Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ask the pope

Top 10 Questions for the Pope
by Staff

As the Pope visits Israel, what key issues would you raise?

On May 11-15, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI is visiting Israel.

We asked readers: If you could have a private audience to ask the Pope any question, what would it be?

There were over 100 great questions submitted in the comments section, and from there we identified the Top 10:

1) When will the Church address the question of Jewish manuscripts and Holy Temple vessels that may be in possession of the Vatican? Will you allow Israeli officials to search the hidden vaults?

2) How can the Jewish people feel part of a trusting relationship, in light of the failure of the Church and Pope Pius XII to speak out and act while Jews were being decimated in the Holocaust? And what is the Catholic Church doing today to prevent the rising anti-Semitism in Europe today?

3) How should Jews react to your move this year to reinstate Holocaust-denier Bishop Richard Williamson?

4) Why does the Church hold such a pro-Palestinian stand, like the recent comment accusing Israel of treating Gaza like a "big concentration camp"? And how do you explain your position of expecting Israel to give land away, in light of the clear biblical idea that the Land of Israel has been given to the children of Israel and is sealed by a covenant for all time?

5) Why did it take until 1993 for the Vatican to formally recognize Israel, and why does the Vatican continue to refuse to appoint an ambassador to Israel?

6) At which point will the Vatican stand up and actively fight the threats of Islamic fundamentalism worldwide?

7) Do you believe that the only way to God is through Jesus, and without Jesus that all wind up burning in hell? If "yes," then can you honestly befriend any non-Christians without hypocrisy?

8) I understand that you have reinstated a prayer calling for the conversion of the Jews. Is this true, and why would you bring back such an offensive practice?

9) Will the Catholic Church join the wider Christian movement in allowing priests to marry?

10) Regardless of the past, how do you intend to nurture future relations with the Jewish people, in and outside of Israel?

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