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Jewish Leaders Praise Pope Benedict Following Retirement Announcement

February 11, 2013 10:43 am 51 comments

Pope Benedict XVI. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement Monday that he is planning to retire on February 28th, the first time a sitting pope will have stepped aside since the 14th century, has elicited reaction from several Jewish leaders around the world.

Monday, Israeli chief rabbi Yona Metzger praised his inter-religious outreach and current relations between Israel and the Vatican.

“During his period (as pope) there were the best relations ever between the church and the chief rabbinate and we hope that this trend will continue,” a spokesman quoted Metzger as saying after the pope announced he would resign. “I think he deserves a lot of credit for advancing inter-religious links the world over between Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

Britain’s Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks also responded to Monday’s announcement, praising the pope’s character and recalling a meeting they had in 2011.

“I was honored to welcome Pope Benedict XVI to Britain on behalf of non-Christian faiths in 2010 and spend time with him during a visit to the Vatican in 2011,” he said.

“I saw him to be a man of gentleness, of quiet and of calm, a deeply thoughtful and compassionate individual who carried with him an aura of grace and wisdom. I wish him good health, blessings and best wishes for the future,” Rabbi Sacks added.

Despite the praise, Pope Benedict’s reign was not without its controversies. Having served in the Hitler Youth as a boy, the pope’s wartime actions were a source of tension. His continued support for Pope Pius XII, who held the position during the Holocaust, as well as his unwillingness to condemn the Catholic Church’s actions during the Second World War, didn’t help  matters either.

In 2009, while on a visit to Israel, the pope refused to enter Yad Vashem because of its negative portrayal of Pope Pius XII. The trip was otherwise viewed as a success, with the World Jewish Congress praising it as a major step forward in relations between Judaism and Christianity.

But the Pope will be remembered more for his attempts to bridge the divide between Christianity and Judaism than anything else. In a book published in 2011, he exonerated the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, a doctrine that has been used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews. While the Vatican had for five decades taught that Jews weren’t collectively responsible, Jewish scholars said the argument laid out by the German-born pontiff was significant and would help fight anti-Semitism.

On Monday World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder issued a statement expressing his admiration for the pope’s efforts to improve relations with the Jewish community: “It is with great emotion that we learned today that Pope Benedict XVI will retire at the end of this month. His decision deserves our greatest respect.”

“The papacy of Benedict XVI elevated Catholic-Jewish relations onto an unprecedented level. Not only did he maintain the achievements of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, and give the relationship solid theological underpinning but, more importantly, he filled it with meaning and with life,” the statement read.

51 Comments

  • aswanash alehim

    kolmas tulee kaukana tulevaisuudessa pohjoisesta maasta missä vesi on valkoista joskus ja sen päällä voi kävellä

    imri

  • aswanash alehim

    what yoy (Y) say to yoyr god?

    • aswanash alehim

      from picture of nerh i knew what he wished to say
      but nut those yoyr leaders from holocaust don’t give promise

  • aswanash alehim

    sa le im

  • aswanash alehim

    im wish good to yishraels,

    to you woman

    imri

  • aswanash alehim

    always in my life moth ish something

    imri

  • aswanash alehim

    to egyptologists what means hatshepsuth name

    hatshemoth

    imri

  • aswanash alehim

    no one will ever destroy yishrael

    imri

    Son of Man

  • aswanash alehim

    to isis and arabs and palestinians

    allah ish not YH

    and yoy hebrews yoy must teach also

    all isis will go to hell

    imri

    sanethkash selahim

    son nof man

  • aswanash alehim

    my father YH said what i said

    imri

  • aswanash alehim

    why yoy cant live in peace

    imri

  • aswanash alehim

    YH: jaktanesh ta nesh tash hebrew rabbaishnektash

    imri esh ma washna

  • aswanash alehim

    to hebrews sane im

    i

  • aswanash alehim

    im wonder what to say to yoy

    catholics are yoy human?

    im

  • aswanash alehim

    impashnektash seh alehim eshnektas ne ta palestina et arab, ta eshkenash tah pashnektash seh hebrew

    in the right of alehim, im have nothing against to palestinians and arabs, live in peace with hebrew

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    to yishrael destroyers im say , when yoy put gun to yishrael yoy shoot yoyr family

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    if yoy see in the night bright white door, yoy are chosen,

    but yoy choose when yoy enter and whit hom

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    ne ta ne tsunami,ta antarktica, impeshkanektas seh alehim,

    ma ashna YH pashnektas seh ta, ta sehh ma washna et seh ashwelon, ta im ma washna, ta 12 ekna eska tana 2029

