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L'aversion farouche du Vatican à l'égard de la création d'Israël dura des décennies


Sur le Blog Philosémitisme

"Le jour de la fondation d'Israël", dit Mordechai Lewy, ambassadeur d'Israël près le Saint-Siège, "L'Osservatore Romano, le quotidien officiel du Vatican a décrit l'événement comme "une nouvelle étape dans le chemin de croix palestinien". "La référence à la passion du Christ n'était pas accidentelle." 

"La fondation de l'État d'Israël a été vue au Vatican comme une menace communiste et athée", a déclaré Lewy. "Dans un éditorial paru le 12 juin 1948 dans L'Osservatore Romano, on pouvait lire que "La naissance d'Israël offre à Moscou une base au Proche-Orient, à partir de laquelle les microbes peuvent se multiplier et se propager."

"Cependant, des comparaisons hostiles et diabolisatrices furent également employées. Le bulletin catholique de la Congrégation de propagation de la foi, à cette époque, alla jusqu'à diffamer le sionisme en le qualifiant de "nouveau nazisme", dit Lewy.

L'aversion pour l'Etat d'Israël a perduré pendant des décennies. En 1957, rappelle Lewy, Domenico Tardini, le ministre des Affaires étrangères de Pie XII, écrivait à l'ambassadeur de France: "J'ai toujours pensé qu'il n'y avait aucune raison impérieuse de fonder cet État. Ce fut une erreur des pays occidentaux. Son existence est un facteur immanent de danger de guerre au Proche-Orient. Depuis qu'Israël existe, et bien sûr il n'y a pas de possibilité de le détruire, nous payons le prix de cette erreur chaque jour". [...]

Appeler Israël par son nom était un tabou qui a duré pendant des décennies et eut certains aspects comiques. En 1955, l'Orchestre philharmonique d'Israël s'est produit au Vatican et L'Osservatore Romano fit état d'un concert donné "par les musiciens juifs venus de 14 pays".

La visite en 1964 du Pape Paul VI en Israël fut présentée comme une visite en "Terre Sainte", et il ne rencontra aucun dirigeant israélien."


Why was Pope Pius XII silent on the Holocaust? par Lisa Palmieri-Billig @ JPost (extraits):

ROME – The creation of the State of Israel in 1948 was viewed by the Vatican “with mixed feelings,” and Pope Pius XII greeted the news by calling for a “crusade of prayer” for “the sacred land” (“terra sacra”), says Mordechay Lewy, Israel's ambassador to the Holy See.

Lewy made the remarks in a speech in Munich, a transcript of which was published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday. [...]

Pius's attitude reflected the Vatican's stolid opposition to the founding of a Jewish state, Lewy concludes. According to Lewy the motivations were political, mixed with anti-Judaic theological prejudices common among Catholic society in the pre-war and pre-Vatican Council II era.

“On the day of Israel's foundation,” says Lewy, “the Osservatore Romano [the official Vatican daily] described the situation as ‘another milestone on the Palestinian Via Cruxis.' The reference to Christ's passion was not accidental.”

“The founding of the State of Israel was seen in the Vatican as a Communist-Atheist threat,” says Lewy. “On June 12, 1948, an editorial in the Osservatore Romano stated, ‘The birth of Israel gives Moscow a base in the Near East from which the microbes can multiply and spread.'

“However, opposing demonizing comparisons were also used. The bulletin of the [Catholic] Congregation de Propaganda Fide, at that time, even went so far as to defame Zionism as ‘the new Nazism,'” Lewy said.

Aversion to the Israeli state lasted for decades. As late as 1957, recalls Lewy, Pius's foreign minister, Domenico Tardini, wrote to the French ambassador, “I always felt that there was no overriding reason to found this state. It was a mistake of the Western countries. Its existence is an immanent factor for the danger of war in the Near East. Since Israel exists, of course there is no possibility for destroying it, but we are paying the price for this mistake day by day.”

This negative attitude, says Lewy, was rooted in a prevailing theology that considered Jews “a deicide people who lost God's grace and with it their right to the Holy Land. The goal of the Zionist movement was in open contrast to traditional Catholic doctrine.”

A taboo on calling Israel by name lasted for decades, and had some humorous aspects. In 1955, the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra performed at the Vatican and L'Osservatore Romano reported a performance “by Jewish musicians from 14 countries.”

Pope Paul VI's 1964 visit to Israel was a visit to “the Holy Land,” and he did not meet with Israeli leaders.

The current era of bilateral relations with Israel was ushered in during the 1980s by Pope John Paul II, the first pope to speak openly of “the right of the people of the State of Israel to live in peace and security,” initiating the process that led to diplomatic recognition of Israel in 1994.

Regarding the controversy over Pius XII's “silence” during the Shoah, which was accompanied, however, by the opening of church institutions to Jewish and political refugees, Lewy echoes the repeated calls by Jewish leaders to suspend historical evaluation until scholars have access to the secret archives of the wartime years of Pius's papacy.

While Vatican officials foresee the opening of these archives within five years, they note that all the pre-1939 documents referring to Pacelli's nunciate in Germany and his years as Pius XI's secretary of state are already available.

Lewy confirms the documents' historical importance, recalling, for example, Pacelli's research in Munich on “the relationship between Communists and Jews in the 1919-21 Revolution. The stereotype of a fusion between Bolsheviks and Jews could be particularly devastating,” intimating a possible influence on Pacelli's attitudes.

To optimize historical research on the vast amount of material already available, Lewy suggests a work strategy involving cross-consultations between Vatican and European archives.

© Philosémitisme


Mis en ligne le 29 mars 2010, par Menahem Macina, sur le site