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Israeli rabbis accuse the Pope of ‘teaching contempt towards Jews,’ Vatican shrugs it off

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Pope Francis faced criticism from several Israeli rabbis after his comments about the Torah a month ago. They accused Francis of suggesting that their scripture was obsolete. As a result, they asked him in a letter to clarify his comments. Now, the Vatican wrote its response on Friday, claiming Francis comments did not apply to modern Judaism, but to Christians instead.

The Law According to Francis

At the time, Francis was speaking to a general audience at the Vatican. He paraphrased what St. Paul said about the Torah in the New Testament. Later, he also tweeted a similar sentiment.

“The law however does not give life,” Pope Francis said of the first five books in the Bible, also known as the Torah. “It does not offer the fulfillment of the promise because it is not capable of being able to fulfill it . . . Those who seek life need to look to the promise and to its fulfillment in Christ.”

Then, chair of the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel for Dialogue with the Holy See Rabbi Rasson Arousi wrote a letter demanding clarification.

“In his homily, the pope presents the Christian faith as not just superseding the Torah; but asserts that the latter no longer gives life, implying that Jewish religious practice in the present era is rendered obsolete,” Arousi said in the letter. “This is in effect part and parcel of the ‘teaching of contempt’ towards Jews and Judaism that we had thought had been fully repudiated by the Church,” he said.

The Vatican’s Response

Cardinal Kurt Koch penned a letter in response, obtained by Reuters. His department covers religious relations with Jews. He rejected the notion that the Pope was making any declarative statement about Jews.

“The abiding Christian conviction is that Jesus Christ is the new way of salvation. However, this does not mean that the Torah is diminished or no longer recognised as the ‘way of salvation for Jews,'” Koch wrote. “In his catechesis the Holy Father does not make any mention of modern Judaism . . . The fact that the Torah is crucial for modern Judaism is not questioned in any way.”

Now, Pope Francis’ full address remains on YouTube.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.

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Daily Wire investigation: Italian company may have illegally sold rights to the Vatican’s priceless art

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The Daily Wire has been conducting a fascinating investigation into the Vatican Museum’s priceless artwork. “Rights to the Vatican Museums’ priceless trove of art treasures may have been illegally sold without the Holy See’s approval in what one attorney described as a “high-tech heist,” the investigation finds.

An Italian company is allegedly selling the rights to reproduce the Vatican artwork in six-figure deals, while claiming to be working in “collaboration with” the Vatican Museums.

“This scheme is nothing less than a pre-meditated, high-tech heist of world-class treasured art from the Vatican Museums under the disguise of bogus licenses, as if sanctioned by the Vatican,” Sarah Rose Speno, a New York attorney, told The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire’s report notes that Speno said she stumbled upon the alleged scheme in March when she sought permission to use images of Vatican art for an exhibition by a client.

“We discovered that a large table book had been published with high-resolution images of the interiors of the Vatican, including the Sistine Chapel,” Speno said. “We very much wanted to pursue an opportunity to license these images, as soon as possible.”

Speno contacted Scripta Maneant — the Italian publisher that licensed the photos in the book. Scripta Maneant claimed authority to broker the publishing rights via its “collaboration” with Vatican Museums vice director, Monsignore Paolo Nicolini. Scripta Maneant wanted $550,000 for the rights — with a portion being paid to the Vatican through Nicolini, according to Speno. Although Scripta Maneant claimed the fee would be shared with the Vatican, Speno said she later became suspicious.

“The Scripta Maneant scheme became obvious when the Scripta principals demanded a cash wire in the amount of $82,500 no later than their return from summer holiday in late August,” Speno said. “They said that they would produce Vatican approval for our Italian Renaissance Immersive project ‘if and only if’ the fee were wired to the Scripta bank account they provided. It was at this point that grave suspicion entered my mind.”

Ultimately, Speno said, “we terminated the deal when Scripta could not provide us with documented consent by the Vatican.”

Continue Reading: Daily Wire

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