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Jewish leaders thank PJPII

The International Herald Tribune reported yesterday "the largest delegation of Jewish leaders ever to have an audience at the Vatican thanked Pope John Paul II on Tuesday for his efforts in improving relations between the two faiths, even as a debate rages here over the Roman Catholic Church's policies toward Jewish children after World War II."

The Vatican Information Service released a media statement on Tuesday which said:

The rabbis, who all belong to the Pave the Way Foundation, thanked the Holy Father for "all the efforts he has sustained over 26 years of pontificate to reconcile the two faiths and demolish the wall of hatred," according to a communique from the Foundation published last evening. During the audience, they recited a prayer in honor of John Paul II.

Gary Krupp, founder and president of the Pave the Way Foundation, affirmed that the aim of his group is "to unite men and women of good faith, beyond any religious belief and without prejudice, and to remove with determination all obstacles in the way of this objective. The Pope has done this for decades. The least we can do is to thank him humbly for all he has done for the Jewish people in the world; and in our turn we undertake to make serious efforts for peace on Earth," he said.

Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director of the Center for Inter-religious Understanding, said "since Vatican Council II, and under the guidance of Pope John Paul II, the Church has made many extremely significant steps to create new bonds with Jews on a foundation of sincere affection and reciprocity."

"No Pope before John Paul II has ever done as much, or been so concerned to create fraternal relations between Catholics and Jews. ... I am convinced that Pope John Paul II will be considered a great healer of relations between Catholics and Jews. ... Coming to the Vatican from all over the world, we rabbis say thank you!"

130 Jewish leaders thank John Paul II (IHT 19/1/05)

Rabbis from around the world thank Pope John Paul (VIS 18/1/05)
Rabbis, cantors meet pope, thank him for efforts with Jews (CNS 19/1/05)

20 Jan 2005