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Rome - Rabbis Seek Pope Francis’ Cooperation In Fighting Islamic Extremism

Published on: August 31, 2017 10:09 PM
By: JTA
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Rome - Meeting at the Vatican, an international delegation of rabbis sought the pope’s cooperation in combating Islamic extremism.

At the audience Thursday with Pope Francis, the rabbis presented a document calling for the two faiths to work together on Islamic extremism and other issues. The document was drafted last year by the Conference of European Rabbis along with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Rabbinical Council of America in the wake of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican’s Nostra Aetate declaration of 1965, which opened formal dialogue between the Vatican and the Jewish world.

The delegation was led by Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, and included members of all three groups.

While noting the deep theological differences that remain between Christianity and Judaism, both the rabbis and the pope expressed a commitment to deepening dialogue and partnership.

Thanks to Nostra Aetate, Francis told the delegation, “we have been able to draw closer to one another and to engage in an effective and fruitful dialogue. We have grown in mutual understanding and deepened our bonds of friendship.”

The rabbis’ document stated: “Despite the irreconcilable theological differences, we Jews view Catholics as our partners, close allies, friends and brothers in our mutual quest for a better world blessed with peace, social justice and security.”

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The rabbis’ statement called on the Church to join forces to combat “the radical offshoots of Islam” and on other Christian denominations to emulate the Catholic Church in bettering relations with Jews. It called radical Islam “our generation’s new barbarism,” saying it endangers “our global society” and threatens “world peace in general and the Christian and Jewish communities in particular.”

The document called on other Christian faiths to follow the lead of the Catholic Church in bettering relations with Jews.

“Certain kinds of doctrines cause real suffering; those Christian doctrines, rituals and teachings that express negative attitudes toward Jews and Judaism do inspire and nurture anti-Semitism,” it said, adding: “Therefore, to extend the amicable relations and common causes cultivated between Catholics and Jews as a result of Nostra Aetate, we call upon all Christian denominations that have not yet done so to follow the example of the Catholic Church and excise anti-Semitism from their liturgy and doctrines, to end the active mission to Jews, and to work towards a better world hand-in-hand with us, the Jewish people.”



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 01, 2017 at 12:36 AM Anonymous Says:

One of the seven laws of Noah is not to worship idols yet these Rabbis who are supposed to spread Godliness to the world fawn over the head of idolatry. Do they think Hashem will be happy with that?

2

 Sep 01, 2017 at 06:28 AM Anonymous Says:

אורך ימים עשביעהו ........

3

 Sep 01, 2017 at 08:40 AM Meloah Says:

The pope called Abbas "angel of peace"; he hates Jews more than Muslims. If anything, the pope will side with Muslims to get Israel out of our own territory. I think I heard that it is a contradiction to Christians that we got back the land and Jesus is not here yet.

4

 Sep 01, 2017 at 11:07 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

One of the seven laws of Noah is not to worship idols yet these Rabbis who are supposed to spread Godliness to the world fawn over the head of idolatry. Do they think Hashem will be happy with that?

They are not fawning over him . The Pope heads over a billion followers and he has the power to reduce ant-Semitism among them (note he talked about "bonds of friendship"). Whether he follows through regarding Islam or whether is efforts will have any effect is another story.

5

 Sep 01, 2017 at 01:00 PM Meloah Says:

I really don't understand how is the Pope going to help against extreme Islam... I don't think he will have the guts to say Christians should fight extreme Islam, which would increase friction. I don't think he will say Christians protect the Jew, as Christians themselves are under attack. As I said, I don't think he likes Jews either. The only thing he can say is for Christians not to attack Jews or not be antisemitic. But then don't mix with Islam and lose the main focus...which is Christian Antisemitism, as usual.

6

 Sep 01, 2017 at 02:40 PM snowman Says:

Reply to #1  
Anonymous Says:

One of the seven laws of Noah is not to worship idols yet these Rabbis who are supposed to spread Godliness to the world fawn over the head of idolatry. Do they think Hashem will be happy with that?

The Baalei Tosafos (Rabeinu Tam) held that shituf was not assur for a non-Jew and that therefore Christians were not pagans. Rambam and most sefardic rishonim disagreed but yesh lahem al mi lismoch for these Rabbis. They live in Europe where the problems are more acute and we should not second-guess them.

7

 Sep 02, 2017 at 05:39 PM L-Chaim Says:

I guess none of you have relatives who were saved by the actions of Catholic religious (priests/nuns) during the Shoah, including one who became Pope John XXIII after WWII.
Popes have more influence then you think.

8

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