Lose the Cross: Rabbi Asks Pope to Take Off His Cross When Visiting the Western Wall

120px-bentoxvi-30-10052007 A controversy has erupted over the request by the Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch, that Pope Benedict XVI take off his cross before a visit to the wall in May. Rabinovitch stated “My position is that it is not fitting to enter the Western Wall area with religious symbols, including a cross. I feel the same way about a Jew putting on a tallit and phylacteries and going into a church.”

Actually, asking someone to remove a cross is more like asking them remove yamaka in a church, which would be an outrageous demand. As someone raised as a Catholic, I would also never ask a Jewish person to remove a tallit or phylacteries.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II prayed at the Western Wall without removing his cross. Rabinovitch has made headlines in recent years by blocking clergy wearing crosses.

In November 2007, he blocked a group of Austrian bishops led by the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Schonborn, stating that “crosses are a symbol that hurt Jewish feelings.” That seems less of a view of religion than prejudice. I am married to a Jewish woman as is one of my brothers and they clearly do not view crosses in such a way. I would view a Jewish person praying in a church to be a sign of respect and interfaith connection.

It seems to me that the symbol of intolerance in this controversy is Rabbi Rabinovitz as when he barred access in May 2008 to a group of Irish prelates from both Catholic and Protestant churches. The Rabbi has converted a symbol of faith and tolerance into a place of exclusion and prejudice. I would be interested in hearing particularly from our Jewish bloggers as to whether Rabbi Rabinovitz’s views are shared by the mainstream of the Jewish community.

The politics of the wall has been marred in past years by attacks on Jewish women who seek to hold prayer sessions at the wall, here and here and here.

For the full story, click here

236 thoughts on “Lose the Cross: Rabbi Asks Pope to Take Off His Cross When Visiting the Western Wall”

  1. When the rubber hits the road it’s still male on male molestation . Call it by whatever stripe you like. In my hometown we had a notorious serial pedophile, he was also admittedly a homosexual. Mike S. you are not even using the word blasphemer right. You need to look up the theological definition of this word. Mike, you resort to juvenile name calling when you are proven wrong time and time again?

  2. Every time I try to get out it keeps pulling me back with the sick fascination of a train wreck. You guys let the Blasphemer change the subject, although Mespo tried to pull it back. The issue isn’t are child molesters gay or straight. The issue is that the RCC, even by the Blasphemer’s own admission, covered for the guilty Priests rather than having them prosecuted by the law. The RCC has acted as if it’s 1,100CE and Church Law trumps Civil Law. However, even if Church Law, does trump Civil Law today, the RCC took no steps to remove these low lives from the Priesthood, it just moved them to parishes in other States to hush things up. Thus the hierarchy of the RCC, including Benedict and probably John Paul, covered up disgusting crimes and major RCC sins.

    This is the real issue and it makes all of the Blasphemer’s statements empty exercises in obfuscation. Look at all he wrote, especially about his spiritual adviser and you behold a person twisted with doubts of his own faith. He so vociferously defends the RCC not to convince us, but to convince himself. These are the actions in my opinion of a moral coward who is unable to face the conclusions of his own reasoning process. Sad, pathetic and lost because he is caught in a trap of his own making.

  3. Gregory, take a look at the new Catholic chatechism published in the 1980s.

    It says that masturbation is a sin and a disordered act.

    It says nothing about priestly child sexual abuse.

    No wonder those priests acted the way they did.

  4. unfortunately the idea of homo/hetero priest pedophiles is politicaly charged and I doubt you can find any “science” that is not tainted by the philosophical leanings of the person(s) conducting the study.

    All I can say is the more I read on this blog the harder it is to find what the real truth is when it comes to stuff like this. There are many references supporting both claims and both sides are influenced by political calculation which is truly a shame. Science should be to seek truth and knowledge.

    From what I can gather pedophiles seem to be in a class of their own, they like sex with young children, either male or female its not so much the gender but the age. As with all deviant behaviour there is probably a continuum.

