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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 03:40 PM
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Blunt Talk Confronts Pope in Historic Visit to Synagogue
Blunt Talk Confronts Pope in Historic Visit to Synagogue

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

( The president of the Jewish community in Rome greeted visiting Pope Benedict XVI with sharp words Sunday, criticizing Pope Pius XII for inaction during the Holocaust, saying that his silence still hurts as a failed act. The remarks by the Jewish leader, Riccardo Pacifici, were made at the start of the pontiffs historic visit to the citys main synagogue.

Pacifici pointedly added praise for Italian Catholics who sheltered Jews from the Nazi death machine.

Pope Benedict told listeners in the synagogue that the Vatican provided assistance, often in a hidden and discreet way, but he did not mention Pope Pius by name. The German-born Popes visit to the synagogue has sharply divided the 15,000-member Jewish community in Rome because of his moves to make Pope Pius a saint.

The president of Italy's assembly of rabbis, Giuseppe Laras, boycotted the visit and charged that Pope Benedict has "weakened" ties between Catholics and Jews. The Israeli ambassador to the Vatican attended but noted, "Catholic anti-Judaism still exists.
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