Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pope will visit Rome synagogue
Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Pope Benedict XVI said he would visit the main synagogue in Rome after the High Holy Days.

The pope said he looked forward “with joy” to the visit that, he said, was motivated by “my personal nearness and that of the whole Catholic Church” to the Jewish community.

The announcement that the pope was planning to visit the Great Synagogue of Rome was not a surprise. In March, the president of Rome’s Jewish community had said the pope would visit the synagogue this fall.

Benedict has visited synagogues in Germany and the United States as pope, but his visit to the Rome synagogue would be the first papal visit there since the historic visit by Pope John Paul II in 1986. That visit marked the first time a reigning pontiff had entered a synagogue. — jta


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