Responding to a feature in the Miami Herald featuring papal candidates, Dershowitz wrote in a letter to the editor regarding the Honduran Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga, “He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! He has argued that the Jews got even with the Catholic Church for its anti-Israel positions by arranging for the media—which they, of course, control, he said—to give disproportionate attention to the Vatican sex scandal. He then compared the Jewish controlled media with Hitler, because they are ‘protagonists of what I do not hesitate to define as a persecution against the church.’”
Jewish-Catholic relations have substantially improved under the leadership of the two most recent Popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI. Both have strongly condemned anti-Semitism, commemorated the Holocaust and improved diplomatic ties with Israel— including a recent agreement formalizing Israel-Vatican relations.
The next Pope will be faced with a decision on whether or not to continue the theological and diplomatic progress his two predecessors made with the Jews and Israel. There have been rumors that the Catholic Church may pick its first Pope from Latin America, where 40 percent of the world’s Catholics reside.