Breaking News Stories
These are news stories breaking after the publishing of this Word
– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
Prediction 12: A visit by cardinals and/or the Pope himself to Jerusalem/Middle
'Papal visit to Israel could help
A papal trip to the Holy Land would be a decisive step in overcoming the
problems that still dog Catholic-Jewish relations, a senior Vatican
Cardinal Walter Kasper, the Vatican official in charge of relations with
Jews, made his remarks in an interview Wednesday in the official Vatican
newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.
The Vatican has said that a papal trip to Israel, Jordan and the
Palestinian territories may still take place in 2009 despite the current
violence in Gaza.
Kasper said progress had been made in Jewish-Catholic relations over the
past year but "there is no lack of problems." He underscored two issues
in particular: the reintroduction of a "prayer for the Jews" into the
Good Friday liturgy and the continuing controversy over the role of Pope
Pius XII during the Holocaust.
"I'm convinced then that the pope's hoped-for trip to the Holy Land
would be decisive to overcome prejudice and incomprehension that mark
our relations with Judaism," he said.
The Vatican has begun the process leading to the beatification of Pius,
which would put him on the road to sainthood. Some Jews and other
critics have called for a freeze on this process until controversy over
whether or not Pius turned a blind eye to the Holocaust can be resolved.
"The Jewish world has understood and accepted that (Pius') beatification
is an internal process of the Catholic Church," Kasper said. "We trust
now that historic research will bring even more clarity about Pius XII's
work to help Jews during the years in question."