Pope calls for dialogue with Jews [pg. 2]

Benedict XVI calls for conversion of Jews, but also for continued dialogue

By GEORGE CONGER JERUSALEM POST CORRESPONDENT
March 19, 2006 00:12
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI has commended continued dialogue and mutual affection between Christianity and Judaism, while also calling for the conversion of Jews. On Thursday, the pope met a delegation from the American Jewish Committee (AJC) at the Vatican, and urged Christians and Jews to "to build bridges of understanding across all barriers." He spoke of the "rich common patrimony" of Christians and Jews that "distinguishes our relationship as unique among the religions of the world," and called for a "dialogue characterized by mutual respect and love." But the day before, speaking to 30,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square in Rome, Benedict inaugurated a new series of weekly catechetical lessons by making an appeal for the conversion of Jews. The pope told the crowd that the 12 apostles symbolically stood for the 12 tribes of Israel. "By their mere existence, the 12 - called from different backgrounds - have become a summons to all Israel to conversion, and to allow themselves to be reunited in a new covenant, a full and perfect accomplishment of the old," he said. The leader of the AJC delegation and president of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, Rabbi David Rosen, told The Jerusalem Post that while the pope's call for conversion "could easily be misread," there was no contradiction in the pope's two addresses. The pope was speaking "theologically" about the "end of time" and "not issuing a call to convert people today," Rosen said. The pope believes it to be "highly inappropriate" to proselytize Jews, Rosen said by telephone from Rome. Unlike certain Christian churches "where the elements of error have crept in, in [Judaism] there is nothing false," the pope told Rosen. Meeting with German rabbis in the synagogue of Cologne on August 19, 2005, Benedict said: "In those areas in which, due to our profound convictions in faith, we diverge... we need to show respect and love for one another." Questions over conversion were last sparked by an August 2002 report released by the US Catholic Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. In a joint statement released with the National Council of Synagogues, the bishops said "targeting Jews for conversion to Christianity" is "no longer theologically acceptable in the Catholic Church." Other Catholic leaders repudiated the statement. Cardinal Avery Dulles, one of the Church's leading theologians, said this view "does not forthrightly present" Catholic teaching or Pope John Paul II's view that the "Church is the ordinary means of salvation and that she alone possesses the fullness of the means of salvation." However, the leader of the Catholic Church's interfaith efforts with Jews, Cardinal Walter Kasper, agreed with the American bishops. "This does not mean that Jews in order to be saved have to become Christians; if they follow their own conscience and believe in God's promises as they understand them in their religious tradition, they are in line with God's plan, which for us comes to its historical completion in Jesus Christ," Kasper said in a November 2002 interview. Rosen noted that the difficult historical relationship between Catholics and Jews had improved in recent years through high-level talks between the Vatican and Jewish groups. For example, on February 28, the Vatican and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel released a joint statement denouncing euthanasia. The Chief Rabbinate's participation in the dialogue, Rosen said, "is a sign of how far the Catholic-Jewish relationship has advanced, unparalleled by any other relationship that Judaism has with any other religious denomination."

Related Content

Joan Rivers
August 28, 2014
Joan Rivers rushed to hospital following throat surgery

By JPOST.COM STAFF