John Paul II

Catholic Scholars To Pope: Slow Down On Pius Sainthood

Nineteen in letter voice ‘serious concerns’ about
fast-tracking of Shoah-era pope’s canonization.

02/25/2010
Staff Writer

The largely Jewish effort to slow down the proposed canonization of the pope who headed the Catholic Church during World War II has taken a more ecumenical tone.
Nineteen prominent Catholic scholars and theologians last week sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI, urging him to put aside plans to declare Pius XII, the controversial pontiff during the Holocaust, a saint until historians gain full access to the Vatican’s wartime archives. The letter, intended as an internal Church document, was leaked to Reuters in Rome and subsequently made public.

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The Story That Won’t Go Away

02/06/2009
Special to the Jewish Week

Yesterday’s New York Times probably had more of substance about the Shoah on its front page than all the issues combined from the years of 1939-1945.

Jews Split On Pius Sainthood Action

Surprise move by Benedict for wartime pope leading to fresh schism among interfaith experts.

12/23/2009
Staff Writer

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.

Jews Split On Pius Sainthood Action

Surprise move by Benedict for wartime pope leading to fresh schism among interfaith experts.

12/23/2009
Staff Writer

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.

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O'Connor: 'Remember Me As A Friend'

04/16/1999
Staff Writer
In what may be his last official Passover message to Jews, John Cardinal O'Connor, the spiritual leader for millions of New York Catholics, sent out a heartfelt letter to Jewish colleagues saying he is ashamed of the hateful actions of Catholics in the past, and asks that he be remembered by Jews as their friend. The 78-year-old archbishop, who suggests that he will retire early next year, wrote that at Passover, he is reminded of "the steadfast faith of Jews throughout the generations."

Rewrite Not In The Works

05/14/1999
Staff Writer
Efforts to eliminate anti-Semitic language and themes from the world's most famous Passion Play in time for its millennium production are not going smoothly. So says an unhappy Rabbi Leon Klenicki, director of interfaith affairs for the Anti-Defamation League, who returned to New York last week from unsuccessful meetings in the German village of Oberammergau trying to persuade the producers to make changes in the production, which will run May 22-Sept. 29, 2000.

Opposing Sainthood For Pope Pius

05/21/1999
Staff Writer
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.

Feeling The Church's Pain

05/03/2002
Staff Writer
As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gets set to meet next month in Dallas to hammer out a policy on how to deal with priests who sexually abuse children, one Long Island rabbi is offering his help and empathy. "We in the Jewish community feel the pain of the Catholic Church," said Rabbi Jeffrey Salkin of The Community Synagogue in Port Washington, L.I., and a vice president of the Long Island Board of Rabbis.

Poverty As A Moral Issue

03/13/1998
Staff Writer
Former Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) believes it is time for religious leaders to unite and take a stand against a growing social ill in America — poverty. The former Democratic presidential candidate with the trademark bow tie notes that it has been more than a generation since religious leaders such as Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the Berrigan Brothers and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel joined together for causes of moral concern.

Conversion Diversion

11/15/2002
Staff Writer
To save or not to save Jews. That is the question suddenly embroiling leading Catholic theologians. On one side are progressive Catholic scholars who believe that in the 21st century it is no longer theologically acceptable to include Jews in the Church's global mission of conversion. That would mean accepting that Jews have their own legitimate path to salvation. Rejecting this historic new approach are traditional Catholic leaders who insist that Jews still ultimately need to accept the divinity of Jesus to be saved, and Catholics must continue to proselytize them.
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