Joint Jewish-Catholic prayers will not take in January.
Italy's Jewish leaders have said they will refuse take part in traditional joint Jewish-Catholic prayers in January because of the re-introduction last Easter by Pope Benedict XVI of a "prayer for the conversion of the Jews" as part of the revived Tridentine mass.
Rabbi Giuseppe Laras (on the right below), head of the Italian Rabbinical Assembly, made the announcement at a conference on inter-religious dialogue held at the Italian Parliament. He said although the Vatican had explained that the Good Friday prayer was not intended to offend Jewish sensitivities, Italian Jews remained "dissatisfied".
Rabbi Laras, former chief rabbi in Milan, Ancona and Livorno, said the decision not to take part in the common day of prayer on 17 January was not linked to controversy over plans for the beatification of Pius XII, the wartime pontiff accused by critics of having failed to speak out in defence of the victims of the Nazi Holocaust. He said Jews had a right to criticise Pius XII, but beatification and canonisation was "a matter for the Church"