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Pat McMahon: Shalom

IL papa, IL papa. That means the pope, the pope. It also reminds me that for all too many years now, a lot of people have felt ill at how the Roman Catholic Church — my church — has treated the Jews.

Virtually from the time Jesus was crucified, there have been those who have branded Jews, all Jews, as Christ killers. Never mind, that Christ himself was a Jew and historical specifics from that long ago are hazy at best.

Shall we ignore the fact that the Romans were in charge of the region and the trial? The crowd to which Pontius Pilate deferred was made up of a variety of Jerusalem’s citizens including a few temple leaders. And that’s gospel.

Wednesday, Pope Benedict did more than any prelate before him to biblically and theologically exonerate Jews for being in any way responsible for the crucifixion.

See how we’re moving along at what, for the church, is warp speed. It only took a few hundred years to forgive Galileo for finding all those things through his telescope and to apologize to the ashes of Joan of Arc. Now, 2000 years later the Jews are OK. I wonder how long it will take Mel Gibson to forgive the pope for that!