In the name of your Catholic neighbors, I want to underscore the commitment of our Church to continue to oppose any tendencies which would lead to a new Shoah in any place or time. At Prague in 1990 Rabbi Joel Zaiman of Baltimore and I supported a communiqué which stated, “Anti-Semitism is a sin against God and humanity.” A few months later, Pope John Paul II of happy memory made that statement his own.
Our new Pope, Pope Benedict XVI, has already affirmed his willingness to walk in the same path. His trips to Israel and speeches there, together with his moving introduction to a Catholic document on the importance of the Hebrew Scriptures, are reasons why Jewish leaders around the world are extremely positive about his selection as the leader of our Church.
On his election, he chose the name of Benedict to honor Pope Benedict XV, who worked so hard for peace during and after World War I. May the Lord of all mercies answer our daily prayers for the peace of Jerusalem and bless all efforts for peace. Shalom, Shalom!