Amid the nearly wall-to-wall criticism of the pope’s recent revocation of an excommunication order for a Holocaust-denying bishop, Rabbi Irwin Kula has produced a dissenting opinion that, in a nutshell, amounts to this: Get over it.
The Jews overreacted, Kula writes in the Huffington Post. They haven’t labored to understand this through Catholic eyes. They don’t understand what it must be like to run a spiritual community of more than a billion people. The bishop is irrelevant and lacking power anyway, a crotchety old uncle. And given that the Catholic Church has condemned Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism and showed great respect for Jews in recent decades, the rantings of an unknown bishop really shouldn’t matter that much.
Something is off kilter here. Is it possible that the leadership of Jewish defense agencies, people with the best of motivation who have historically done critical work in fighting anti-Semitism, have become so possessed by their roles as monitors of anti-Semitism, so haunted by unresolved fears, guilt, and even shame regarding the Holocaust, and perhaps so unconsciously driven by how these issues literally keep their institutions afloat, that they have become incapable of distinguishing between a bishop’s ridiculous, loopy, discredited views about the Holocaust and a Church from the Pope down which has clearly and repeatedly recognized the evil done to Jews in the Holocaust and called for that evil to never be forgotten.