    The problem with saying that pedophile priests are homosexual is that they are in constant contact with Alter Boys and have no real opportunities to molest young girls. Given the chance to molest young girls would they take it?
    Which goes back to what I have gotten out of this, namely that pedophiles seem to be in a subset of human sexual behaviour:


    with “normal” heterosexual and homosexual sex being with consenting adults. Pedohiles I dont think can be classified as either homo or heterosexual in their orientation.

    I think at this point I would need some real hard proof to come to the conclusion that this is an exclusively homosexual issue rather than an abnormal deviant behaviour.

  5. “I do not support the priests or Bishops who covered up these crimes.”


    That would be all of them up to the current Pope who famously told the Catholic News Service:

    “I am personally convinced that the constant presence in the press of the sins of Catholic priests, especially in the United States, is a planned campaign, as the percentage of these offences among priests is not higher than in other categories, and perhaps it is even lower.

    In the United States, there is constant news on this topic, but less than 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type. The constant presence of these news items does not correspond to the objectivity of the information nor to the statistical objectivity of the facts.

    Therefore, one comes to the conclusion that it is intentional, manipulated, that there is a desire to discredit the Church. It is a logical and well-founded conclusion.”

    That’s not taking responsibility; that’s deflecting criticism and diminishing your culpability by arguing everybody does it–even the supposedly divinely led. In essence he says, you have to accept some felonious conduct from those called by God to do his work. A telling statement indeed.

    BY the way, I wouldn’t get my research from worldnet daily or The Regent Univ. Law Review or any other of the right-wing social activists cited in the article, its about like getting it from the National Enquirer or the bathroom wall at the local bus station.

  6. Take a look at the statistics on a per capita basis. Child molestaion and acts of pedophilia happen far more regularly between homosexual perpetrators as opposed to heterosexual perpetrators.

  7. I was going to hit the hay, but the overwhelming amount of data I found that supports the link between homosexuality and pedophilia is overwhelming, and most fascinating to review. I suppose you can find links that will support your postion as well. Everything that I read and witness shows a clear correlation between the two especially in light of the fact that many priests who have commited pedphilia are blatant homosexuals. I have spoken to many seminarians, in fact I seriuosly considered becoming a priest. I made a retreat years ago at the seminary and was overwhelmed with the magnitude of overtly gay men studying for the priesthood. This is the reason I prudently chose not to cultivate a vocation to the ministerial priesthood. I also knew many religious brothers, they to were overwhelmingly homosexual in there presentation. I did know some very fine holy, exemplary monks who lived a truly chaste, countercultural existence. These were the men I found to be robust, realyy men’s men. One could rightly say they were truly living the rule of saint Augustine.

  8. Mespo77 and CCD- Please refer to the work of Dr. Eugene Abel and her link between homosexuality and pedophilia. Just google in and you will find info. on this deviant behavior.

  9. One more thought before bed, I have many friends who have been celibate for years and also are firmly heterosexual in orientation. Because they are hetersosexual and celibate does not mean they are pedophiles, far from it. They are some of the most virtuous and devout people I know. Praised be Jesus Christ.

  10. CCD and Mespo, here is another link you may want to review.
    The Homosexual Movement And Pedophilia

    The homosexual activist movement and organized pedophiles are linked together by a common goal:
    To gain access to children
    for seduction into homosexuality.

    Homosexual activists deny that they target children for seduction into the homosexual lifestyle, but the evidence is overwhelming that this is a lie.

    There is an ever-increasing effort among homosexual organizations to target public school children, to abolish age of consent laws, and to publish “studies” that purportedly show that adult/child sex is not harmful.

    The following reports provide clear and convincing proof that homosexual pedophiles (called pederasts) want children. Homosexuals should not be given special federal protections under “hate crime” laws; they should not be free to promote homosexuality in public schools; nor should they be allowed to marry or adopt children. Many homosexuals are sexual predators who prey on children.


