3/21/10

On Sainthood: The Difference between Opinion and Scholarship

There's controversy afoot over the Vatican's effort to make a saint out of Pius XII, a man who some call Hitler's Pope.

Now our opinion and that of some others, Jews and Christians both, is that it offends us for the Vatican to take such action, that it is wrong and a bad idea. Pius XII should not be made into a saint.

That is opinion pure and simple.

Now with extensive due research into the matter, which admittedly we have not done, it might be our scholarly conclusion, although this may at first sound shocking to some, that evidence of antisemitism or a record of collaboration which failed to help Jews, is in fact a plus in the canonization process in the Catholic Church, and not a minus that would impede the honor.

We realized this when reading a new translation last week of the sermons of an ancient Christian saint, St. John Chrysostom. The text in question from the acid-tongued antisemitic orator (died 407 CE) contains such materials as, "Now then, let me strip down for the fight against the Jews themselves, so that the victory may be more glorious—so that you will learn that they are abominable and lawless and murderous and enemies of God. For there is no evidence of wickedness I can proclaim that is equal to this."

That's our Sunday morning homiletical and Talmudic observation on one difference between opinion and scholarship.

1 comment:

Cambrensis said...

Now with extensive due research into the matter, which admittedly we have not done, it might be our scholarly conclusion, although this may at first sound shocking to some, that evidence of antisemitism or a record of collaboration which failed to help Jews, is in fact a plus in the canonization process in the Catholic Church, and not a minus that would impede the honor.


That might be your scholarly conclusion.

Then again since, by your own admission, you have not done extensive due research into the matter, it might just be your opinion, pure and simple.