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April 18, 1986 - Image 96

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1986-04-18

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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NEWS



SSOP;ATES

- •

pope's Visit To Rome

Shul Makes History

Pope John Paul II

Rome (JTA) — Pope John
Paul II visited the main syna-
gogue here last Sunday, the first
Pontiff in history to enter a
Jewish house of worship. He
spoke for 20 minutes in words
exceptionally warm and rich
with meaning, addressed ob-
viously not only to Rome's
2,000-year old Jewish commun-
ity, the oldest in the Western
diaspora, but to Jews and Chris-
tians all over the world.
But above'all, it was the scene
itself which spoke with mem-
orable eloquence. There was no
precedent to the visual impact
of the white robed Pope and the
similarly white robed Chief
Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff,
seated side-by-side at a white
draped table, in perfect equality;
the Papal entourage seated
behind the Pope; the rabbinical
entourage behind the rabbi.
John Paul referred to the
' Jewish people as "Our dearly
beloved brothers and, in a cer-
tain way, it could be said that
you are our older brothers." He
addressed himself to the cen-
turies of persecution by the
Church suffered by Jews and
the long process of reconcilia-
tion, begun with Vatican Coun-
cil II in 1965 and its famous
declaration, Nostra Aetate (Our
Times), which repudiated Jew-
ish guilt for the death of Jesus.
"Once again, through myself,
the Church, in the words 'of the
well known declaration Nostra
Aetate, deplores the hatred,
persecutions and displays of
anti-Semitism directed against
the Jews at any time and by
anyone," the Pope declared. "I
repeat, by anyone," he added
which, to all.present, was seen
as a reference to the Church
itself.
The Pope listened with eyes
closed as Giacoma Saban, presi-
dent of the Rome Jewish Com-
munity, speaking in tight,
measured and ' precise tones,
reviewed the vicissitudes,
humiliations and sufferings of
Roman Jewry in the long cen-
turies of Papal rule.
Saban was the first to address
the hushed throng in the syn-
agogue. He stressed the cen-
trality of Israel to the Jewish
People, a broad hint of the disap-
pointment felt by the Vatican's
refusal to date to extend diplo-

matic recognition to the Jewish
State.
The Pope made no direct
reference to this. But his general
statements implied his aware-
ness that the issue will have to
be faced in the future. "It is not,
of course, because the dif-
ferences between us have not
been overcome that I have come
among you. We know well that
this is not so," he said.
"Perhaps there still remain
between us difficulties of the
practical order waiting to be
overcome on the level of frater-
nal relations. These are the
results of mutual misunder-
standing, and also of different
positions and attitudes not eas-
ily settled, in complex and im-
portant matters."
That last phrase, according to
Vatican experts, was the Pope's
way of replying that the issue of
recogntion of Israel is still un-
solved and needs to be solved.
The Pope also used several
key phrases which seemed to be
a direct reply to Jewish objec-
tiong to, concepts recently ex-_,
pressed in Papal homilies.
Speaking of love and justice, he
said, "Christians have learned
this desire of the Lord from the
Torah, which you venerate, and
from Jesus, who took to its ex-
treme consequences the love
demanded by the Torah."
That statement, too, was seen
as an emphasis on the post-
ecumenical Catholic teaching
that Christianity was a con-
tinuation of Judaism, not a new
religion of love as set up against
an obsolete religion of mere law.
. The Pope also repeated the con-
cept that "The Jews are beloved
of God who has called them with
an irrevocable calling."

eiss

-;_

JeWelers
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FOR JEWISH SINGLES will
have a singles service and Oneg
Shabbat at 7:45 p.m. today at
the Troy Jewish Congregation,
3333 Coolidge,' Troy in the
Lutheran Church of the Master.
The group will' see the works
of Diego Rivera at the Detroit
Institute of Arts on Sunday,
meeting at noon for carpools at
the New York Bagel Factory at
12 Mile and Evergreen.
The bicycle club will have a
planning meeting. at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday at the main Jewish
Center. Weekend trips will be
discussed, and officers elected.
For information, call Larry
Rosenberg, 471-2695.
Reservations are still being
taken for the white' water raft-
ing trip scheduled for May 24-26
in West Virginia. For informa-
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or Al Levett 851-4925.• .

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F I 4

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