A repair process that began with John Paul II just might be completed by the new pope.

As it turned out, the College of Cardinals could not have elected a man with a clearer commitment to Catholic-Jewish relations than Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, he had celebrated Rosh Hashanah and Hannukah in local synagogues, voiced solidarity with Jewish victims of terrorism, and co-written a book with a prominent rabbi. Touching on one of the most sensitive points in the relationship between Catholics and Jews, Bergoglio had called for the Vatican to open its archives from the pontificate of Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, to address lingering questions about whether the wartime pope had done or said enough to oppose the Nazi genocide.

It is relevant in this connection that the new pope comes from Buenos Aires, the city with the largest Jewish community in the Southern Hemisphere. No pope since the church's early centuries has come from a society as culturally diverse as modern Argentina, which Francis has celebrated for its blend of ethnicities and religions.

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"Muslim leaders from around the world have taken part in an unprecedented trip to Germany and Poland to see and hear for themselves about the horrors of the Jewish Holocaust.


Mr Magid, who is originally from Sudan, first visited Auschwitz-Birkenau during a trip organised for American imams in 2010. He said the experience had led him to hold an annual Seder, a Jewish ceremonial meal, at his mosque in Virginia where he invites people to listen to the story of a Holocaust survivor who was saved by a Muslim family.

"Is pope Francis endorsing heresy?

It might look that way from the eye-catching headlines this week that made it appear everyone was bound for heaven -- "even atheists!" -- thanks to Jesus' death on the cross.

"But the short answer to the question is easy: No. Francis was only affirming the doctrine that Christ redeemed the whole world. Whether people accept that belief is another matter.   


"In fact, popes going back to Leo XIII in 1891 and up through John Paul II - not to mention authoritative texts from the official Catholic Catechism and the Second Vatican Council - have said the exact same thing Francis did."

Read the whole article at Religious News Service