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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pope given ultimatum by the head of the German Jewish community

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Photo: Michael Lucan, Munich

Cathcon translation of
Zentralrat fordert Korrektur des Karfreitagsgebets
Central Council of Jews in Germany urges correction of the Good Friday prayer

Hamburg - The President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, calls for the for "the withdrawal", before the Catholic Conference on 21st May in Osnabrueck, of the recent Good Friday prayer that Pope Benedict XVI had sent to the address of the Jews at Eastertime. The Hamburg news magazine "Der Spiegel" reports in its latest edition, that Knobloch sees that a resumption of dialogue will only be possible if the prayer text is withdrawn.

The Pope has placed in the text of the prayer a reformulated sentence: God should "lighten their hearts so that they recognize Jesus Christ, the Saviour of all people". This is seen by many Jews as a call for mission to the Jews. Potsdam Rabbi Walter Homolka has therefore cancelled his participation in the Catholic Conference.

Also, the Central Council President expects according to "The Spiegel" a correction of intercession: "The reformulation of intercession betrays a low estimate of the Jewish religion, which is contrary to a tolerant theology and therefore dangerous. Over the past centuries, we have painful experience of the situation which results from a divided humanity, "said Knobloch.

All Jews find strange the idea, which the Pope supports, of a body outside which there is no salvation. Instead, in Judaism is shown "an ethics that is appropriate to coexistence in a pluralistic world," said Knobloch.

No dressing this up

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If true, disastrous news from Rome. But at least no Cathcon reader can have the idea that we are in for anything other than a long, hard slog. And when the war is one, as surely it will be, the future has to be secured.

Never again in history should the Church have to go through again what it has endured for the last fifty years.

EU chief visits Orthodox patriarchate in Istanbul

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Some good news from Turkey- but I bet that conditions will be attached after the event.

"The president of the European Commission met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in a visit to the Orthodox Patriarchate based in Istanbul on Friday.

Jose Manuel Barroso is on the second day of a three-day visit to Turkey, which is vying for EU membership. On Thursday, Barroso welcomed a Turkish decision to return property, such as school buildings, churches and orphanages, seized from Jewish and Christian foundations decades ago."

1958 Cartoon

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A joke in 1958 but this is now 50 years later and acres of pine forests felled on behalf of modernising the Church.
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