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Friday, September 16, 2005


VATICAN CITY, SEP 16, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of the Holy Father's address to Shlomo Moshe Amar and Yona Metzger, chief rabbis of Israel, whom he received in audience yesterday, Thursday, at the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.

  Benedict XVI recalled how the rabbis' visit "intends to emphasize the positive results that have come from the Second Vatican Council's declaration 'Nostra Aetate,' the fortieth anniversary of which we are commemorating this year," and which was "a milestone on the road towards reconciliation of Christians with the Jewish people."

  The Pope went on: "I see your visit as a further step forward in the process of building deeper religious relations between Catholics and Jews, a course which has received new impulse and energy from 'Nostra Aetate' and from the many forms of contact, dialogue and cooperation that have their origin in the principles and spirit of that document."

  The Holy Father then went on to quote the address he recently delivered in the synagogue of Cologne, Germany, when he spoke of "handing down to young people the torch of hope that God has given to Jews and to Christians, so that ... future generations ... may be able to build a more just and peaceful world, in which all people have equal rights."

  "The eyes of the world constantly turn to the Holy Land, the Land that is considered holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Unfortunately our attention is too often drawn by acts of violence and terror, a cause of immense sorrow to everyone living there. We must continue to insist that religion and peace go together."

  Finally, the Pope spared some words for the Christian communities of the Holy Land who currently "face new and increasing challenges," and expressed his pleasure "that diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the State of Israel have led to more solid and stable forms of cooperation, we eagerly await the fulfillment of the Fundamental Agreement on issues still outstanding."
AC/NOSTRA AETATE/AMAR:METZGER                    VIS 20050916 (340)

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