Pope John Paul II says “the official dialogue established between the Catholic Church and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is a sign of great hope.”
The Holy Father welcomed Jona Metzgher and Slomo Amar, Chief Rabbis of Israel, and Oded Wiener, Director General of the Chief Rabbinate, who are in Rome to attend the Concert of Reconciliation that will be performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra tomorrow evening in the Paul VI Hall.
The Pope noted that "in the twenty-five years of my Pontificate I have striven to promote Jewish-Catholic dialogue and to foster ever greater understanding, respect and cooperation between us. Indeed, one of the highlights of my Pontificate will always remain my Jubilee Pilgrimage to the Holy Land, which included intense moments of remembrance, reflection and prayer at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and at the Wailing Wall."
He added that "the official dialogue established between the Catholic Church and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel is a sign of great hope. We must spare no effort in working together to build a world of justice, peace and reconciliation for all peoples. May Divine Providence bless our work and crown it with success!"
The concert tomorrow evening is dedicated to reconciliation between Jews, Christians and Muslims and was organized by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews and the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, with support from the Knights of Columbus.
Maestro Gilbert Levine will direct the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in presenting John Harbison's "Abraham" and Gustav Mahler's Symphony N. 2, "Resurrection," movements I, IV and V. Also performing will be the Ankara State Polyphonic Choir, the Krakow Philharmonic Choir, the London Philharmonic Choir and members of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.