Surprise move by Benedict for wartime pope leading to fresh schism among interfaith experts.
A cloud of suspicion will hover above the Bishop of Rome when he crosses the Tiber River to visit Rome’s Great Synagogue next month.
Pope Benedict XVI’s planned visit on Jan. 17 to the synagogue — the second in history by the leader of the Roman Catholic Church — will take place in the shadow of renewed controversy over Pope Pius XII, the pontiff during World War II whose ambiguous record has soured Jewish-Catholic relations for four decades.
A politically aware teenager in Queens in the 1960s, Gary Krupp shared the prevailing opinion of Pope Pius XII, the controversial leader of the Roman Catholic Church during World War II. “I grew up hating him,” Krupp says. Today, he is one of the pope’s most vocal defenders in the Jewish community.
Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Academy Award-winning producer of Holocaust-related documentaries, has called for a letter-writing campaign to block sainthood for Pope Pius XII, saying it would desecrate the memory of the Shoah because of his silence during World War II.
"Such a nomination demeans the meaning of sainthood for countless others who are truly deserving of such a tribute," he declared during his State of World Jewry address last week at the 92nd Street Y.
What will be the future of Catholic-Jewish dialogue if the international Jewish interfaith coalition known as IJCIC is officially disbanded?
That's the question facing Jewish interfaith leaders this week, following the surprising announcement by the Vatican's top Jewish liaison, Edward Cardinal Cassidy, that he considered the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultation "no longer in existence " as a dialogue partner for the Vatican.
The leader of the Ukrainian Catholics in America has panned Mel Gibson's "The Passion" as a shallow, violent work that could incite hostility toward Jews.
Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Archdiocese of Philadelphia said he would not recommend it to friends, true believers or children.
Who does Israel Singer represent? That's the question several angry Jewish interfaith leaders are asking this week after Singer met privately in Rome with Pope John Paul II and raised several key issues between the Vatican and the Jewish community (apparently without the authorization of IJCIC) the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations.
Rabbi Leon Klenicki, one of the Jewish community’s leading voices for rapprochement with the Catholic Church, died Jan. 25. A resident of Monroe Township, N.J., he was 78.
Rabbi Klenicki, a native of Argentina, served as the Anti-Defamation League’s director of Interfaith Affairs until his retirement eight years ago, and as the ADL’s co-liaison with the Vatican, meeting frequently with Church leaders in Rome, the United States and other countries.
A new dustup has hit IJCIC, the Jewish coalition group that claims to represent the world Jewish community to the Vatican. One key member, the Anti-Defamation League, has quit, even as the umbrella group officially known as the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations tries to resurrect itself in the face of sharp criticism and years of ineffectiveness.
ADL interfaith director Rabbi Leon Klenicki said the IJCIC is no longer relevant.
Last March, the group was declared dead by the Vatican’s chief interfaith official.
In what is being hailed as a major development in interfaith affairs, John Cardinal O’Connor, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, is calling for the Vatican to quickly open its secret Nazi-era archives.
The comments by Cardinal O’Connor mark the first major initiative by a Christian leader in the long-running struggle to gain access to the Catholic Church’s sealed documents in Rome. Jewish leaders have been calling for access to try and determine the relationship between the Vatican and Nazi Germany during and after World War II.