Outrage as Pope lifts ban on Holocaust denier

By Simon Rocker, January 29, 2009

Jewish leaders are calling on the Vatican to repair the damage caused by the rehabilitation of an ultra-conservative bishop who is a Holocaust denier.

Rabbi David Rosen, president of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligous Consultations, believed the controversy “worse than any of the crises we have had with the Catholic Church”, almost since the new era of dialogue began more than 40 years ago.


Analysis: An astonishing act by this German Pope

By Ed Kessler, January 29, 2009

The extraordinary decision of Pope Benedict XVI to lift the excommunication of four traditionalist Catholic bishops who head the Fraternity of St Pius X, one of whom is Holocaust denier Richard Williamson, has now been answered by the decision of the Israeli Chief Rabbis to break off official ties with the Vatican.

While the Chief Rabbis’ reaction is understandable, it won’t help. The Vatican’s action, for close watchers of Pope Benedict XVI’s approach to Catholic-Jewish relations, is not wholly surprising.


Anger over missionary leaflet drive

By Jonathan Kalmus, December 18, 2008

Evangelical Christian missionaries have been targeting Manchester’s Jewish community with leaflets using religious terminology and Ashkenazi spellings to entice people to read them. Residents in Broughton Park, who have received the leaflets through their doors, are concerned about what they call the “deceptive material”.


Analysis: Why talking to the Vatican paid off

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

The last two years have not been good for the traditionally testy relationship between the Vatican and the Jewish people.

The historical dispute over the conduct of the Holy See during the Holocaust flared up last year when the Papal Nuncio to Jerusalem threatened to boycott Yad Vashem over its portrayal of wartime Pope Pius XII. Tensions rose again last month over reports that Pope Benedict XVI was about to beatify his controversial predecessor.


Pope to visit Israel

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 27, 2008

Pope Benedict XVI is to visit Israel next year at the invitation of President Shimon Peres, in an attempt to end the recent period of tension over the beatification of former Pope Pius XII.

The visit, which is yet to be formally announced, is set to take place in early May 2009.

President Peres officially invited the Pope a few weeks ago, following a meeting with Archbishop Antonio Franco, the papal nuncio in Jerusalem, who indicated that such an invitation would be positively received.


Pius XIIi ‘helped Jews’

September 26, 2008

A Rome symposium on Pope Pius XII heard that he may have tried to save Jews from the Nazis. The meeting was organised by dialogue group Pave the Way Foundation, which claimed that the pontiff did not ignore the fate of Jews and may have attempted to help some.


Sacks tells Lambeth bishops that all society needs religion

By Simon Rocker, July 31, 2008

Jews and Christians have done more than any religions to "mend their relationship", Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks said in the first address by a rabbi to the Anglican Lambeth Conference in its 140-year history.

Speaking in Canterbury on Monday to around 650 bishops from across the globe, the Chief Rabbi recalled the progress made towards reconciliation.


Priest sorry for Shoah reference

July 24, 2008
A Catholic priest has apologised to the Jewish community over the interpretation of an article he wrote about the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill.

Writing in a parish magazine in Norfolk, Chet News, Father Mark Hackeson said that since abortion had been legalised in the UK, more than six million lives had been destroyed - "on a par with the Jewish Holocaust".


Fears over Papal visit to Sydney

By Dan Goldberg, July 17, 2008

Five Australian Jews have been invited to meet Pope Benedict XVI during his first visit to Sydney amid continuing concerns about a planned re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross.

They are among 40 interfaith leaders — including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and others — who will meet the Pope at St Mary’s Cathedral on Friday.

Pope Benedict is in Sydney for World Youth Day, a six-day celebration with  an estimated 500,000 people expected at the closing papal mass on July 20.


Williams: Heavens can wait

By Simon Round, July 10, 2008

The Archbishop of Canterbury has said he will not be taking to the heavens in an aeroplane — with one exception.

Rowan Williams told Green Futures magazine that he intends to keep his feet firmly on the ground in an attempt to leave as small an ecclesiastical carbon footprint as possible. He is, however, making one exception. “The only fixed flight this year is a trip to Auschwitz. After that I’m looking at travelling by train in Europe.”