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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Landmark Statement by Pope Benedict XVI; Exoneration of Jews

The Pope came out in his new book, Jesus of Nazareth: Part II exonerating all Jews of the death of Jesus Christ.  He explained why there is no evidence showing all Jews were at fault.  This is quite a revelation coming from this particular Pope, who was German born and forced to be in the Hitler Youth.  .  I've noted earlier in another blog how I saw him currying favor with the Arab community and blaming Israel about having settlements.  .  Netanyahu, being a mentch, thanked the Pope for stating this in his new book and felt that it would do much to bring about peace. 
It was back in 1965 in the 2nd Vatican Council that said Christ's death could not be attributed to Jews as a whole at the time or today.  Today's Pope explains that by going through the gospel and analyzing the pages that he believes this to indeed be true and that only the Temple aristocrqcy and a small group of supporters of Barabbas were responsible for Jesus's crucifiction.  Pope Benedict is considered a theologian which makes this an important statement..
The Anti-Defamation leader, Abraham Foxman was happy that the Pope rejects the past teachers that helped to "foster and reinforce anti-Semitism through the centuries."   

Though this is a new declaration, Portland has seen Jews and Catholics work together.  The rabbi Cahana of Beth Israel told the Oregonian that this has never been an issue as he has worked regularly with Catholic leaders including the chancellor of the Archdiocese of Portland, Mary Jo Tully.  Tully said that Catholics and Jews in Portland have had a strong relationship for many years.  Professor AMeier at Portland State U said that it doesn't hurt to have a reminder.  He felt that today's anti-semitism come more from economic and political issues with the attacks that Jews are "taking over and infilrating society."  However, in European countries this view of Jews being Christ killers is still there.  Anti-Semitism does come from religious feelings.
Resource: Oregonian Newspaper, March 3, 2011, page A4.,7340,L-4037397,00.html

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