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Press Release

Pope's Visit To Rome Synagogue 'Acknowledged The Validity Of Judaism And Affirmed The Catholic-Jewish Relationship'

New York, NY, January 19, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said that the visit to the Rome Synagogue by Pope Benedict XVI "acknowledged the validity of Judaism and affirmed the Catholic-Jewish relationship."

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

Pope Benedict acknowledged the validity of Judaism and affirmed the Catholic-Jewish relationship by his visit to Rome's main synagogue. Like his predecessor Pope John Paul II, whose 1986 visit to the same Rome Synagogue was a message to the Christian world that Judaism was not superseded by Christianity and is a living dynamic religion with its own continued vitality and sacred purpose to do God's will, Benedict sent the same message to prelates, priests and those in the pews.

Pope Benedict has institutionalized for his and future papacies the fact of mutual respect by making it clear that the Jewish people are the people of God's Covenant through Moses. The Pope's words cannot but help to bring greater understanding, respect and dialogue to our two connected faiths.

While there remains a cloud over the relationship on issues relating to the Holocaust, there is no doubt that his visit to the synagogue confirms the importance of the Catholic-Jewish relationship and that we will continue to dialogue with mutual respect.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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