At Synagogue, Pope Reiterates Respect For Jews

April 24, 2008


Source: The Georgia Bulletin/CNS

In a brief, movingly simple visit to a New York synagogue, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his respect for the city’s Jewish community and encouraged the building of “bridges of friendship” between religions.

The encounter April 18 marked the first time a pope has visited a Jewish place of worship in the United States, and it came a day before the start of the Jewish Passover.

The pope said he felt especially close to Jews as they “prepare to celebrate the great deeds of the Almighty and to sing the praises of him who has worked such wonders for his people.”

He was welcomed at the Park East Synagogue by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, 78, an Austrian-born Holocaust survivor, who called his visit historic and “a reaffirmation of your outreach, good will and commitment to enhancing Jewish-Catholic relations.”