Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cardinal Pell and the Jews

I'm looking at articles about Pell's  Q and A comments regarding Jews.

I want to know what he meant by the Germans suffering the most.    

So far I've looked at two articles and one blog entry.  None of them give an explanation.  They just say Pell apologized. 

Oh....good.   I went to a fourth article and this one provides an explanation.

Thank you!

It's from an Aussie-Kiwi Jewish online news thing.  

They have a quote from Pell.

He says, At the back of my mind I was thinking about an answer the Jewish writer David Berlinski gave to atheist Sam Harris on why God did not prevent the Holocaust. Referring to the incredible destruction and loss of life that the Allies inflicted on Germany in the course of the war which Germany started, Berlinski observed that ‘if God did not protect his chosen people precisely as Harris might have wished, He did, in an access of his old accustomed vigor, smite their enemies, with generations to come in mourning or obsessed by shame.

That does make some sense to me.  And I think in some ways, descendants of Nazis have a bigger cross to bear than descendants of European Jews.  Well...I can say, personally, that I'd rather be the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors (or non-survivors) than be the granddaughter of Nazis.  But I am neither, and very glad to have been spared both trials.

Still, though. As a whole, I think Jews have suffered more than Germans. It's hard for me to imagine an intelligent person thinking otherwise. If they're not anti-Semitic and/or Holocaust deniers, I'd assume they were having a bit of a brain fart. It happens sometimes.

All three article,s and the blog entry, also talk about the other controversial stuff Pell said about the Jews.

On the show he said,  It’s no good, say, my asking everyone in the congregation will you would do something. Normally you go to a busy person because you know they'll do it and so for some extraordinary reason God chose the Jews. They weren't intellectually the equal of either the Egyptians or the...  

Although I agree with his busy-person plan, it sounds a bit like another brain fart.

But I don't think Pell was being anti-Semitic.

I personally understood what he was trying to say.  Or at least I think I do.

I thought he just used the wrong word—Intellectual.

I thought what he meant to say is that their civilization was less advanced.  (and now I'm seeing that, in the Jewish Aussie-Kiwi article, he somewhat confirms this).  

I don't think Aboriginal Australians, back in the 1700's, were intellectually inferior to British people.   I think their brains and intellectual abilities were equal.  But I do think their civilization was less advanced.   That's not to say the Aborigines weren't thriving in a wonderful way, and that advanced civilization is necessarily better than a more simple civilization.  

In my eyes, Pell was just saying that other societies in the Biblical bygone days were more powerful.   They maybe had more fruits-of-their-labor to show off.

Tony Jones gave Pell a hard time over his opinion.

I liked Pell's response.  The people, in terms of sophistication, the psalms are remarkable in terms of their buildings and that sort of thing. They don't compare with the great powers. But Jesus came not as a philosopher to the elite. He came to the poor and the battlers and for some reason he choose a very difficult but actually they are now an intellectually elite because over the centuries they have been pushed out of every other form of work. They’re a - I mean Jesus, I think, is the greatest the son of God but, leaving that aside, the greatest man that ever live so I’ve got a great admiration for the Jews but we don't need to exaggerate their contribution in their early days.

That makes sense to me. I think, by here, Pell's brain fart had ended. Or at least that particular one.