelers, killing at least 39 people and wounding at least 69.

Speaking to pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the New Year’s Day recitation, Pope Francis offered prayers for the victims and their families, as well as the whole Turkish people.

Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis said, “Deeply saddened, I express my closeness to the Turkish people, I pray for the many victims and the injured and for the whole nation in mourning, and I ask the Lord to support all people of good will who courageously roll up their sleeves to face the plague of terrorism and the bloody stain that envelops the world with a shadow of fear and bewilderment.”

The term “Plague of Terrorism” is relatively recent – the earliest mentions we could find are all later than 2010. It depicts terrorism not as a movement, an ideology, or a strategy – which all describe essentially human behavior, but rather as an act of nature or, if you will, something whose source might be supernatural.

Metropolitan Hilarion, a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church, proclaimed back in 2015 that “Terrorism is Satanism,” writing: “We must clearly realize that it is not a war of one religious confession against another. The very notion of ‘religious terrorism’ can only lead us astray. There is no religious terrorism whatsoever. Those who have unleashed this war do not deserve to be called the faithful. They are Satanists because they do the will of the Devil, bringing to people grief, death and destruction. They are cursed by both religious leaders of all confessions and ordinary people – believers and non-believers alike throughout the world. And the only way to cope with them is to destroy them systematically and purposefully, tracking them down wherever they are hiding and eliminating them collectively and individually, for each of them poses a threat to tens, hundreds and thousands of lives.”

A Pakistani blogger calling himself Tyler Durden (after the central protagonist and antagonist in Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel Fight Club), wrote in the summer of 2016 that “the plague of terrorism was born and nurtured in Afghanistan and Pakistan in prayer houses (mosques) of God under control of fundamentalist clergies trained and funded by the same country that has supported and granted sanctuary to tyrants, dictators, political criminals, unjust rulers, oppressors and murderers.”

Pointing out to a similar conversion of a religion into a Satanic, murderous cult, Tyler Durden asserts: “The plague spans not only the Muslim countries but even the USA and European nations. […] Whether they belong to Al-Qaeda, Taliban or the Islamic State (ISIS), these bearded terrorists are products of extremism and religious fundamentalism, brainwashed in mosques by the Saudi trained clergy to indiscriminately kill men, women and children.”

And in October 2016, Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dr. Bashar al-Jaafari warned that “the plague of terrorism will rebound” on the governments funding it. But then Al-Jaafari also expressed Syria’s strong condemnation of the crime of using chemical weapons, stemming from its convection that using weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, is unethical.


INTO THE FRAY:The Elections are for President—Not Pope

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

“You knooow…C’mon Who do you think is out of touch?” – Barack Obama, commenting derisively on Hillary Clinton, 2008

“Hillary Clinton, she’ll say anything and change nothing” – I am Barack Obama…and I approve this message – From a 2008 Obama election campaign ad.

“The fate of the republic rests on your shoulders. The fate of the world is teetering and you…are going to have to make sure that we push it in the right direction.”  Barack Obama, urging voters to support Hillary Clinton, November 3, 2016

It would, indeed, be in no way an exaggeration to describe next week’s US elections as perhaps the most significant in recent history, a real “fork in the road” for the future of the over 200-hundred year Union.

Waning adherence to founding principles?

This Union proved to be a remarkable socio-political creation. Largely because of its founding values, as articulated in its founding documents and later amendment’s, it developed into the most influential, prosperous powerful country on the planet.

Indeed, in great measure, by holding fast to those values, it managed to maintain its position of primacy since the early decades of the last century.

But in the last decade this began to change perceptibly. Adherence to the underlying fundamentals–its Anglo-Saxon cultural roots and its Judeo-Christian (indeed Judeo-Protestant) ethical foundations—has begun to wane. Identification with, and belief in, what made America, America began to erode and fray—and with it, the coherence of the identity that made it exceptional.

Clearly, it was not America’s natural resources and mineral wealth that generated its unparalleled success. After all, numerous other countries have been endowed by nature with vast riches but none of them were able to harness the enormous creativity and productive energy of their population on a similar scale/intensity as America did.

What set America apart was the manner in which it managed to mobilize its human resources and facilitate opportunity for talent, ingenuity and industry to flower.

There is no way to decouple this remarkable accomplishment from the original organizing principles set out for the nation at its founding. Similarly, there is no way to decouple these organizing principles from the civilizational foundations from which they were drawn.

