May 12, 2009

Papal Visit Planned Today At Yad Vashem


Letter to the Editor

To The Editor:

The Pope’s visit to Israel is a good opportunity to reflect upon the intricate bonds between Judaism and Catholicism. Dialogue between the two religions needs to be enhanced.

The Catholic world should repudiate the heinous deeds committed in the past against Jews, in the name of religion, such as the expulsion from Spain and the Inquisition.

On the other hand, Jews should recognize and study the feats of the catholic rescuers who risked their own posts and lives in order to save the Jews from the Nazi machinery.

Angelo Roncalli (Pope John XXIII) was the most prominent amongst those rescuers. As Apostolic Delegate in Istanbul, during WWII, he saved scores of Jews. Later, he lobbied in the Vatican for the creation of the State of Israel.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, which I helped to create more than a decade ago, is devoted to researching and divulging the brave legacies of heroes like Roncalli and to promoting a constructive and sincere dialogue between all faiths.

We hope the papal visit to Israel will build new bridges of understanding and mutual respect.

Baruch Tenembaum,
The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation