mardi 11 septembre 2018

Les références antisémites du Pape, pourquoi les utilise-t-il?

Dans ses sermons, le pape François fait régulièrement référence aux pharisiens et aux hypocrites. Il y a de nombreux exemples de son utilisation du terme pharisien de manière insultante. Les chrétiens fustigent les pharisiens depuis les premiers temps du christianisme. De ce fait, le pharisien est emblématique de l’hypocrisie religieuse en général. Or comme le fait remarquer Giles Fraser, prêtre anglican et écrivain, l'association de pharisiens et hypocrites a toujours eu une connotation fondamentalement raciste: les pharisiens sont des juifs et les juifs sont des hypocrites, peu fiables et fourbes. Compte tenu de la longue et violente persécution perpétrée par des chrétiens contre les juifs, les chrétiens d’aujourd’hui devraient faire preuve de beaucoup plus de circonspection lorsqu'ils se réfèrent aux pharisiens comme le fait régulièrement le pape François.

Pharisaïsme (Larousse):  "Manifestation ostentatoire et hypocrite de vertu ou de pitié".
Pharisien,enne (Larousse): "Membre d'une secte juive apparue au IIe s. av. J.-C. qui prétendait observer rigoureusement et strictement la loi de Moïse mais qui, dans l'Evangile est accusée de formalisme et d'hypocrisie." Usage moderne: "Personne qui affecte un respect minutieux d'une morale toute formelle et qui s'en autorise pour juger avec sévérité les actes d'autrui."

Giles Fraser @ Unherd:
Pope Francis loves to reference the Pharisees and hypocrites in his sermons. Whether it is corruption in the priesthood or the European attitude towards refugees, it has become one of his things. Last Sunday, the Pope again used his address at the Angelus to return to this well worn theme. Admittedly, the gospel reading from Mark was all about Jesus’s reaction to the “scribes and Pharisees” who challenge Jesus’s followers for not following the Jewish law. But it was classic Francis: “The hypocrite is a liar, he’s not authentic,” he told his audience. “A man or woman who lives in vanity, in greed, in arrogance and at the same time believes and pretends to be religious and goes as far as condemning others, is a hypocrite.” Many took this to be a reference to the abuse scandals that have rocked the Church in places such as Ireland, from where he has recently returned.

There are multiple examples of Francis using ‘Pharisee’ as a term of abuse. Let one more example stand for many. Last October, at Mass in Casa Santa Marta (St Martha’s guesthouse) where he lives, he said: “Three months ago, in a country, in a city, a mother wanted to baptise her newly born son, but she was married civilly to a divorced man. The priest said, ‘Yes, yes. Baptise the baby. But your husband is divorced, so he cannot be present at the ceremony.’ This is happening today. The Pharisees, or Doctors of the Law, are not people of the past, even today there are many of them.

Now, I don’t dissent from the general sentiment of these pronouncements. Francis is a good man, wanting to shift the Roman Church in the right direction. And nor do I think Francis is unique in laying so much emphasis on his condemnation of Pharisees and their hypocrisy – Christians have been attacking the Pharisees since the earliest days of the Christian proclamation. Hence ‘Pharisee’ long ago became a code work for religious hypocrisy in general.

But there has always been something basically racist about this association: Pharisees are Jews, and Jews are shifty, untrustworthy, hypocrites. Given the long and violent Christian persecution of Jews, today’s Christians should be far more circumspect in referencing the Pharisees as Francis regularly does.

So who were the Pharisees, and what did they stand for? 
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