Pope calls Jews and Christians to work together for peace

 After several weeks in which groups of Catholic bishops from the UK, USA, Europe and Ireland have visited Christians in the Holy Land, Pope Benedict appealed to Christians and Jews to respect and appreciate each other and to work together for justice and peace. Addressing thousands of pilgrims in St Peter's Square during his general audience yesterday, the Holy Father said: "I invite all to pray to the Lord that Christians and Jews respect each other, appreciate each other and cooperate for justice and peace in the world," The Pope also mentioned Christian Unity Week, which has just begun, saying the road is "long and not easy" but adding it is necessary "not to get discouraged." Later, speaking at a conference on Christian-Jewish relations organised by the Sant'Egidio Community, the Chief Rabbi of Israel appealed to the international community and the United Nations to "do everything to avert the threat against my people and my country." Yona Metzger said his country is being threatened by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped off the map. "There are those who try to imitate the Nazi leader with very grave warnings," Metzger said. "To remain inert before Iran today is a grave sin." He pointed to "fanatics of Islam" and warned against "the use of religion for terrorist ends." The rabbi also repeated Israel's invitation to Pope Benedict, saying: "whenever the Pope would like to come to Israel, we will welcome him warmly." Pope Benedict has said he hopes to travel to the Holy Land and pray in Jerusalem as soon as circumstances permit it. Source: VIS/HT

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