The Chief Rabbis of Israel, Mr Shlomo Moshe Amar and Mr Yona Metzger paid a visit to Pope Benedict at his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo last Thursday. The visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Vatican II Declaration, Nostra Aetate (The relation of the Church to non Christian religions), which the Holy Father referred to as "a milestone on the road towards reconciliation of Christians with the Jewish people." After welcoming the Rabbis, the Holy Father said: "I see your visit as a further step forward in the process of building deeper religious relations between Catholics and Jews, a course which has received new impulse and energy from Nostra Aetate and from the many forms of contact, dialogue and co-operation that have their origin in the principles and spirit of that document. "The Church continues to make every effort to implement the Council's vision of a new era of better mutual understanding, respect and solidarity between us". Pope Benedict then repeated comments he made during his visit to the Synagogue of Cologne in August, about the common responsibility "of handing down to young people the torch of hope that God has given to Jews and to Christians, so that never again will the forces of evil come to power, and that future generations, with God's help, may be able to build a more just and peaceful world, in which all people have equal rights and are equally at homes". Lastly the Pope recalled that "The eyes of the world constantly turn to the Holy Land, the Land that is considered holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims Unfortunately our attention is too often drawn by acts of violence and terror, a cause of immense sorrow to everyone living there. We must continue to insist that religion and peace go together." Christians in the Holy Land, he said, faced "new and increasing challenges". Source: VIS
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