Clearly then, as America of today diverges increasingly from identification with those principles and civilizational foundations, and the spirit that they were imbued with, it will increasingly jeopardize the key to its own exceptionalism—and the exceptional achievement that accompanied it.

Diversity is strength, but diffusion is weakness

Of course I can already hear the howls of outraged indignation that this kind of talk borders on bigotry, and reflects gross ignorance as to sources of American strength and success. They will, no doubt, point to the enormous contributions made by immigrants, who hailed from civilizational backgrounds far removed from any traces of Judeo-Protestant influence—from East Asia to Latin America. They will of course recite the worn-out mantra that “diversity is strength” and underscore how Americans of Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic and other origins have all been part of the American success story.

This is all entirely true—and equally irrelevant to the point being made. For it was only in the environment created by the unique societal foundations of America, and the opportunities it afforded, that allowed the immigrants, drawn to its shores from other socio-cultural settings, to blossom. After all, if this was not the case, why would they leave their countries of origin?

So, as long as these foundations remained the dominant determinant of societal realities in America, the country could continue to absorb productive forces from other societal backgrounds, without jeopardizing the sustainability of its past success.

This, however, is not the case when large bodies of immigrants flow into the country and wish to establish communities which retain—indeed, actively sustain—much of what they left behind in their countries of origin, and which, presumably, comprised much of the motivation for them to leave. It is then that dynamic diversity begins its decline into dysfunctional diffusion.

Tolerance vs self-abnegation

To illustrate the point somewhat simplistically: It is one thing if a Mexican immigrant arrives in the US, integrates into American society and becomes a productive American. It is quite another, if waves of Mexican immigrants arrive in America and transform significant parts of it into Mexico.

Thus, when immigrants from diverse socio-ethnic backgrounds blend into the dominant culture, the result might well be a synergetic outcome beneficial to both. But this is unlikely when largely discordant immigrant cultures begin to impose themselves on the dominant host culture, which begins to forego important parts of its identity for fear of “offending” new comers, who were attracted to it precisely because of what that dominant culture offered them.

Accordingly, while tolerance of diverse minorities is clearly enlightened self-interest, self-abnegation to accommodate discordant minority predilections is, no less clearly, a detrimental denial of self-worth. What has all this to do with the upcoming elections on Tuesday?

Well, a great deal! Indeed, in many ways it lies at the heart of the decision for whom to cast one’s ballot. It not only separates out sharply between the two candidates’ declared platforms and campaign pronouncements, but more profoundly–-far more profoundly—it separates out between their prospective constituencies and the long-term vested interests of the respective political Establishments that support them.

Real “fork in the road”

Accordingly, one does not require advanced degrees in political science to grasp just how the relevant political landscape lies as the crucial ballot approaches.

It is beyond dispute that, because of the demographic composition of its support base, any Democratic Party candidate, Hillary Clinton included, will be exceedingly loath to curtail significant influxes of largely unregulated and un-vetted immigrants from the Mid-East, Latin America and elsewhere. For this reluctance will clearly find favor with many of her current constituents and prospective new ones – particularly in light of the astounding electoral practice in the US which requires no photo ID to allow one to choose who will have access to the nation’s nuclear codes—while such identification is obligatory for a myriad of other far less significant purposes.

By contrast, whether or not one lends credence to Donald Trump’s strident declarations on severe restrictions he plans to impose on immigration across the county’s southern border and from Muslim countries, it is clearly very much in his political interest to act along such lines—since this will deny his adversaries the potential expansion of their political base.

So those, then, are the real stakes in these elections – the real “fork in the road”: A choice between a candidate, whose vested political interests induce her to permit changes that will permanently alter the character and composition of America, or one whose political interests compel him to resist this.

The elections as “damage control”

In many ways—most of them, regrettable—these are elections that are significantly different from virtually all previous ones.

Indeed, there is unprecedented dissatisfaction with—even, disapproval of—both candidates.

Thus, Clinton is hardly an ideal candidate—even for Clinton supporters; and Trump far from an ideal candidate—even for Clinton opponents.

Accordingly, far more than a choice of whom to vote for, these elections will be dominantly a choice of whom not to vote for. They will be far less a process that determines whom the voters want to ensconce in the White House, and far more about whom they want prevented from being ensconced in it.

Thus, rather than what they hope their preferred candidate can do for the country, their ballot will be determined by what they fear the other candidate will do to the country.

In this sense, these elections are largely an exercise in damage control.

