On the Today programme this morning, I heard the tail end of a discussion about relationships between Catholics and Jews. I do not know who the Catholic representative was, but he made the point that both Pope John Paul 2nd and our current Holy Father had apologised for Catholic mistreatment of Jews through history, based on a wrong interpretation of the words in St Matthew’s Gospel: ‘His blood be upon us and our children’s children.’
The female rabbi concluded the discussion by saying ‘Every time this is mentioned there should be an apology.’
That struck me a slightly strange.
I make no excuses for the persecution of Jews through the centuries, but it did strike me that what the Rabbi was saying was that present day Catholics are accountable for the sins of their fore fathers. It’s a tenable position. But the context within which she was saying it, that present-day Jews could not be held accountable for the sins of their fore-fathers struck me as slightly self-contradictory.