Pope Benedict meets German Jewish leaders

September 23, 2011

The Pope praised Jewish-Christian relations in a meeting with Germany's Jewish community on Thursday.

The German-born Pope Benedict met 15 representatives of the Jewish community as part of his three-day state visit to Germany.

During his address at the Reichstag, the Pope spoke of his thankfulness for improving Jewish relations with the Catholic Church.

He said: "The Church feels a great closeness to the Jewish people."

Pope Benedict used his address to reject the Nazi regime and referred to Berlin as "a central place of remembrance" for the Holocaust.

Earlier this year Pope Benedict wrote a book rejecting the idea that the Jewish people were responsible for the death of Jesus, warming relations with the Jewish community.

The relationship has been strained due to the forthcoming beatification of Pope Pius XII, who has been widely criticised for his silence during the Holocaust.

Last updated: 11:23am, September 23 2011