Israel Hayom reported on May 23. "Next Sunday, Pope Francis comes to Israel, where he intends to make a historic gesture of apology for an injustice that was committed 110 years ago by the Vatican.
In 1904 the Zionist leader Theodor Herzl visited the Vatican to ask the Pope Pius X, to assist in the establishment of the modern Jewish state of Israel, the homeland of the Jewish nation. But Pius refused."
The Visit to Herzl's Grave
Now Francis plans on visiting Herzl Mountain to visit Herzl's grave to lay a floral wreath on his grave stone as a sign of apology.
"Should this be the reason for the visit of Herzl's grave, and not an intended by the Israeli government for state as a guest obstacle course, which one could hardly escape from diplomatic considerations, that would be serious," wrote the Catholic site Pagina Catolica of Argentina. "On the one hand Pope Francis can not ignore that Zionism is not the identical to Judaism, but represents a particular political nationalist direction, and that this Zionism has caused much suffering among Christians and still causes it. Secondly, such a gesture could be interpreted as distancing and condemning of Pope Pius X, even if this is not the intention of Francis," said Pagina Catolica .
"To create balance in a balancing act is difficult. Playing with compensations can be dangerous in the political ground," said the Catholic site. It seems difficult to imagine that such a gesture would not have been criticized on the Palestinian and Muslim side. As had been already criticized by the Jewish side, the papal commitment to two states in Bethlehem, his prayer at the separation wall and the call for a "just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict" in Jordan. Is the visit to Herzl's tomb "as compensation" for these statements, gestures and demands?
Israel Hayom reported that Pope friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who visited with the Pope and the Muslim Omar Abboud Jerusalem, the Israeli newspaper described the triad as "Holy Trinity", was announced a few months ago as a "definitive gesture for Israel."
Theodor Herzl's Report on the Meeting with Pope Pius X in 1904
On the 1st of July 1956 in the journal La Terre Retrovée a text of Theodor Herzl was published about his meeting with Pope Pius X on January 26, 1904:
Yesterday I was with the Pope. The route was already familiar since I had traversed it with Lippay several times. Past the Swiss lackeys, who looked like clerics, and clerics who looked like lackeys, the Papal officers and chamberlains.