06/09/2005, 00.00
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Pope tells the Jews: "No to hatred and anti-semitism"

The 40th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate" is marked by a meeting between Benedict XVI and a delegation of the International Jewish Committee on inter-religious consultations.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The willingness to press ahead with dialogue between Christians and Jews, whose past relations have been "complex and often painful", was reiterated today by the Pope. Meeting a delegation of 25 members of the International Jewish Committee on inter-religious consultations, he renewed the no to "all manifestations of hate, persecution and anti-semitism" affirmed 40 years ago in the Council declaration "Nostra Aetate".

Among other things, he said: "At the beginning of my pontificate, I want to assure that the Church remains firmly committed to continuing this important teaching" of the Council "in its catechesis and in every aspect of its life".  Benedict XVI recalled the "complex and often painful" history of relations between the communities, with a view to affirming that "remembering the past is for both communities a moral imperative and a source of purification of our efforts to pray and work for reconciliation, justice and respect for human dignity and peace, which is ultimately a gift of the Lord".

The Pope included in this recollection "a continual reflection on the profound historical, moral and theological questions deriving from the experience of Shoah". The meeting was defined as "very cordial" and truly "significant" by Rabbi David Rosen, international director of inter-religious affairs of the American Jewish Committee, which highlighted that the first inter-religious meeting of the new Pope was with a delegation which "represents global Judaism".
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