Or at least that is what it should be: A choice, foisted on a largely dismayed electorate, to install the candidate least likely to be able to inflict irreparable damage on the Republic, until American democracy can somehow recover and offer the voter a more appealing selection of candidates in the future.

A relatively simple choice

In this respect, the choice ought to be relatively simple. For regardless of what one might believe as to what either candidate has in his/ her heart, it is clearly Trump who has a greater interest in keeping America American; while Clinton has a vested interest in endorsing the burgeoning inflow of immigrants, who, rather than embrace the founding values of America, are liable to exploit them to change the face of US society beyond recognition.

Indeed, one should be bear in mind that there is nothing “universal” about the noble values on which America was founded and evolved. Quite the opposite. After all, the spirit of liberty and tolerance they reflect are not the hallmarks of many—perhaps even most—of the countries around the globe. So, unless these values are diligently preserved, they could well be mortally undermined. It is difficult to think of anything that could undermine the values of a society more fundamentally than the massive influx of largely unregulated un-vetted newcomers, for whom those values are not only foreign, but often antithetical, to those of the countries of origin—something countries like Sweden and Germany have sadly discovered to their great detriment.

But that, of course, is precisely what should be expected if Clinton wins. It would require hefty doses of unbounded, and largely unfounded, optimism to expect any outcome other than increasingly severe erosion of societal values that have defined America in the past.

Specter of irretrievable change

But it is not only the structural bias of Clinton’s political interests that makes her potentially the more permanently damaging incumbent to the character of the American Republic, but also her ability to do so. For, as a seasoned politician, well-versed in the corridors of governmental power and machinations of the political Establishment, she has far greater capacity and reach to ensure that her ill-conceived and detrimental policies are implemented and durably entrenched, than the inexperienced maverick novice Trump. After all, he would undoubtedly require many months “learning the ropes”, before he manages to implement and entrench any allegedly injurious policies that perturb his detractors.

As I wrote in last week’s column, the 2009 Obama administration set a course for America substantially different from those set by his predecessors, and in important ways highly discordant with them. Obama’s 2012 reelection helped solidify the anomalous (the less charitable might say “perverse”) change in direction along which he took the nation.

The election next week of Clinton, who is firmly committed, indeed virtually compelled, to continue with Obama policies is more than likely to make that course irretrievable, and the US—much like several luckless EU countries—will be set on an inevitable downward spiral toward third-world status…from which a growing portion of its population hoped to extricate itself

Obama is right—but Obama is wrong

So President Obama was right when he declared at a North Carolina rally (November 3, 2016): “The fate of the republic rests on your [the voters] shoulders…The fate of the world is teetering…” For these elections will indeed have momentous consequences both for the US and across the world. He is, however entirely mistaken as to the direction in which he urges them “to make sure…we push it” (See introductory excerpt)

Sadly, however, despite the fact that these are likely to be the most consequential elections in modern history, it appears (if the conduct of the campaign is to be any guideline) that they may well be decided because of the most inconsequential reasons. For it seems, it will not be the strategic direction in which the country will be taken that will determine the outcome, but rumors and innuendo as to the character defects of Trump and his alleged crude indiscretions with women. Given the stakes, this seems almost inconceivable. Trump should be elected not because of what may occur if he is, but because of what will almost certainly occur if he is not. He should not be judged on what his incumbency might achieve, but what his incumbency must prevent.

So in weighing the grim alternatives, the US electorate would do well to bear in mind that these elections are for the Presidency not the Papacy. They must choose who is best suited (or the least unsuited) to be President – not the Pope.

Dr. Martin Sherman

Not a Peep from the Pope

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

You would think that both the Catholic Pope and mainline Protestant leaders would rise-up in protest against Arab-Islamic negation of Judeo-Christian history and legitimacy. Alas, the hypocrisy of the nations is a constant in Israel’s foreign relations.

Last Friday, Israeli TV10 anchorwoman Ayala Hasson asked the Executive Board chairman of UNESCO whether that international organization would adopt a resolution that said Christians had no ties to the Vatican or that Moslems had no ties to Mecca.

“Such a resolution would never happen,” replied Michael Worbs of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Of course not. Such things only happen to the Jews. Such preposterous resolutions can be expectorated by the global community only with regard to Israel.

Only when it comes to denying the Jewish People’s claim to its ancestral homeland; especially its historic ties in Jerusalem; and most especially its foundational links to the site of the Holy Temples – can crackpot clubs like UNESCO assert that the earth is flat and Jews have no place on it.

