He Made Me Feel Sorry for the Pope

Pope Benedict

Pope Benedict XVI

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach did the unthinkable. He made me feel sorry for the Pope. As a way to maximize the PR yield of his upcoming visit to Pope Benedict XVI, Shmuley published his suggestions including: institute din yichud so no priest is alone with a child and institute Friday night family meals for Catholics as an occasion to shmooze about serious topics and extend hospitality to others. 

You have got to admire Shmuley. He has a penchant for hanging out with folks with incredible wardrobes. First there was Michael Jackson and now there is the Pope. He also does a great job of leveraging those connections. After Jackson died, quicker than you can do a shiva visit, he was writing an expose about Michael and how Michael would have been OK if he had only followed Shmuley’s advice.

I can only imagine what he will have to say when the aged Pope Benedict dies. He will probably time his expose to conincide with TV coverage of the funeral mass. While he is visiting the Pope he will probably hand him a copy of his book Kosher Sex in front of flashing cameras. For all we know he has branched out into writing cookbooks and he will hand him a copy of his collection of inspiring Friday night recipes.

Meanwhile Shmuley, do you have any thoughts about din yichud and other steps to combat molesting in the orthodox Jewish world. Are you planning to write a book about Unkosher Sex. I know we can’t ever match the worldwide Catholic population for book buying. Even the most bedecked chasidishe rebbe can’t match the Pope for satin, velvet and glitz. However, as long as you are borrowing your legitimacy from us, how’s about some payback?


8 thoughts on “He Made Me Feel Sorry for the Pope

  1. Dear yerachmiel you seem to be a very intelligent guy and one motivated by justice and so am i.But are you sure this is the right way to go about things, youre basically yelling into a reshus harabim slanderous stuff, although i think most of what you say has truth to it, you have a big responsobility, did you consult with choshuv people first, i hope so. Also im wondering, what if one of these bad people you write about in your blog were chas vshalom related to you in some way, would you still talk of them the same way? if you can please respond

    • I think we need to be clear about whether behavior that is known to have occurred should or should not be reported. When there is a toeles (purpose) of protecting others from danger there is an obligation. I don’t quite understand the reference to choshuv people being consulted. Do you mean askanim or rabbonim. For truthfulness I interrogate the facts. When ethical issues about reporting arise which are not clear cut, I do seek advice.

      Would I report on a relative? I would admit, I would be tempted not to. The possibility of the culpability of a distant relative arose. I continued to inquire to determine the facts. I was relieved to discover that there was not a hint of suspicion. I would hope that I would have done the right thing. That is certainly my plan if it comes to that.

      Finally, I should add, that your definition of choshuv people and mine might not coincide. I regularly consult with Rabbi Yosef Blau because I know that his commitment to eradicating evil in this area coincides with his commitment to truth. There are so-called choshuv people who have alas failed the test of integrity which earlier generations of leaders passed.

      Reb Yoelish, the Satmar Rebbe, once asked a chosid if he would break a halachah if the Rebbe ordered him to. The chosid said yes. The Rebbe got furious. Rabbonim of such integrity are alas in short supply. So the question of choshuv depends on whether you are talking about their status in the Moetzes or their level of integrity.

      Nothing exempts one from responsibility for vulnerable children just because an offender is a relative. Of course we pray not to be tested but also pray to pass the test if it arises. And none of us truly knows what we will do until after we have been tested.

  2. Boteach seems to be taking lessons from the Borger school of public relations. Here’s a thought: Howsabout Botayuck lets some of these errant priests have a regular erev shabbos dinner with his family in order to straighten them out? I seriously doubt he’d sing the same song.

  3. Shmuley said on his radio show 770 WABC Sunday,
    that he had some priests over for a Shabbat meal, and that the priests seem to be very lonely
    he is advocating that the pope should let the priests get married, this way they won’t need to molest the kids
    I am not happy that he calls himself Rabbi Shmuley on the radio, he does not represent us.
    All he does is he defends the pope and priests and their sex scandals. He talks about ALL the good the church does! He says you cannot look at the bad without looking at how much GOOD the church does! Unbelievable!

    • Great: a shabbos meal and shidduch would fix everything. Does anyone know if Shmuley has ever addressed molesting in the frum world or is he just a maven about Catholic priests.

      Next he will have Catholic seminary boys learn b’chavrusah with yeshiva bochurim.

  4. Shmucky Lowleech is incorrigible. He’s not even a rabbi! Isn’t it against the law to go around impersonating a rabbi? If not, it should be.

    Shmucky has no morals, no scruples and no integrity. Good people of the Jewish faith should rise up against this hypocrite and run him out of town on a rail, just as he was run out of Oxford.

    Do some research on this nut job. I can’t believe he’s not locked up in a rubber room somewhere.

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