'The Pope of the Jews'
Interview With Rabbi J. Bemporad, Director of Center for Interreligious Understanding
SECAUCUS, New Jersey, APRIL 7, 2005 (ZENIT) - For Rabbi Jacques Bemporad, "Pope JP II is indeed the pope of the Jews."
The director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding, a Holocaust refugee from Italy, has been at the center of many talks aimed at improving Jewish-Christian relations.
In 1992, Bemporad worked with Cardinal Johannes Willebrands and Cardinal Edward Cassidy to help secure full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the state of Israel. In 1999, he delivered an address at the Vatican's Conference on Interreligious Relations before an audience that included Pope John Paul II.
In January, Bemporad joined more than 130 Jewish leaders, rabbis and cantors at the Vatican for the largest audience of Jewish leaders ever to meet with a Pope. Bemporad and two other rabbis offered a blessing for John Paul II at the event, which recognized the Holy See's historic steps to improve relations between Catholics and Jews.
Bemporad serves as professor of Interreligious Studies at the Angelicum in Rome and is the author of numerous books and articles, including "Our Age: The Historic New Era of Christian-Jewish Understanding," published by New City Press.
Q: Would you define John Paul II the "pope of the Jews"? Why?
Bemporad: Pope JP II is indeed the pope of the Jews. He opened his arms to embrace the Jewish people.
Pope John Paul II will be remembered by the world Jewish community as a courageous and transformational figure who did more than any pope in history to heal the wounds of the past and build bridges for the future between our two faiths.
Pope John Paul II took dramatic steps to improve the Church's relationship with the Jewish people based on mutual respect and genuine affection. He was the first pope to visit the Great Synagogue in Rome. He issued the historic "We Remember" statement on the Holocaust.
He established full diplomatic relations with the state of Israel. And during his pilgrimage to Israel in 2000, he asked forgiveness of the Jews for all past acts of anti-Judaism by the sons and daughters of the Church. For me, it's simply revolutionary. Pope John Paul II will be remembered as a great healer in the relationship between Catholics and Jews. ...
With his words and by his example, Pope John Paul II taught us that we must respect our religious differences while forging peaceful bonds based on our common humanity.
For the Jewish people, Pope John Paul II leaves a legacy of hope.
Q: You are one of the last Jewish moral authorities who visited the Pope with hundred other rabbis: What do you remember most of this meeting?
Bemporad: What I remember most is the sense of personal satisfaction that the Pope felt by having so many Jews come to thank him. He smiled with great joy and we just felt a tremendous connection with him.
Q: Do you think that Catholic-Jewish relations had changed and are not going back although this Pope is no longer here?
Bemporad: Because of Vatican II and Pope John Paul II, I believe that the last century will be remembered as the century of reconciliation between Catholics and Jews. Because of Pope John Paul II, this century will see the full realization of his hopes.
Q: John Paul II considered Jews as his "older brothers." Do you consider him as a "younger brother"?
Bemporad: Pope John Paul II understood that the Christian religion was rooted in Judaism and would have been inconceivable without the Old Testament. He said that the New Testament made explicit what was in the Old Testament.
He loved the prophet Isaiah and quoted him continually. He loved and revered the Old Testament and the Jewish people, and that came across in his words and his actions.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Pope, Jews, Bemporad, Interreligious, Holocaust, Vatican, Catholic
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- St. Paul of the Cross: Saint of the Day for Friday, October 20, 2017
- Cardinal shares the Five Keys to Catholic Education
- Profit For The Common Good
- Daily Reading for Saturday, October 21st, 2017 HD Video
- Respecting life demands linking all life issues
- Daily Readings for Friday, October 20, 2017
- Prisoners use lunch with Pope Francis to escape HD Video
- Deacon Keith invites you... HD
- It was the Clintons! Clinton family took millions in bribes from Russia to sell off U.S. uranium HD
- Daily Reading for Friday, October 20th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Thursday, October 19th, 2017 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way