John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council, which ended with the groundbreaking declaration NostraAetate of 1965, and John Paul II deepened and extended Catholic-Jewish dialogue and established diplomatic relations with Israel. “For that reason, even though the canonization of these two men is an internal church matter and has nothing to do with interfaith dialogue, we rejoice with the millions of Catholics in Rome and around the world who celebrate this event,” Lauder added.
Claudio Epelman, the World Jewish Congress official in charge of dialogue with the Catholic Church, is one of the Jewish representatives present in Rome for Sunday’s ceremonies at the invitation of the Vatican. Epelmansaid that five decades of dialogue with the Catholic Church had triggered real, positive change for both communities.
“The sometimes controversial debates with Rome which we witnessed during early papacy of Pope John Paul II are long behind us, and he and his successors, Benedict XVI and Francis, have taken the relationship with what the successive popes have called their ‘elder brothers’ to the next level. We Jews know that we have a warm friend in Pope Francis, and we look forward to more opportunities to demonstrate and solidify those bonds,” said Epelman, who has already met with the Argentinean-born pontiff a number of times since the latter’s election as Catholic pontiff last year.
- Hate speech and incitement on the internet must be curbed, German minister tells WJC delegation
- WJC laments shocking rise in number of anti-Semitic incidents registered in UK
- WJC President Lauder: Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos deserves Nobel Peace Prize
- WJC officials to meet with leaders from 30 nations in New York this week
- First-ever Jerusalem house of prayer to unite Christians, Jews and Muslims