Were we all created in God’s (spitting) image?
As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to visit the Tempio Maggiore synagogue in Rome on Jan. 17 as part of efforts to improve relations between Catholics and Jews, dealings between them are strained on at least two fronts.
First, the Vatican has had to defend moving Pope Pius XII toward sainthood in the face of Jewish criticism that he should have done more to resist the Holocaust.
Second and less publicized are incidents of priests, monks and nuns being spat at by Orthodox Jews in Jerusalem.
The latter was reported by the Jerusalem Post in November. A Franciscan monk told the publication that he’s been spat at about 15 times in the past six months.
An article in the National Catholic Reporter cites the Post story (without linking to it), mentioning a comment by Rabbi David Rosen. He says that the spitting incidents have become “a part of life” for priests, nuns and other Christian clergy in Jerusalem.
The NCR story says Orthodox Jewish leaders have denounced harassment of Christian clergy.
USA Today religion reporter Cathy Lynn Grossman mentions the NCR story (also without linking to it) in a column about the spitting incidents, which she calls an example of people of one faith saying to another, “My God’s better than yours.”
But why would anyone think their God would be pleased with a universal sign of contempt?
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