Italian Rabbis Withdraw From Interfaith Celebration With Catholics

January 14, 2009

Author: Bruce Tomaso

Source: The Dallas Morning News

Italy's rabbis announced they were pulling out of the Italian Catholic Church's annual celebration of Judaism, saying Pope Benedict XVI's actions were turning back 50 years of interfaith progress.

Speaking for the assembly of Italian rabbis, Elia Enrico Richetti, the chief rabbi of Venice, cited the pope's decision to restore a prayer for the conversion of Jews as part of Easter Week services in the old Latin Mass. Jews consider the notion that they need to be converted to Christianity offensive on its face.

In addition, Richetti said, Benedict has signaled that he doesn't find interfaith dialogue particularly useful, since, in his view, "the superiority of the Christian faith is proven anyway."