Pope Did Much to Improve Jewish-Catholic Relations

April 2, 2005

Source: Yahoo! News

Wire Service: AP


On April 2, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "As Roman Catholics celebrated the election of Pope John Paul II in 1978, an unease rooted in centuries of discrimination spread among Jewish leaders. Was the first Polish pope infected with the same virulent anti-Semitism that had pervaded his native country? Jews soon learned their worries were baseless. Over the 26 years of his pontificate, John Paul stripped away any lingering justification for anti-Jewish prejudice within the church, transforming Catholic-Jewish relations in a stream of forceful statements and dramatic gestures. He repeatedly condemned anti-Semitism as sinful and, among his many symbolic acts, prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism's holiest site."