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Rome Reports

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Year in Review-March: Pope meets with Chief Rabbi of Israel

Benedict XVI "The Church recognizes that the beginnings of her faith are found in the historical divine intervention in the life of the Jewish people." Also, scholars from the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and scholars from the Vatican met in Israel to evaluate research on Pope Pius XII’s role during World War II and the Holocaust. ; Archbishop Antonio Franco Nuncio to the Holy Land "For the Shoah, for the memory, to keep the memory, and to learn from the memory, the Catholic Church, I think, is the best partner, the best ally, of Yad Vashem." But one of the highlights of March was the pope’s first trip to Africa. Benedict XVI visited Cameroon and Angola. In Cameroon he visited a hospital. The pope said he prays for the victims of violence, wars, AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, the most life-threatening issues plaguing the African continent. Later, he called on tens of thousands of people at the soccer stadium in Yaounde to reject the tyranny of materialism and recognize the True Author of Life. Benedict XVI "Brothers and sisters in Cameroon and throughout Africa, you who have received from God so many human virtues, take care of your souls! Do not let yourselves be captivated by selfish illusions and false ideals!" Then he travelled to Angola where he celebrated mass with more than one million people. The pope spoke against violence produced by the belief in witchcraft and urged Christians to live in peace with those who practice it but help convert them as well. He also reflected on the scars left by constant wars in Africa and the many victims claimed in Angola, one of the continent’s most land mined countriesBenedict XVI "We think of the evil of war, the murderous fruits of tribalism and ethnic rivalry, the greed which corrupts men’s hearts, enslaves the poor, and robs future generations of the resources they need to create a more equitable and just society." With his visit, the pope celebrated with Angolans 500 years of Christianity in their country. OS/DG