On Jewish-Catholic Relations: Press "Got It Wrong"

Jewish Leader Considers Future If Schism Isn't Healed

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NEW YORK, FEB. 4, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The full story about Benedict XVI's reconciliation with excommunicated bishops, contrary to the media's portrayal, can reaffirm Jewish-Catholic relations, stated the president of an interreligious foundation.



Gary Krupp, founder and president of the Pave the Way Foundation, an organization dedicated to bridging gaps between religions, affirmed that "the full story has not been told […]; the media got it wrong."

In a statement today from the foundation, he acknowledged the initial shock of the widely reported news "that Pope Benedict XVI lifted the ban of excommunication with the Society of St. Pius X and its four bishops."

Krupp observed: "The media often focuses on one action without researching the details. This omission has made headlines, fueled a controversy and promoted negativity."

He affirmed that the public Holocaust-denial of Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the reconciled prelates, seemed to imply an affront against Jewish-Catholic relations.

But, the Jewish founder explained that his organization researched the matter "in depth, and inquired with Vatican officials in Rome and knowledgeable experts in canon law, in order to have a clear picture of what was done and why it was done."

Vatican history

Krupp said he found that Vatican actions "typically do not concern themselves with years, but rather with centuries."

He continued: "History has shown that past schisms from excommunications and defections from the Catholic Church have spawned new religious communities and faiths.

"The Pope's lifting the ban of excommunication has effectively only opened a door whereby this radical right wing conservative group -- with an estimated over 1,000,000 devotees in number -- may only just begin to talk to Vatican officials to eventually be brought back to the mainstream Catholic beliefs […].

"This also includes the declaration that anti-Semitism is a sin. If the Pope did not take action to begin to close this schism, our children and grandchildren might one day see a new virulent right wing religion spring up."

Krupp observed that Benedict XVI's action is only the first step toward full communion.

And he said, "It is important to note that Catholic clergy around the world have universally condemned Bishop Richard Williamson's outrageous statements."

Krupp concluded by asking, "Should we allow the bizarre statements and beliefs of this one man, and media omissions, [to] damage Jewish-Catholic dialogue, which has consistently been highlighted as a major focus for the Catholic Church and this papacy?"

He answered, "We say no!"

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On the Net:

Pave the Way Foundation: http://www.ptwf.org