Benedict calls on Jews, Christians to cooperate for peace

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Speaking at his Wednesday general audience, Pope Benedict called for Christians and Jews to respect and appreciate each other and to cooperate for justice and peace in the world.

The International Herald Tribune says that the Pope, who visited a synagogue in Germany in 2005, has been reaching out to Jews, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, the late John Paul II.

"I invite all to ... invoke the Lord so that Christians and Jews respect each other, appreciate each other and cooperate for justice and peace in the world," Benedict told thousands of faithful during his weekly general audience at the Vatican.

The Pope also touched upon another frequent theme when he called for Christian unity, saying the road is "long and not easy" but adding it is necessary "not to get discouraged."

In another story, speaking at a conference on Christian-Jewish relations including Vatican officials and religious leaders organised by the Sant'Egidio Community, the chief rabbi of Israel appealed to the international community and the United Nations to "do everything to avert the threat against my people and my country."

Yona Metzger said his country is being threatened by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

"There are those who try to imitate the Nazi leader with very grave warnings," Metzger said. "To remain inert before Iran today is a grave sin."

He pointed to "fanatics of Islam" and warned against "the use of religion for terrorist ends."

The rabbi also reiterated his country's invitation to Benedict, saying "whenever the Pope would like to come to Israel, we will welcome him warmly." He hailed current relations between Christians and Jews as very positive.

Benedict has said he hoped to travel to the Holy Land and pray in Jerusalem as soon as circumstances permit it.


SOURCE
Pope calls on Jews, Christians to work for peace (International Herald Tribune, 17/1/07)
Pope calls on Jews, Christians to work for peace (Haaretz, 17/1/07)

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18 Jan 2007

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