Pope Tries to Soothe Tensions With Jews

January 17, 2010

Author: Rachel Donadio

Source: The New York Times


Pope Benedict XVI, in a visit to Rome’s main synagogue, sought to soothe tensions between Catholics and Jews on Sunday, though he and Jewish leaders aired one main point of contention: whether the church did enough against the Holocaust.

At least one prominent Italian rabbi boycotted Benedict’s visit after a move by the pope last month to advance Pope Pius XII, who led theRoman Catholic Church from 1939 to 1958, one step closer to sainthood. Many Jews, especially in Rome, say Pius did not do all he could have to st op the deportation of Jews. His defenders say his silence was diplomacy aimed at saving more lives.

Benedict said that during World War II, “the Apostolic See itself provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way.”