.- In a message sent to the chief rabbi of Rome, Pope Benedict XVI hoped for the promotion of justice and peace in the world as Jews observe a string of holidays in September. The Holy Father also prayed for improved relations between the Catholic and Jewish communities of the world.
The Holy Father sent a message by telegram to the chief rabbi of Rome, Dr. Riccardo Di Segni, for the Jewish holidays of Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot. Each of the traditional holidays falls in September this year.
Recognizing these three important days on the Jewish calendar, Pope Benedict hoped that they "might bring copious blessings from the eternal and be a source of intimate joy.
"May the will to promote justice and peace, of which we have so much need in the world today, grow in all of us," he added.
Remembering his visit to the Great Synagogue of Rome last January with "gratitude and affection," he prayed that God, "in his goodness, protect the entire community and allow us to grow, in Rome and in the world, in mutual friendship."
Also on that occasion he concluded his address by hoping for improved relations between Catholics and Jews, asking God "to strengthen our fraternal bonds and to deepen our mutual understanding."
Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish new year, was marked on Thursday of this week. The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) will be observed on Sept. 18 and the remembrance of the wandering in the desert and thanksgiving for the harvest (Sukkot) falls on Sept. 23.