New York, NY, October 28, 2011 … At an interreligious gathering in Italy sponsored by Pope Benedict XVI, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today presented the first copy of its newly released book, "The Saint for Shalom: How Pope John Paul II Transformed Catholic-Jewish Relations" to the Holy See.
The book was delivered to the pope at the Vatican in Rome during "A Day of Reflection, Dialogue and Prayer for Peace," which commemorates the 25th anniversary of the first such global interfaith event convened by Pope John Paul II.
"This is an historic occasion, as we honor both Pope Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II for their profound contributions that have transformed a tragic 2,000 year relationship between two faith groups into a positive and productive dialogue between loving brothers and sisters," said Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs. Rabbi Greenberg delivered the book to the pope on behalf of the League and its national director, Abraham H. Foxman.
"The Saint for Shalom" is the final edition of a work, first published by ADL in 1995, that brings together the complete texts, in their official English translation, of Pope John Paul II's writings, letters, speeches and statements on Jews, Judaism and the State of Israel from the beginning of his papacy in 1979 to his death in 2005.
The original edition was co-edited with expert commentary by Dr. Eugene Fisher, then-Associate Director of Catholic Jewish Relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Rabbi Leon Klenicki, then-ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs, who passed away in 2009.
The new edition of "Saint for Shalom" from ADL and Crossroad Publishing Company features a Foreword by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, the Archbishop of Krakow and longtime assistant to Pope John Paul; a Preface by the Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and an appreciation by Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop Emeritus of Baltimore.
For the new edition, Dr. Fisher, now Distinguished Professor of Catholic-Jewish Studies at St. Leo University in Florida, worked with Rabbi Greenberg to update the texts and commentaries. Myra Cohen Klenicki, Rabbi Klenicki's widow, worked closely with ADL to ensure that the commentary reflected the voice and words of Rabbi Klenicki.
The book's cover features a beautiful and poignant image of Pope John Paul II leaning on his cane while saying a prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The photo was taken by Pope John Paul's longtime personal photographer, Grzegorz Galazka.