The Wailing Popes
And it came to pass the current, and very unhappily reigning Pope stopped and prayed at the Wailing Wall, as his two predecessors also did.
We are not told whether Francis wailed. But it is to be supposed he was, at the very least, suitably sad in that humble, very photogenic way of his.
But let us stop one moment here: why was he sad? More to the point: what on earth has a Christian to wail at the Wailing Wall?
I was always led to believe that the destruction of the Temple was at the same time fitting punishment for the Deicide and brutal demonstration that the New Covenant had substituted for the Old, and Judaism had no justified ground for its continued existence. When Our Lord dies on the Cross and the intervening earthquake rends the “Veil” in two, this symbolises the end of one religion and the beginning of another one, or better its continuation under a new form.
At that point, the Temple is doomed already. It will have to go to show the world that Judaism is no more.
How can it be that Francis, and his predecessors, do and did not get that? What has Francis – and what had his two predecessors – to wail for? Is he, and were they, pray, Jews, that they had to feel the need for such an exercise?
The answer lies, I think, in the television.
It just looks good that the Pope would appear at the Wailing Wall. The stupid masses see it, and think it cool, in exactly the same way as they think the nun singing on the Italian TV agitating like she is on cocaine “cool”.
What things mean, or if they mean anything at all, is nowadays perfectly irrelevant.
How they look, and how they make people feel, is all that counts. This was so, in a much milder form, with the other two; and it is most certainly so in the most virulent form with the current man.
Can’t wait for the Pope praying in the direction of the Mecca in the Mosque, or performing the Rain Dance with some Redskin chieftain, or sacrificing to some Hindu deity, as a sign of “dialogue”.
The masses would be delighted.