Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Pope & The Jews

On CBS's website... my emphasis & [my commentary].

NEW YORK (AP) ― Pope Benedict XVI will visit a synagogue led by a rabbi who survived the Holocaust during his first papal trip to the United States, the nation's bishops said Thursday.

The pontiff, 80, is a native of Germany whose father was anti-Nazi. Benedict was enrolled in the Hitler Youth program as a teenager against his will and then was drafted into the German army in the last months of the war. [Oh my gosh! They actually reported this correctly.] He wrote in his memoirs that he deserted in the war's last days.

It is the pope's second visit to a synagogue as pontiff. On his first papal trip abroad in 2005, Benedict visited a synagogue in Cologne, Germany.

"By this personal and informal visit, which is not part of his official program, His Holiness wishes to express his good will toward the local Jewish community as they prepare for Passover," said Monsignor David Malloy, general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Passover begins at sundown on April 19.

Separately, the pope has scheduled a meeting with Jewish leaders and representatives of other faiths for April 17 in Washington.

The pope has been reaching out to Jews, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II. Some tensions arose recently over a Good Friday prayer the pope revived from the old Latin rite that had historically been used as an excuse for violence and discrimination against Jews. Benedict revised the prayer to address Jewish fears, but some Jewish leaders worried that the changes did not go far enough. [Those Jewish leaders who are angry are totally unreasonable; do we not have the freedom to remain faithful to our Truth claims? Do we or do we not believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah? If we do, it is unreasonable to stop praying that the Jews recognize Him as Messiah. It's just that simple. If the Jews pray that Christians cease from their erroneous doctrine during Passover, I quite frankly wouldn't care. That's what they believe; of course they would do that!]

Read the whole thing here.

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