First meeting between Pope Benedict and Jewish faith leaders

 Last Thursday Mark J Pelavin, Director of the Commission on Interreligious Affairs of Reform Judaism, met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican as part of a delegation of Jewish leaders organized by the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultation. After the meeting Mr Pelavin said in a statement: "It was a special honour to be welcomed to the Vatican this morning by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. In today's meeting with leadership of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligous Consultation, the Pope's first formal exchange with the Jewish community since becoming Pope, hi personal warmth and profound commitment to dialogue between our communities were unmistakable. "The importance of today's meeting is clear, and, I am confident, will be long-lasting. Citing the work of his post-Vatican II predecessors, Pope Paul VI and "in a particular way, Pope John Paul II," in "improving relations with the Jewish people," Pope Benedict firmly told us, "it is my intention to continue on this path." "It is significant, as well, that the meeting today took place so early in Benedict XVI's tenure. As he told us this morning, "At the very beginning of my Pontificate, I wish to assure you that the Church remains firmly committed, in her catechesis and in every aspect of her life, to implementing [the teaching of Vatican II and Nostra Aetate]." "I was honoured, on behalf of the Reform Jewish Movement, to offer our support and prayers to the Holy Father as he begins his Pontificate. In the few moments that we had to speak directly, we discussed the special challenges of this time in history, and the great potential possible when our two communities work together." Source: Religious Action Centre of Reform Judaism