    IM:shortly what my father YH said, how yoy would live if yoy know if yoy will die 12 month ago or year 2029, and how many angel is watching yoyr death

    im ma washna

    im yoyr elder son, ev eloh

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    to washington west coast, yoy will have big tsunami soon

    and to others and to yoy im no write

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    YH means

    YhawaneH

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    ta na

    im go now forever

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    and yoy hebrew priests know now from where anagram ishmael came

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    ta ne nektash seh halem, ishkenash seh wash YH

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    when im watched this link http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/docs/29_lesson10.pdf

    im remind those scripts on the wall

    and whem im ask YH what those are he said

    sah le im

    IM

    aswanash alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    YH wonder in what rights Thomas Rosica on Pope John Paul II becoming saint?

    all popes cardinals and priest are in hell, except pope benedict, because he resigned

    only YH can forgive sins

    Son of Man

    Holy Spirit

    Nehawah Ne Wah Ne

  • aswanash alehim

    GERMANS DONT DO ANYTHING, THAHTS IS WHY BIRDS ARE SINGING

  • aswanash alehim

    im know i catholic nun who is in heaven, mother theresa, and one pope will see ashwelon when he prayis 16 years, only pope, how many israel pope are in heaven, only one , abraham, best of YH’s children, when YH likes some noble person, he will say it, and only that person knows it,

    wane impashketnat sen halom

    yoy are not enough to YH with politics shits

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    algemeiner, what ever im send yoy don’t published, and the number of tornadoes and hurricanes grow

    and goneandforgotten have more to cry

    IM pashnektash seh YH

    wetskanes seh YH

    sehamel seh YH

    judge and justice of YH

  • aswanash alehim

    when merkel, obama barack and putin and other leaders will go to hell, nehawah with mirror only watch, and in maind ask why, yoy did those things?

    IM watskenash seh YH

    rev 19:11-16

    alehim seh alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    algemeiner I hope yoy have good life

    wetshkanes

  • tya ne im wetskah seh vatican, ta washna seh ta terra,
    ta ne impashka i im pa ne

    YH

    to vatican, my elder son is there

    yoy don’t want to understand what

    ta ne impashka i im pa ne

    means

    YH

  • how it feels,,ta ne im pash nektash

    to speak YH with elder son

    SOn of Man

  • aswanash alehim

    pope francis, petrus romanum, is afraid what is to come

    son of man

  • aswanash alehim

    pope franciscus , if there were old poor woman, or a lepard , would jou shake her him?

    aswanash alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    pope franciscus you want to see me face to face, one day you will, but before that you must shake hands with simple persons like that old portuguese woman who carries fatimas picture, kiss her as pope do and she is happy, i sent her

    she is true god’s children

    aswanash alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    Hatsheepsut maatkairi let jews to go freedom, when she were old she said to thuthmoses 3 that he must destroy her statues that he can role egypt

    ta ne watshka seh nah ma nes

    aswanash alehim

    ta na

  • aswanash alehim

    pope benedict is the only pope who will see ashwelon, the others are in hell

    aswanash alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    ta na , eshkeshna´s seh YH,i know you don’t o my words but i speak to my father YH

    aswanash alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    and to jews palestinians and arabs YH wantns to say
    ta ne him washna nahs

  • aswanash alehim

    to pope benedict

    when i go to my father ta YH 2029 i want to shake yoyr hand pope benedict and yoy see ashwelon,angel armyes

  • aswanash alehim

    im the elder son of YH, aswanash alehim,
    i know you think i am some greasy ashhole, i want to connect hebrews, palestinians and arabs to make peace, they are all YH children

  • aswanash alehim

    sa washna seh ashna, alehim . son of man ta terra

    ashwanash alehim

    ashwanake seh ashwelon

    im elder son of YH ashwanash alehim

  • aswanash alehim

    to jews and others who lost relatives in holocaust,

    hitler and the others, they suffer the last day as the wictim, and when those miljons days are past, counter is zero and …

    sa washna seh YH

  • aswanash alehim

    Mary Allen how is yoy doughter?

  • aswanash alehim

    iim neh washna seh ash

  • aswanash alehim

    pa netshka seh halem

    IM

  • aswanash alehim

    why you loved the pope

  • aswanash alehim

    im ,sa waneshha seh YH

    esh sa wa neshna

    aswanash alehim

  • Why does Ronald Lauder feel the need to comment on everything? He has ZERO credibility as long as he remains silent on the scandal in Vienna regarding the innocent Schlesinger twins. Does he think it is acceptable to take children away from their mother for no valid reason?

  • This was to happen with this Pope the next will be the last .We are moving right along to the coming of Messiah.

  • MILINDA DHAMMIKA RATNASURIYA

    I LOVE THE POE VERY MUCH !!! HE REACHED OUT TO A LOT OF PEOPLE !!! HE WAS A UNIFIER NOT A PARTISAN DIVIDER !!!

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