Friday, January 23, 2009


This article from the Times was sent in by a reader:

Accusing Pope Benedict XVI of "putting the clock back fifty years" a leading Italian rabbi has said Italian Jewish leaders will boycott joint Christian-Jewish prayers due to be held on Saturday in an annual celebration of Judaism by the Vatican.

Elia Enrico Richetti, the chief rabbi of Venice, said in a hard hitting article in the Jesuit journal "Popoli" that the main reason for the rabbis' decision was the re-introduction by the Pope in March last year of a Good Friday Latin prayer for the conversion of the Jews as part of the revived Tridentine Mass.

In addition the Pope's recent statements "about dialogue being useless because the Christian faith is superior" meant that "we are moving toward the cancellation of fifty years of Church history" the rabbi said.

Rabbi Richetti said the Vatican had treated Jewish leaders in a "patronising" way and had "no respect" for those of other faiths. "The interruption of cooperation between Italian Judaism and the Church is the logical conseque...

Pope John Paul II, Benedict's predecessor, made Christian dialogue with Jews - whom he described as "our elder brothers" - a priority of his pontificate, and became the first Pope to visit a synagogue. Pope Benedict has also visited a synagogues in Germany and the United States, but is regarded by some as only paying lip serice to inter-faith dialogue. His projected trip to Israel in May is in doubt because of a perceived pro Palestinian bias in Vatican policy.

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