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Rome Reports

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Jewish Leader Praises Pope?s Views On Shoah And Anti-Semitism

Malcolm Hoenlein CEO, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (US)I think the Pope addressed the important issues of Holocaust denial in very absolute terms. ; His condemnation was unqualified. ; His references to anti-Semitism and his reaffirmation of Nostra Aetate I think were all very important and received very well by Jewish and non-Jewish communities around the world. ;

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Malcolm Hoenlein said the views of the Lefebvrists on Vatican II was an internal Church matter. ; But he also pointed out it was something the Church would have to deal with before the Lefebvrists were welcomed back into the fold. ;

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Malcolm Hoenlein CEO, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish OrganizationsI think the way that they deal both with Williamson and with all of the members of the Pope Pius X society is a test for what the Pope himself said, that anti-Semitism is a crime against God and man, and that these, many of the members have espoused views that are anti-Semitic. So the rehabilitation of the group has been made conditional on their renouncing those views, and the positions that they?ve taken. ;

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But despite all of the controversies of the past few weeks, Hoenlein sees an opportunity for Catholic-Jewish relations to move forward. ;

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Malcolm Hoenlein CEO, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish OrganizationsI think that what happened was obviously unfortunate, with Bishop Williamson and others, and some of the other decisions that have raised concerns. ; But I think that we can turn what was a negative into a positive result, and lead to further cooperation and enhancing the relationship both by the steps taken till now and especially the speech that the Pope gave to the conference of presidents and his upcoming trip. ; ;

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The Vatican has not yet officially announced the Pope’s trip to the Holy Land, but Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert told his cabinet it will happen in May. ; It will be the first papal visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories since John Paul II’s trip in 2000. ; ;

DDS