Saturday, September 25, 2010

Lord Sacks to the Pope

If you haven't read this, read the whole thing, its from the speech of the Chief Rabbi to the Pope.
Britain has been so enriched by its minorities, by every group represented here today and the intricate harmonies of our several voices. And one of our commonalities is that we surely all believe that faith has a major role in strengthening civil society.

In the face of a deeply individualistic culture, we offer community. Against consumerism, we talk about the things that have value but not a price. Against cynicism we dare to admire and respect. In the face of fragmenting families, we believe in consecrating relationships. We believe in marriage as a commitment, parenthood as a responsibility, and the poetry of everyday life when it is etched, in homes and schools, with the charisma of holiness and grace.

In our communities we value people not for what they earn or what they buy or how they vote but for what they are, every one of them a fragment of the Divine presence. We hold life holy. And each of us is lifted by the knowledge that we are part of something greater than all of us, that created us in forgiveness and love, and asks us to create in forgiveness and love. Each of us in our own way is a guardian of values that are in danger of being lost, in our short-attention-span, hyperactive, information-saturated, wisdom-starved age. And though our faiths are profoundly different, yet we recognize in one another the presence of faith itself, that habit of the heart that listens to the music beneath the noise, and knows that God is the point at which soul touches soul and is enlarged by the presence of otherness.

13 comments:

epsilon said...

Beautifully, poetically put!

Laurence England said...

Far more eloquent and profound than Rowan Williams!

David said...

We celebrate both our commonalities and differences, because if we had nothing in common we could not communicate, and if we had everything in common, we would have nothing to say.

I'm sorry, but that's a lot of blather. Does the Chief Rabbi really celebrate our "differences" over the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ? I find it hard to believe.

Sadie Vacantist said...

Just spotted in the grim North - an E & W ordinary wearing 'civies' presumably on his way back from a local Starbucks to our diocesan centre.

B16 is forgotten.

wheat4paradise said...

"We celebrate ... our ... differences ..."

Is Jesus Christ -- and Him crucified -- no longer a stumbling block to the Jews? Since when does a chief rabbi see Catholicism as a "great faith"? It's one thing to make nice and cooperate around noble humanitarian goals. It's quite another thing to whitewash the truth.

nickbris said...

Lord Sacks can always be relied on to say the right thing,cannot be faulted.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I suspect the CR might actually be aware the Divinity of Christ is one the divisions he spoke about.

He is quite bright you know!

Michael Petek said...

I suspect that what the Chief Rabbi has in mind is the role of the Church in taking ethical monotheism to all the nations from its Jewish source, and that we Catholics can learn a lot from the Jews in what concerns the interpretation of Scripture.

For example, in the parable of the Prodigal Son a Jew would notice, but a Gentile would miss, that for a Jew to ask for his inheritance while his father is still alive is tantamount to wishing him dead.

Secondly, the Jews consider it degrading for a for a man to run (as the father does on seeing his son return) once he is past the age of forty.

Thirdly, if a Jew goes off and defiles himself by going among the pigs, the usual form is for his father to rip the clothes from his back, never mind put a robe on him and rings on his fingers.

wheat4paradise said...

Fr. Ray,

Of course the CR knows that the Divinity of Christ is a stumbling block. Why then should we believe that he would "celebrate" it, as in "we celebrate our differences"? The CR says that the Pope represents a "great faith". Really now. Does the CR think that the principal object of that "great faith", Our Lord Jesus Christ, is also "great"? Another CR of another time, circa 33 AD, thought that Our Lord was a blasphemer worthy of a criminal's death. It just doesn't add up. Methinks that the CR isn't being honest.

David said...

"Britain has been so enriched by its minorities ..." So says Lord Sacks. Never mind that the Catholic Church was relegated to a minority position in Britain by dungeon, rack, and sword.

Crux Fidelis said...

Another point: If the Chief Rabbi had so much as an inkling that Benedict were (or had been) a Nazi , as so many of his denigrators have suggested, do you think he would have agreed to meet him?

Ma Tucker said...

Lord Sacks does not "celebrate our differences". He has publicaly described the belief that Catholics hold concerning Jesus Christ in that revelation was completed in Him as "worrying" (Radio 4 -finding God series with John Humphreys a few years back). Furthermore, it is patently obvious that you have a lot more to talk about with those who hold the truth in common than with those who do not. To say otherwise is obviously silly. I'm sure the Pope would be more delighted to see him convert to the true Faith than engaging in dialogue with Lord Sack's differing beliefs.

It's nice to be nice but being honest nicely is the nicest thing!

Holy Moly said...

@Sadie That wouldn't ice-skating 'cinnabons' in Headingley in 'grim' Leeds, by any chance would it??