The usual suspects voted in April and again last week for the dingbat resolution that ignores Jewish ties to the Temple Mount. Unfortunately, supposedly semi-friendly countries like Russia joined them; and ostensible friends of the Jewish state such as France, Italy, Kenya and Japan abstained.

This is wicked and witless. As Prof. Martin Kramer has pointed out, “Jews were worshiping in their Temple in Jerusalem when Moscow was a pine forest, and Jews had prayed for the Temple’s restoration for a thousand years before a Slav laid the first brick of the Kremlin.”

But what’s truly infuriating and disappointing about the UNESCO vote is the deafening silence of significant Christian figures.

Consider: Palestinians have been pushing the linguistic reframing of the Temple Mount in order to deny the Judaic heritage of the site and to completely Islamicize Jerusalem. Willy nilly, this nullifies Christian history too. So you would think that both the Catholic Pope and mainline Protestant leaders would rise-up in protest against Arab-Islamic negation of Judeo-Christian history and legitimacy.

You would think that Christian leaders would demur when UNESCO calls Matthew a liar. It was he who testified that the Christian messiah threw moneychangers out of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

And yet, I haven’t heard a peep from the Pope. Not a word of criticism for UNESCO’s disavowal of Biblical history. Not even a mild grunt of disapproval.

It’s not like Israel didn’t seek the Vatican’s help in defeating the defamatory Arab-Islamic initiative. A few days before the vote, Jerusalem’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Oren David, contacted the Vatican’s undersecretary for relations with states, Antoine Camilleri, and asked him to use his influence to get member states to reject the draft. Such a text would harm Christian interests as well as Jewish ones, the Israeli diplomat reportedly told his interlocutor.

Apparently, the Vatican is still praying on the matter.

Vatican-friendly observers explain that Rome’s stillness on this issue stems from its concern for Christians across the Middle East – who are under daily attack from Moslem radicals. How the Pope’s strange silence helps Christians anywhere escapes me.

Less Church-friendly observers wonder whether age-old Christian super-secessionism is at work here; meaning that the Church doesn’t too much mind the Moslem campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem. Rome hasn’t recognized Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem, and theologically never will.

Either way, the calm of the Church in the face of UNESCO’s chutzpah is galling. I would expect the Holy See to be seething, and coming to the defense of its “elder brother” when that brother’s very identity is under ungodly assault.

IN TRUTH, I really shouldn’t be so surprised. After all, what’s new here? The hypocrisy of the nations is a constant in Israel’s foreign relations, as are melodramatic warnings of Israel’s “deepening isolation.” And yet, Israel chugs along just fine, thank you.

Remember that that Jews have not been liked for several thousand years, and the Jewish People’s collective effort to rebuild a national state in its ancestral homeland liked even less. The world has been opposed to core Israeli diplomatic and security policies from day one of this country’s existence.

The State Department reproached Israel for capturing the Galilee and the Negev in 1948. The UN condemned Israel for invading Sinai in 1956; and for Israel’s 1967 “aggression”; and for Jerusalem’s reunification; and for the annexation of the Golan Heights; and for Prime Minister Begin’s bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, and of Beirut, etc., etc. The US, by the way, was party to all these condemnations.

The UN annually condemns Israel for (reportedly) building a nuclear weapons capacity, and lambastes Israel for a load of other fabricated evils from stealing Palestinian water to destroying Palestinian archaeology. The UN has slap-happily censured Israel for defending itself against Hamas and Hezbollah – in the first and second Lebanon wars, and for operations against Hamas in Gaza in 2009, 2012 and 2014.

Overall, the UN Security Council has adopted more than 150 anti-Israel resolutions since 1967. (The US vetoed about 50 others).

Remember “Black Wednesday”? On December 17, 2014 newspaper headlines howled that the world was closing-in on Israel. On one single day, the European Parliament proclaimed its support for recognizing Palestinian statehood; the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention gathered in Switzerland to condemn Israel; and the EU Court removed Hamas from the European list of terrorist organizations.

About the same time, the parliaments of Luxembourg, Portugal, France and Sweden recognized Palestinian statehood too. The International Criminal Court declared the security fence illegal. US President Obama applied the term illegal to settlements. (Now, Obama seems poised to apply this appellation to Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria all-together. He already has called it “unjust”).

And still, the sky hasn’t collapsed on Israel.

