Saturday, March 14, 2009

Pope to Visit Rome's Synagogue Next Fall

Chief Rabbi Calls It an "Important Gesture"

VATICAN CITY, MARCH 13, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI will visit Rome's main synagogue this fall, confirms a Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Jesuit Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office, said Thursday that the visit is scheduled for the fall, but the exact date has yet to be determined.Benedict XVI will be the second Pope to visit that temple in the history of Vatican-Jewish relations.

Pope John Paul II visited Rome's synagogue in 1986.The current Pope has visited two other synagogues as Pope. The first was during the 2005 World Youth Day in Cologne, German, and the second was the synagogue of New York in 2008.

Rome's chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, told Vatican Radio that the planned visit is "an important gesture that confirms the will to continue an attitude of respect and friendship."He said John Paul II's visit to the synagogue of Rome "opened a new era" of Vatican-Jewish relations.

The rabbi also spoke positively of Benedict XVI's scheduled trip to the Holy Land. He called it a gesture of "attention" and "respect."Di Segni admitted there are "many problems" in relation
s between Jews and Christians -- "theological, historical, delicate problems that separate us."

While admitting some differences will never be resolved, he acknowledged that the two traditions share many common values: "If the conflictive elements are taken away, everything that follows can be a great fruit and a great good for all."

The rabbi added that relations between Jews and the Vatican have calmed down this week: "Many of the clouds that had gathered have disappeared. A climate of good will prevails, and that is very important."

4 comments:

. said...

It's good to have good relations with the Jews because they are, spiritualy, our ancestors and because God choose the Jews to be born one of them. They are truly special.

Felisol said...

Dear Annie,
I too admire and hold to Jews very highly. They still are the living proof of fulfilling of the prophesies and and God's eternal love.
I feel sure that Pope Benedict is no less aware of proud and heroic history of the Jews than I, a laywoman, am.
As you say, the worldly press want to destroy.
It's wonderful that you have taken up this mission of making clear where the Catholic Church is standing in several important issues.
Be blessed, dear Annie,
From Felisol

kwelos said...

I see that on his current visit to Africa, Pope Benedict has repeated his critique of Islam regarding irrationalism and propagation by violence, though in a more low-key way than at Regensburg.

Hopefully the easily-offended ones will refrain from any reprisals.

Annie said...

Thank you all for your visits. As always, it is my hope that I can find a positive article that reflects true positions of the Church to counter so much negative onslaught.

And yes, let us continue to pray that people will listen through unfiltered hearts and not over-react to feelings of being insulted.