The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Yona Metzger, met this week with Archbishop Antonio Cañizares of Toledo, Spain, during which both leaders reiterated their desire to continue advancing religous dialogue as a means of peace.
After greeting the Rabbi at the entrance of the Archdiocesan offices in Toledo and exchanging the “shalom” (peace in Hebrew), Archbisohp Cañizares met with Rabbi Metzger in his private office where they held a “very coridal” conversation, according to the Archdiocesan Press Office.
The Rabbi thanked Archbishop Cañizares for the “warm, friendly and fraternal reception” and he recalled “how in the past Toledo was a point of convergence for different faiths, the three faiths that come from the same inspiration.”
“We also spoke about what we could do in the future to ensure that the dialogue already taking place between Jews and Catholics could be extended to Muslims, because the future of humanity depends on this dialogue,” said the Rabbi.
Archbishop Cañizares expressed his gratitude for the visit and his “conviction that a meeting between the religions will bring all people to unity, and this coming together has a particular vision at this point in time: with common prayer and mutual acceptance and dialogue we will contribute to the eradication of the terrible scourge of terrorism around the world.”
Rabbi Metzger arrived at Toledo after visiting Cordoba and then Madrid, where he met with victims of the March 11 terrorist attacks and where he celebrated the Sabbath at the “Beth Yaacov” synagogue.
Unofficial sources said the visit by Rabbi Metzger to Toledo was motivated in part by the desire of the Jewish community to regain control of the Church of Santa Maria La Blanca, which at one time was a Jewish synagogue. The same sources said the Upper Room in Jerusalem would be given in exchange to the Catholic Church.