THE CUMULATIVE WEIGHT of all these unfriendly actions is surely somewhat corrosive to Israel’s global standing. But as David Ben-Gurion once said: What counts is not what the “goyim” say, but what the Jews do!

And thus what counts is aliyah, the high Israeli birth rate, more building starts in Jerusalem, the strength of Israel’s military, the tone and tenor of the country’s educational, cultural and legal institutions, the Jewish and democratic fabric of society, and the depth of loyalty to Jewish and Zionist principles. That’s what really counts.

Everything else, including Israel’s standing in the international community, will fall into place if Israelis are united and confident in their creed.

Thus Israel will get past the recent wave of condemnations. It has been there before.

So the world recognizes make-believe Palestinian statehood and slams settlements? So it negates Jewish history in Jerusalem? So what! No series of condemnations will get Israel’s detractors very far, despite the unpleasantness.

It’s ironic that UNESCO took its scalpel to Jerusalem just when Jews celebrate Succot; when evangelical pilgrims from 80 countries of the world ascend to the holy city to participate in the festivities, as prophesized in the Bible. The ruffians of UNESCO don’t know who and what they’re up against. Israel and its loyal friends don’t scare easily.

“Om ani choma,” proclaims the hoshanot prayer of yesterday; meaning, The People of Israel are a fortress wall, standing guard over Jerusalem.

Weinberg David

An Open Letter to the Pope

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous blogsite}

Your Holiness:

I must start off by telling you that as an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, I am not generally in the habit of writing to the Pope. However, these are special times in which we live and, as such, I believe I must reach out to you, for your assistance.

As you are no doubt aware, UNESCO recently voted in committee and then ratified at an Executive level that there is no historical connection between the Temple Mount, the Western Wall and Judaism. And while this may seem like a trivial matter, I assure you that it is not in the least bit trivial.

Before I request your help, perhaps a national mea culpa would be in order. It has been pointed out to me and to many others: how in the world can we expect differently from UNESCO if Israel herself is not seen as claiming its natural dominance over the site. Yes, we have not done well at this at all, and that is a separate issue we need to grapple with here in Israel.

The vote by UNESCO is one of gargantuan anti-Semitic proportions. And while it is clearly anti-Semitic, their action does one other thing: It attempts to erase the historical connection of a people from its past. Since, we are speaking here about JEWISH history, why would I be contacting the leader of the 2 billion plus Catholics of the world? Simply put: the UNESCO decision is a slap in the face to you personally and not only to the Jewish people.

Since I am not well-versed in the Scriptures, as promulgated by the Church, I turned to the internet to gain some rudimentary language regarding the connection between Jesus and the Temple Mount. Here is an example of what I found.


The Temple Mount holds significance for Christians as the place where Jesus issued his challenge against the Temple authorities, an act which can be seen as leading directly to his arrest and crucifixion.
Jesus deplored the corruption of the authorities of that time, as well as the use of one of the Temple gates for trade. According to the gospel of Mark, Jesus performed a “cleansing” of the Temple, whereby he chased away the merchants and money changers in the Temple’s vicinity.
 The Temple Mount also holds significance for Christians as the place where Jesus attended festivals as a child.

It seems that this vote not only attempts to erase JEWISH history, it also is erasing that which you hold near and dear to YOU, personally and to the 2 billion plus devotees of your church. While Pope Pius XII was given a bad rap about his action/inaction during WWII, the truth has come out, that he was responsible for saving over 850,000 Jewish lives.

It is now your turn to stand up for your people and the people from whom your roots sprung forth. This is not about good and evil. This is not about right and wrong. THIS IS ABOUT TRUTH. And the truth is that the statement that passed by UNESCO is a global slap in the face to Jews and Christians.

As the leader of the billions of Catholics on Earth, I implore you to take a stand and make a public statement. If you do not make such a statement, this will allow the re-writing of history and the acceptance of said changes. If you don’t think that to be true, then how is it that the Muslim world celebrates a holiday for the Binding of Ishmael…and not ISAAC as stated in the Bible. The re-writing of history by the Muslim world has indeed worked for them and to their advantage.

Please, join Jews from all ranges of the spectrum, and condemn unequivocally, the despicable resolution of UNESCO.

I thank you in advance and wish you Godspeed.

