Page 6, 5th November 1999

5th November 1999
Page 6
Page 6, 5th November 1999 — Harmless anti papists, a Catholic chief rabbi and other memories

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Organisations: Prayer Book Society
Locations: Rome


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Harmless anti papists, a Catholic chief rabbi and other memories

Personal view

Gerard Noel

THIS YEAR has been an important one for an association of High Anglicans known as the Prayer Book Society. For 1999 has seen the 450th anniversary of the 1549 Booke of Common Prayer. This was the original forerunner of the object of their particular devotion, the 1662 version.

Every year, the society holds a service at its St James's, Garlickhythe, headquarters. One year, its chaplain congratulated the society for having ever avoided "the excesses of the Puritans on the one hand and of the Papists on the other". "Papists", it should be added, are not allowed as full members, and therefore do not attend this service.

Such exclusion of a particular group of people on the grounds of their religion may seem rather unchristian. It is also, probably, illegal. But one must be fair. Catholics, or, as PBS members would say, "Romans", by being excluded Guards' from full membership are and, spared from any danger of attended being offended. Indeed, I members of the society, if my

somewhat quaint, are relatively Catholic

harmless and are viewed by Secretary outsiders with amused tolerAn ance. sham,

IbooAM SORRY that I ever to

mentioned John Cornwell's man k about Pius XII. Many place nice people have been upset, I which is distressing, especially tional in view of the panic that has at spread from Rome. Mercifully, Catholic this has not been widely Catholic.

reported. A gloss, however is questions urgeryila , called for on the candour.

comment (October 15th) that tore the book accused Pacelli of extremely "complicity in the Holocaust". It This was not one of Cornwell's for charges, his analysis being of a pers very different nature. subsequently A word may also be in order of it about Israel (later Eugenio) got Zolli, Rome's Chief Rabbi who never became a Catholic. He did so tesy having sought refuge in the Vatican to secure his personal was safety after hearing he was we about to be included in the Nazi to rounding up of Jews. He was insisted deeply offended when his flock, decanter after the danger had passed, and disowned and shunned him. characteristically I knew Zolli well, and visited him once or twice a month during my years in Rome. He was very enlightening on exegetical matters, though some of his theories were rather startling. The Pope's well-known liking for him, for example, survived his view that the words "Thou art Peter and on this rock I will build my Church" were never actually spoken by Jesus.

They occur, he pointed out in the version according to Matthew, but not according to Mark or Luke, of the famous conversation at Caesarea Philippi. How, Zolli asked, could the Mark and Luke gospels have completely missed what later became so key a passage? The answer, he said, was they were an interpolation into Matthew in the 3r1 century, a legitimated device of which there are many other examples for driving home the validity of singling out of Peter as leader. He added that the later insertion becomes more obvious, even to the non-expert when the different versions are placed side by side.

E MEMORIAL service for

Lord Whitelaw last Wednesday at the Chapel was a moving not surprisingly, massively occasion.

originally met him during second year as editor of The Herald, when he was for Northern Ireland. old friend, David Windleone of his Ministers of kindly arranged for me have lunch with the great at Stormont. This took at the end of June 1972. managed to procure addiinvitations for the editors, the time, of the Scottish Observer and the Irish Willie answered our with disarming At that particular juncin Ulster affairs, this was revealing.

was a memorable occasion our little family of newspaand I often had occasion to remind Willie with gratitude. His memory hazy in his later days, but he lost anything of his couror charm.

My last meeting with him nearly two years ago when happened to be sitting next each other at White's. He on my sharing a of claret with himself another member which was generous.

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