Schoenborn for a Better Understanding between Christians and Jews

Austrian Press Agency (01/03/04)

Vienna’s Archbishop attended a meeting with representatives of Orthodox Jews in New York

New York/Vienna - Vienna’s Archbischop, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, has campaigned for a better understanding between Christians and Jews during informal talks at a meeting of Jewish rabbis and Catholic cardinals. Catholics could also learn from Orthodox Judaism "that one’s commitment to faith doesn’t hinder but rather promotes dedication in shaping society," as Cardinal Schoenborn is quoted as saying to the New York Times in an article written by Kathpress.

In a conversation with journalists, Jewish participants explained that they had requested the Catholics to offer more aggressive criticism toward the "new growth of anti-Semitism in the world." It was emphasized on numerous occasions that Pope John Paull II had made a decisive contribution toward Christians and Jews approaching one another. This work of reconciliation must go further and reach also the "foundations."

The initiative to meet together to talk about the topic "What is the most important commandment?" was taken by the Jewish faction. The rabbis revealed how impressed they were by the gesture taken by Pope John Paul II, who during a visit to Jerusalem in 2002, had placed a note in one of the cracks of the Wailing Wall with a plea for forgiveness for all crimes committed by Christians against the Jews.

During the meeting the Rabbis and Cardinals visited Yeshiva University in Manhattan, a bastion of Jewish orthodox theological thinking in the U.S.A. They also visited "Ground Zero," recalling memories of the victims of September 11, 2001.