Rabbi Zev M Shandalov

Maale Adumim , ISRAEL

Rav Zev Shandalov

Obama, the Clintons and the Pope to Attend Shimon Peres’ Funeral

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday issued a statement saying US President Barack Obama will attend the state funeral of Israel’s ninth president Shimon Peres on Friday. Also on the list of world leaders arriving in Jerusalem: former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State John Kerry, Pope Francis, Prince Charles, French President François Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, German President Joachim Gauck, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Beatrix, Queen Mother of the Netherlands, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, President of Togo Faure Gnassingbé, and President of Romania Klaus Iohannis.

The foreign ministry has activated an emergency protocol to consolidate information regarding the arriving dignitaries and caring for their needs. The statement notes that ministry personnel will be coordinating the funeral operation with Ben-Gurion International Airport, government ministries and police.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara expressed deep personal sorrow over the passing of the former President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres. The Prime Minister will issue a special statement later this morning and convene the Cabinet in a special session.

In his statement about the passing of President Peres, President Obama wrote: “There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people.

“Shimon Peres once said that, ‘I learned that public service is a privilege that must be based on moral foundations.’ Tonight, Michelle and I join people across Israel, the United States and around the world in honoring the extraordinary life of our dear friend Shimon Peres—a Founding Father of the State of Israel and a statesman whose commitment to Israel’s security and pursuit of peace was rooted in his own unshakeable moral foundation and unflagging optimism.

“I will always be grateful that I was able to call Shimon my friend. I first visited him in Jerusalem when I was a senator, and when I asked for his advice, he told me that while people often say that the future belongs to the young, it’s the present that really belongs to the young. “Leave the future to me,” he said, “I have time.” And he was right. Whether it was during our conversations in the Oval Office, walking together through Yad Vashem, or when I presented him with America’s highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom, Shimon always looked to the future. He was guided by a vision of the human dignity and progress that he knew people of goodwill could advance together. He brought young people from around the world together because he knew they could carry us closer to our ideals of justice and equality.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett directed Israel’s education system to dedicate Wednesday to the life and achievements of Shimon Peres, and called on Jewish communities and schools to do the same, “so the future generation for whom he fought will know who he was and be inspired by him.”


Wikileaks: George Soros Paid $650,000 to Influence Pope Francis’ Closest Friend

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Leftist Billionaire George Soros donated $650,000 to groups lobbying American bishops in favor of “progressive” domestic policies, according to emails made public by Wikileaks. Soros used his Open Society Foundation and Faith in Public Life, two liberal organizations, to use the September 2015 visit of Pope Francis to the US to “shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”

The group DC Leaks has released more than 2,000 documents from groups associated with Soros.

The money was donated in April 2015 and a report on the effort says successful achievements included “buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

“In order to seize this moment, we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America,” another document states.

PICO’s website describes the group as “a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities.”

The document describes Cardinal Rodriguez from Honduras as Pope Francis’ best friend. It continues: “The grant will also support FPL’s media, framing, and public opinion activities, including conducting a poll to demonstrate that Catholic voters are responsive to the Pope’s focus on income inequality, and earning media coverage that drives the message that being ‘pro-family’ requires addressing growing inequality.”

FPL is Faith in Public Life, whose website states: “In preparation for the pope’s visit to the US, we commissioned extensive opinion research about how Catholics respond to the Pope’s prophetic messages and released the poll at the National Press Club. Throughout the trip, FPL coordinated messaging among numerous Catholic groups and did extensive media outreach.”

The Soros document concludes: “By harnessing the Papal visit to lift up the Pope’s searing critique of what he calls ‘an economy of exclusion and inequality’ and his dismissal of ‘trickle down’ theories, PICO and FPL will work to build a bridge to a larger conversation about bread-and-butter economic concerns and shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”


Pope Francis Blesses Righteous Christian Polish Gentiles at Auschwitz-Birkenau

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Pope Francis visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp this weekend, a powerful experience made even more meaningful for the pontiff by his meeting with 25 Righteous Gentiles Among the Nations — Christian Poles who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

The meeting was arranged for this past Friday by the Chief Rabbi of Poland, Rabbi Michael Schudrich, a New Yorker whose grandparents immigrated to the United States from Poland.

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous offers financial support to the 200-plus “Righteous Among the Nations” who are still alive in Poland.

For some time, Schudrich has contemplated what kind of spiritual gift he could give these precious people who were so willing to risk their lives for the souls of Jews.

“I thought a special blessing from the pope would make them feel honored because of their unbelievable morality and humanity,” he told Associated Press.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pope-francis-blesses-righteous-christian-polish-gentiles-at-auschwitz-birkenau/2016/07/31/

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