.- Representatives of the Jewish community that will welcome Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to a Cologne synagogue said the gesture by the Holy Father would be a historic step for Jewish-Christian dialogue. During his upcoming visit to Germany, Benedict XVI will visit the synagogue of Cologne to remember victims of the Holocaust together with Rabbi Nathaniel Teitelbaum. The Pope will be accompanied by Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne, and the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Karl Lehmann.
A synagogue representative said that with the first papal visit to a Jewish temple in Germany, where Nazism took place, Pope Benedict XVI has given “a first sign in the Jewish-Christian dialogue.”
Among those participating in the event will be Israel’s Ambassador to Germany, Shimon Stein, German Interior Minister, Otto Schily, the Prime Minister of the northern Rhineland, Juergen Ruettgers, and the president of the Central Committee of Jews in Germany, Paul Spiegel, as well as political leaders and leaders of the Lutheran Communion.