John Allen har skrevet en analyse av hvorfor pave Benedikt gjør tilsynelatende selvmotsigende ting, som å si mye fint om katolikkers forhold til jødene, samtidig som han har gjeninnført bønna som ber om deres omvendelse. Jeg syns personlig at Allen overdriver disse såkalte motsetningene; de bør vel betraktes som journalistiske grep for å få fram et hovedpoeng – som er pavens ønske om å styrke den (tradisjonelle) katolske identitetet. Allen definerer denne identiteten på følgende måte:
… … Here it is in a nutshell: Benedict’s top priority is internal, directed at the inner life of the Catholic Church. His aim is to restore a strong sense of traditional Catholic identity, in order to inoculate the church against infection by radical secularism. That’s not just a personal hobbyhorse of this pope, but rather the culmination of 50 years of mounting concern inside Catholicism that the church has gone too far in accommodating the ways and means of the secular world. Today, this wave of “evangelical Catholic” energy is the most important policy-setting force in the church.
As a result, when Benedict XVI says or does things that affect Judaism, the key is often to understand that he’s not really talking to Jews but to other Catholics.
Thus, Benedict’s decision to revive the old Latin Mass, including that infamous prayer for the conversion of Jews, was certainly not crafted as a statement about Judaism. Instead, Benedict sees the old Mass as a classic carrier of Catholic identity, an antidote to any tendency to secularize the church’s worship. Likewise, Benedict did not lift the excommunications of four traditionalist bishops, including one who believes the Nazis didn’t use gas chambers, to endorse their troubled history with antisemitism. Rather, he did so because the traditionalists act as a leaven in the church, fostering appreciation for the Catholic past — even if their ideas on some matters lie far from the pope’s own thinking. … …