NEW YORK, April 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC congratulates the Catholic Church on the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and John Paul II.
"We rejoice with our Catholic friends at this unique recognition being given to the two Popes who were also the ones most responsible for the dramatic revolution in Catholic-Jewish relations in our times," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's International Director of Interreligious Affairs. Rosen will attend the canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square on April 27.
"Thanks to their vision and leadership, the Catholic Church today affirms its unique profound rootedness in Judaism, promotes the closest of respectful relations with the Jewish people, and condemns anti-Semitism as a sin," Rosen said. "It is no exaggeration to say that in terms of the Christian-Jewish relationship, these great men took us from darkness to light; from pain to joy, and from alienation to brotherhood."
Pope John XXIII convened the Second Vatican Council, which promulgated the document Nostra Aetate that ushered in the transformation in Catholic teaching regarding Jews, Judaism, and Israel. Pope John Paul II was the first pontiff to visit a synagogue and the State of Israel.
On May 26, Pope Francis will follow in his predecessors' footsteps and be received in Israel by the country's political, religious and civic leadership.