Vatican Expert Addressed ADL Meeting; Current Anti-Semitism, Anti-Israel Action Explored
New York, NY, February 15, 2007 … Catholic-Jewish relations and current trends in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel action were among the topics on the agenda as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) convened its annual National Executive Committee Meeting, February 8-10, 2007 in Palm Beach, Florida.
John L. Allen Jr., an author, journalist and foremost expert on Vatican relations, delivered a keynote address examining the powerful forces of global change that promise to reshape the Catholic Church in the 21st Century under the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI, and the implications for the Jewish community.
Mr. Allen, Senior Correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter and the author of "The Rise of Pope Benedict XVI: The Inside Story of How the Pope Was Elected and Where He will Take the Catholic Church," outlined 10 "Mega-Trends" that he believes could play a fundamental role in the future of the Church's interfaith outreach efforts to Jews, including the rise of extremist Islam and its expanding influence in the Middle East, the secularization of Europe, and the burgeoning Catholic population in the southern hemisphere, including Latin America and Africa.
The League's highest policymaking body also heard from Rabbi Riccardo Shmuel Di Segni, the Chief Rabbi of Rome, who discussed concerns within the Italian Jewish community about anti-Semitism and the rise of far-right parties in Europe. Rabbi Di Segni said the Italian Jewish community is working to forge new working relationships with the new Italian government and the new papacy in Rome.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, discussed how the Internet may be a major factor in growing anti-Semitism around the world. "I'm becoming convinced more and more every day that the reason anti-Semitism is out there more is this superhighway, this transmitter belt," Mr. Foxman said. "These blogs circulate it and reinforce it, and so there's more of it."
It should also be noted that John L. Allen Jr. penned a whitewash of the Opus Judei lodge titled, Opus Dei, which is touted by the establishment as the "definitive" work on the organization.