The Vatican

Praise as Pope John Paul beatified at Vatican

By Jennifer Lipman, May 2, 2011

Jewish groups have paid tribute to Pope John Paul II following his beatification on Sunday.

The Pope, who died in 2005 after 26 years at the Vatican, was celebrated during his lifetime for his efforts to strengthen the links between Jews and Catholics.

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Praise from Israel after Pope exonerates Jews for Jesus' death

By Jennifer Lipman, March 3, 2011

Israel has “welcomed wholeheratedly” the Pope’s announcement exonerating Jews for the death of Jesus.

A spokesman for Israel’s embassy to the Vatican said it was “confirmation of Pope Benedict XVI’s known positive stance towards the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”

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Pope insists Gospels are not antisemitic

By Simon Rocker, March 3, 2011

A new book by Pope Benedict XVI will make clear that the Gospels cannot be used to justify antisemitism or the Jews blamed collectively for the death of Jesus.

According to the Catholic Truth Society, which publishes Jesus of Nazareth- Holy Week next week, it will also explain why Catholics should not attempt the conversion of Jews.

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On this day: Bishop Richard Williamson sacked

By Jennifer Lipman, February 9, 2011

In January 2009 it emerged that Pope Benedict had lifted the excommunication of a British bishop and known Holocaust denier.

The pope ordered Williamson to recant his views before the excommunication was lifted, but the issue provoked international outrage and threatened a rift in Jewish-Catholic relations.

The bishop, part of an extreme-traditionalist sect, had said: "I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler".

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'Extraordinary' Tullia Zevi mourned

By Jennifer Lipman, January 24, 2011

The JC’s longtime Italy correspondent and the only female president of Italian Jewry in history has died at the age of 91.

Tullia Zevi, whose family left their home in Milan for France in the 1930s when the fascist dictator Benito Mussolini instated antisemitic laws, also served in the World Jewish Congress and European Jewish Congress.

From 1983 she spent five years as head of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, during which time she oversaw the first papal visit to the Rome synagogue in modern history.

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On this day: Israel and the Vatican establish diplomatic relations

By Jennifer Lipman, December 30, 2010

It took more than 45 years for the Holy See to grant Israel the status it gave to other nations. But given the complex history of the Jews and Christians, when it did – after some 18 months of negotiations - it was a significant turning point and a major diplomatic breakthrough.

Ratified at the Vatican by Israel’s deputy foreign minister Yossi Beilin and Monsignor Claudio Celli, the accord acknowledged the full freedom of worship for the thousands of Christians in Israel and ensured that they would have free access to the holy Christian sites of Jerusalem.

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Vatican conference 'hijacked' by anti-Israel

By Nathan Jeffay, October 28, 2010

Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, has claimed that the Vatican synod on the Middle East, which was convened this week, was "hijacked" by critics of Israel.

Bishops ended the two-week conference of Middle East bishops, organised by the Pope to discuss challenges facing Catholics in their region, with a call for Israel to accept UN resolutions demanding a stop to the "occupation."

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Peer praises Chief Rabbi for 'beautiful' Pope reception

By Simon Rocker, September 21, 2010

Lord Patten, the co-ordinator of the Pope's visit, said that one of its most moving moments were the Chief Rabbi's words at Friday's interfaith meeting.

Lord Patten, assessing the visit, singled out the "the most beautifully expressed statement about the relationship between faiths" made by Lord Sacks.

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Comment: Why should I pay for the Pope?

By Peter Tatchell, September 7, 2010

I was born in 1952, seven years after the end of the Second World War.

My awareness of the Holocaust is one of the factors that spurred me to work for human rights, to ensure that such monstrous crimes never happen again.

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Chief Rabbi set to represent all faith communities

By Simon Rocker, September 2, 2010

The Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks, has been asked to give the response at the Pope's main interfaith meeting during his state visit to Britain in two weeks' time.

Pope Benedict will address leaders of the country's faiths at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, a Catholic teacher training institution that is part of Surrey University.

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