This event, said Rhoades, "brought us tears of both sadness and joy - sadness at the horrors of the Holocaust, and joy at the love we share as brothers and sisters, drawn together by a common spiritual patrimony."
The bishop also delivered a theological and historical reflection.
"We recognize that the anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism of past centuries contributed to the rise of the Nazi project to exterminate Jews," he said. He cited the Second Vatican Council's document Nostra Aetate, which condemned "all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews." The document urged careful catechesis and preaching about Jews.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches "The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God's revelation in the Old Testament," the bishop said.
"We must never forget that Judaism was the religion of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the apostles, and of the early disciples who spread the good news of Christ to the world," said Rhoades. "The four gospels were written by Jews, about a Jew and originally for a Jewish readership. The Jewish people, then, are Jesus' own family."
"Though many Jews did not accept the Gospel or opposed its spreading, they were not thereby rejected by God," said the bishop, who emphasized the Second Vatican Council's rejection of the claim that all Jews were "Christ-killers"
"Even though the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ (cf. John 19:6), neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with the crimes committed during his passion," Nostra Aetate said.
Rhoades noted that the Catholic Catechism teaches that all human beings are responsible for the death of Jesus.
"The Jews are not our enemies. We are bound together with them in friendship as brothers and sisters in the family of God," said Rhoades.
He invoked the example of Pope Francis' 2016 visit to the synagogue of Rome. The pope's remarks stressed as fundamental to inter-religious dialogue the Christian and Jew's encounter of each other "as brothers and sisters before our Creator," their praise for God, and their mutual respect, appreciation, and attempts at cooperation.
"This is especially important as the Church and the Jewish communities continue to address religious and ethical questions that both face in a world intent upon challenging religious freedom," Rhoades said. "Jews and Christians can impact society profoundly when they stand together on key issues such as the sanctity of human life, immigration reform, health care, human trafficking and world peace."
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"Even as we Catholics profess our belief in Christ as the Messiah, the Son of God, and Savior of the world, we also recognize God's unfailing, steadfast love for His chosen people, Israel," the bishop said. In our mission of preaching Christ to the world, we do not dismiss or reject the spiritual treasures of the Jewish people."
"Let us give thanks to God for the growth in trust and friendship established between Catholics and Jews since the Second Vatican Council," the bishop's statement concluded. "May the Lord accompany us on our journey of friendship and bless us with His peace!"