28 February 2018, The Tablet

Search for the promised land: Zionism and the church

Search for the promised land: Zionism and the church

The father of modern political Zionism, Theodore Herzl, met Pope Pius X in 1904. Herzl wanted Pius’ support for his project. Pius replied: “We cannot give approval to this movement. As the head of the Church I cannot tell you anything different. The Jewish religion was superseded by the teachings of Christ, and we cannot concede it any further validity.”

This was the standard Catholic view. But what if the Church were to deem Judaism “valid”? If it had done so in the nineteenth century, would Pius have acted differently? 

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