Vatican City, Jan 17, 2010 / 11:37 am
The Holy Father called attention to his visit to the Synagogue of Rome in his address before the Angelus on Sunday to a packed St. Peter's Square. With just hours left before the much-awaited encounter, Pope Benedict XVI anticipated it as a way to renew “harmony and friendship” between Catholics and Jews.
"This afternoon," said Benedict XVI, "at almost 24 years from the historic visit of Venerable John Paul II, I will go to the great Synagogue of Rome, called the Tempio Maggiore, to meet the Jewish Community of the city."
This encounter, continued the Holy Father, would mark the beginning of "a further stage in the road of harmony and friendship between Catholics and Jews."
Recognizing that the path has not been without its "problems and difficulties," he underscored the current "climate of great respect and dialogue" between the two religions.