August 19, 2005 – New York – The American Jewish Committee expressed profound gratification with the Pope’s visit today to a synagogue in Germany that had been destroyed by the Nazis in 1938.
“Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the Cologne synagogue is an eloquent reaffirmation of his resolve to continue Pope John Paul II’s special commitment to Catholic-Jewish relations,” said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs.
AJC also saluted the Pope for paying tribute to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust. “The Pope’s determination to keep the memory of the Shoah alive as an essential educational tool for society at large of the dangers of anti-Semitism and racism, evils that lamentably are as crucial to confront today as ever before,” Rabbi Rosen said.
In his address, the Pope warned that “today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners."
Concluding his remarks with the prayer from Psalms, "May the Lord give his People strength; may He bless His People with Peace," could not have been more appropriate in light of the remarkable sacrifices being made for the sake of peace by the people of Israel at this very time.