Pope Adds Meetings With Jewish Leaders to U.S. Itinerary

April 4, 2008


Source: The New York Times


At 80, Pope Benedict XVI has limited his coming trip to the United States to 13 public events, but the church made a surprise announcement on Thursday that he had added two brief meetings — both with Jewish leaders.

One is a quick stopover at the Park East Synagogue in New York on April 18. It will be the first time a pope has ever visited a synagogue in the United States, and only the third visit by a pope to any synagogue.

The other is scheduled for the previous day, immediately after Benedict holds a major meeting in the rotunda of the John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington with about 150 leaders representing a variety of faiths.

About 50 Jewish attendees from that event will then be ushered into the nearby Polish Heritage Room, where the pope will offer greetings for the Jewish holiday of Passover, which begins two days later, said Sister Mary Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.