Jewish-Christian Relations a "Theological Obligation"

ROME, JAN. 15, 2010 ( Benedict XVI’s visit to the Synagogue of Rome this Sunday is one more step toward an even more evident collaboration between Jews and Christians, says an official with the Italian bishops’ conference.

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Bishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the conference’s commission for ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, reflected with Vatican Radio on the Pope’s upcoming trip.

This is the second time that a Pope will visit the Synagogue of Rome; Pope John Paul II also went in 1986.

The visit coincides with the 21st world day for deepening dialogue between Catholics and Jews.

Bishop Paglia called the visit another step on the road to even more evident collaboration between the two religions, in the context of a friendship between them that is already “intense.”

The prelate said this is a “type of theological obligation,” given that “fraternity between these two peoples is an integral part of their respective creeds.”

“The Judeo-Christian spiritual patrimony is not just a strong bond between us,” he said. “It is also a force that spurs [us] toward an encounter with other religions, and I would also say, for the promotion of culture, particularly that of the West.”

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