New York, NY, November 16, 2010 … A delegation of leaders from the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) held a meeting earlier this month with Archbishop Kurt Koch, the Vatican's newly appointed liaison to the Jewish people. The hour-long meeting at the Vatican on November 4 included a serious and frank exchange of views on topics of concern to the Jewish community, and followed an audience with Pope Benedict XVI.
"Archbishop Koch welcomed our group and we had a frank discussion on a number of issues important to the Jewish people. We look forward to continuing the dialogue," said Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, who led the leadership delegation to Italy and the Vatican along with Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, ADL Interfaith Director.
Issues discussed with Archbishop Koch included recent statements by a Greek Melkite archbishop based in the U.S. who suggested, as part of a Holy See conference in Rome on the Middle East, that Judaism should no longer exist. Also discussed were the rise in global anti-Semitism, the threat of Muslim extremism, as well as the need to reinvigorate the lessons and message of Nostra Aetate.
The League delegation stressed the need for increased education and understanding between Catholics and Jews and discussed the future agenda of the Vatican Commission, which Archbishop Koch said would be the subject of an upcoming Vatican meeting.
Archbishop Koch was installed in July as President of the Pontifical Commission on Religious Relations with the Jews by Pope Benedict XVI. He succeeds Cardinal Walter Kasper, who served in the same position since 2001. Last month, the Pope named Archbishop Koch to become a Cardinal, which is expected to take place in November.