Comments: Benedict XVI refrained from actions performed by deep symbolism
Klaus Kremer, Deutsche Welle
Benedict XVI completed the pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He visited Jordan, Israel and Palestinian territories. The many expected a greater certainty from the Pope in political statements, Klaus Kremer notes.
Who travels a lot, he has something to tell. However, who travels a lot, even more so following the apostle Peter risks not to meet expectations. Pope Benedict XVI is the successor to the Apostle Peter. But he is a politician whether he wants it or not. The tangle of religious and political issues in the Middle East is so confusing that any word can be misunderstood. The problem is that Benedict XVI sometimes created conditions for it himself during five years of his pontificate. It is enough to remind his speech in Regensburg, where he quoted on militant Islam, or about the scandal around rehabilitation of the St. Pius brotherhood, including denier of the Holocaust Richard Williamson.
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land proceeded without incidents. Christians with reverence flocked to his services. His call for the reconciliation of World Religions was heard.
Prayer for peace in Holy Land
A political part of the visit is more difficult. Here, from the Pope, the many expected a greater certainty. For example, he spoke about "the murder" of Jews in his speech at the Yad Vashem memorial. Some people believe that Benedict XVI had to stress the crime to the Holocaust during his speech. The Pope strongly condemned anti-Semitism in all its manifestations. His future actions toward the denier of Holocaust Richard Williamson will become the measure of those words' sincerity.
The predecessor of Benedict XVI, charismatic John Paul II has asked forgiveness for the persecution of Jews by Christians at the Western Wall. Benedict XVI was confined to a prayer for peace in the Holy Land. Regarding his German origin, the current pope was expected more.
Intercession for the Palestinians
His intercession for the people in the West Bank and Gaza Strip was not ignored. The Pope has previously advocated the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. But it was a courageous step to speak in Bethlehem against the border wall built by the Israelis and to reaffirm the right of Palestinians to sovereignty in the land of their ancestors.
The real outcome of such visits does not immediately appear. We do not know what fruits the diplomatic negotiations behind the closed doors will yield and whether they will give new impetus to the peace process, as well as whether they will alleviate the situation with languishin few Christians in the Holy Land.
It is too difficult to differ any words and actions performed by the deep symbolism during the visit of Benedict XVI to the Holy Land which is the centre of contradictions. To be the successor of the Apostle Peter - is heavy burden.
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