|« Israeli Rabbis urge pope on anti-Semitism||Lutherans: We’ll huff and we’ll puff and we’ll blow the wall down »|
Chief Rabbis to meet Pope and urge support to fight anti-Semitism
Tomorrow, Israel's two chief rabbis meet with Pope Benedict XVI to celebrate the 40th anniversary of
Nostra Aetate, the Vatican document which marked the start of a change in the Catholic Church's relationship with Jews. It seems likely they will seek his support in the fight against anti-Semitism and terrorism.
The rabbis would likely speak to the pope of the need for further dissemination and understanding of the landmark "Nostra Aetate" document adopted by the Second Vatican Council in 1965, [Ambassador] Ben-Hur said.
In the document, Latin for "In Our Time," the Vatican deplored anti-Semitism in every form and repudiated the "deicide" charge that blamed Jews as a people for Christ's death. The idea of Jewish guilt had fueled anti-Semitism for centuries.
Ben-Hur said the document needed to be further understood, not only among the ranks of lay people but even among ordinary priests.
Having seen the way some Protestant Churches moved from a position of improving relations with Jews to one of anti-Semitism in their attacks on the Jewish state, the Catholic Church cannot afford to be complacent, and must be careful not to go down the same path as, for instance, the Anglicans. There are individuals within the Church, some in influential positions, who have never relinquished their personal prejudice, and would gladly reverse the present situation back to one of traditional anti-Semitism. Thanks to the leadership of Popes like John XXIII, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, with the support of those who love the Jews, the Church has continued to develop along the path of friendship and just attitudes towards their 'older brothers'. Even the unfriendly and probably anti-Semitic Pope Paul VI failed to stop this development.
Israel needs the Vatican's support at "this very dire hour" now that it has completed its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur said
"We're looking for common grounds, we're looking for common declarations," he said. "And true, while the church doesn't have teeth, it can definitely influence" people through its declarations.