John Paul II

'Blindsided' By Singer?

05/30/2003
Staff Writer
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.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

09/15/2000
Staff Writer
Two landmark theological documents were issued last week, one by leading Jewish thinkers and one by the Roman Catholic theologian. Besides timing, they couldn't be more different. The Jewish statement calls for Jews to re-evaluate their historic negative feelings about Christianity and affirm the shared roots of the two faiths. The Vatican statement declares the Roman Catholic Church is the only way to salvation, rejecting alternate paths. It advocates missionizing of non-Catholics. For Jewish interfaith leaders, it's all very troubling.

Scholars Pan Passion Play

05/05/2000
Staff Writer
With the curtain about to rise on the world's most famous Passion Play, a team of Christian and Jewish scholars is giving it a thumbs down. It's not the acting or pacing the reviewers are concerned about. Rather it's the script for the latest production of the 366-year-old Oberammergau Passion Play, produced and performed by residents of the little Bavarian town. More specifically the reviewers, brought together by the American Jewish Committee's Department of Interreligious Affairs, panned the English translation of the German text because of its anti-Jewish content.

O'Connor Backs Forest For Pope

03/10/2000
Staff Writer
As ailing 80-year-old New York Archbishop John Cardinal O'Connor continues to battle the effects of cancer radiation treatment, he can still "see" the trees: and the forest. O'Connor continued his unprecedented record of improving Christian-Jewish relations with his support of a project to plant a forest in Israel honoring Pope John Paul II. The project to plant 25,000 trees in Nazareth is being sponsored by the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart University in Connecticut, along with the Jewish National Fund.

'Historic' Apology

09/17/1999
Staff Writer
While recovering from surgery to remove a brain tumor earlier this month, Cardinal John O'Connor composed his annual New Year's letter to his many friends in the New York Jewish community. In fact, the 79-year-old leader of New York City Catholics has been sending heartfelt holiday greetings twice a year (on Rosh HaShanah and Passover) to Jewish leaders for at least 10 years.

Balancing Hate, Renaissance In Poland

A native of Patchogue, L.I., Rabbi Michael Schudrich has worked overseas much of his adult life. The chief rabbi of Poland since 2000, he earlier served with the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation there, and also worked in Japan. In Poland, he is a witness to th

05/08/2009
Staff Writer
Q: A prominent Israeli rabbi recently advised that no Jews should go to Poland, and no school City Winery groups should go there, because it’s a land of “Nazi collaborators.” How’s that playing in Warsaw? A: Not too many people heard about it — it didn’t make it into the mainstream press. For those people who heard about it, it was hurtful. It’s simply a falsification of history to say that all Poles were collaborators. That is something that we as Jews should be very sensitive to.

Archives Release Hailed, Questioned

02/22/2002
Staff Writer
Nearly 40 years ago, Rolf Hochhuth’s play “The Deputy” accused Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII of moral cowardice and indifference while millions of Europe’s Jews were being murdered. The German playwright’s work triggered a worldwide wave of anti-Pius XII criticism, prompting the Vatican — in an unprecedented move — to unlock some of its secret wartime archives in an attempt to refute the charges, arguing he worked behind the scenes to save Jews and did not speak out for fear of a backlash against Catholics and Jews.

Did Church Set Stage For Shoah?

09/21/2001
Staff Writer
David L. Kertzer’s explosive new book “The Popes Against The Jews” already has tongues wagging among interfaith experts, and it hasn’t even officially come out yet. They say the disturbing revelations and conclusions by the respected Brown University historian is sure to cause further tension in an already stressful relationship between the Vatican and Jewish leaders.

‘Open Season On Jews’

05/11/2001
Staff Writer
World Jewry is facing an interfaith crisis with Christians and Muslims over the anti-Jewish tirade spouted by Bashar Assad in the presence of Pope John Paul II, who failed to repudiate the Syrian president. Anxious and irate Jewish leaders this week called for an unprecedented interfaith summit and dashed off letters imploring the Pope to renounce the stunning remarks by Assad. Experts say Assad has elevated anti-Jewish religious charges to dangerous levels.

New, Old Faces In Dialogue

03/16/2001
Staff Writer
There are two major personnel changes in the world of Jewish-Christian dialogue, even as meetings between representatives of the two religions continue. On the Catholic side, Pope John Paul II has appointed German Cardinal Walter Kasper to head the Vatican’s Commission on Relations with the Jews – the Roman Catholic Church’s primary representative on Jewish issues.
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