    Want to take action
    about what you have just read?

    Then write a letter to your local newspapers, television stations and radio stations. Click on your state below.

    Please note, this article will NOT be automatically inserted or referenced in your letter. You must copy and paste it or give them the web page URL yourself.

    Select State Alabama Alaska American Samoa Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware District of Columbia Florida Georgia Guam Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Puerto Rico Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virgin Islands Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming


    Download and distribute these reports to your state and federal legislators, community leaders, pastors, and associates:

    Exposed: Homosexual Child Molesters

  11. CCD, I also apologize to you. I came on so strong I don’t know myself. Forgive my offensive behavior, I to have a long waaaaaay to go!

  12. Mespo77. It’s precisely my point. I love my Church very much.The perpetrators of these heinous acts need to be punished and excised from the clergy. I do not support the priests or Bishops who covered up these crimes. My heart bleeds with sorrow when I reflect on the shame and suffering these victims endured, by those they trusted with there whole heart. But as I have stated for every bad priest there are many more good ones. Sadly, the only ones who are in the news are the ones who commit horrible crimes and victimize the innocent. I am sophisticated enough in my powers of discernment to recognize the wheat from the chaff. Unfortunately you are such a hardened cynic, you believe all are bad, hypocritical and bogus. My spiritual advisor and I have discussed these matters many times, and yes I have struggled with the knowledge of these events. Many people might even despair when they think of these things for to long. Hope keeps me grounded and any good I possess is due to the graces I receive daily from the Church. You and I are only antagonists on this blog, but we are both part of the same human family, and both God’s children. Sometimes I come on very strong, maybe it’s due to my inability to deal with the knowledge I have concerning these horrible realities. If I have scandalized you or anyone else on this site I apologize. I think it is now time for me to exit this blog as I feel that my own righteous anger and pride have clouded my objectivity and hurt some people’s feelings. Praised be Jesus Christ.

  13. I am laughing my A$$ off at you Gregory, you show no heart what so ever.
    Ahh the life of a pilot fish swimming unmolested among alpha predators.

  14. Mespo,
    Nice, I love high situational awareness, it takes thought and passion to execute. Obviously you’ve committed no fouls. Every O line needs a leader!

  15. I’ll refer to it as male-on-male molestaion, maybe this will make you feel a little better CCD.

  16. CCD:

    “Pervasive tendencies show a correlation of two to one that pedophilia is perpetrated on males by males. In the Church over ninety percent of all molestation cases are with under age boys by adult male priests. ”


    And or course 100% were covered up by the Church too, so there. I put my faith in gregory not some scholars who’ve spent years learning the subject, and then writing peer reviewed papers after testing their results. Hey that would make me religious too–you know believing things without any good reasons to do so.

  17. Pervasive tendencies show a correlation of two to one that pedophilia is perpetrated on males by males. In the Church over ninety percent of all molestation cases are with under age boys by adult male priests. Yes, it is now clear they are really heterosexual in orientation? Keep trying to market your pipe dream CCD, the only people in this country who believe your nonsense are mespo77 and Mike A., the former seminarian. Ask Mike A., he will tell you all about the rampant homosexual behavior in the seminary. If he says it never existed than he was a seminarian back in the forties or fifties.

  18. CCD:

    Mine gave it up last year to concentrate on football. Since he’s not playing baseball, I can say with some degree of parental pride he’s the best defensive catcher I ever saw, and most every plate umpire made a point to tell me the same thing–one even following me into the parking lot after the kid initiated a triple play to end a playoff game. He’s now under center trying to avoid those 300 lb lugs instead of 5 ounce baseballs. Where did I go wrong?

  19. gregory:

    Either you will not or cannot comprehend basic English. I suggest you stick to your Bible and let the rest of us continue on dealing with the 21st Century. You are quite obviously mired in the 1st century, and of course your holy texts are not open to any interpretation, say like it’s utter bullshark!

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