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CJCUC's Statement on the Retirement of Pope Benedict XVI

Contact: CJCUC Media Division, 516-882-3220

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation (CJCUC) in Israel extends its good wishes to Pope Benedict XVI upon his announcement of retirement on February 28, 2013. As the leader of the Catholic Church, Benedict continued the work of reconciliation between the Church and the Jewish people that began with the Second Vatican Council and Nostra Aetate and furthered by Benedict's predecessor, Pope John Paul II.

Benedict strengthened friendship and understanding between the Church and the Jewish People, speaking frequently about the evil of anti-Semitism and importance of seeing Jews as the people of God. He stressed the need for Jewish and Catholic cooperation in biblical studies, theological dialogue and tackling the moral problems around the world. As President of Israel, Shimon Peres, said "the Vatican has been a clear voice against racism, anti-Semitism and a voice for peace," Under Benedict, "relations between Israel and the Vatican are the best they have ever been."

All of us at the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation pray that the friendship between the Church and Israel and between Jews and Christians everywhere will continue to grow stronger as Pope Benedict leaves the Chair of Peter for retirement and the Catholic Church is led by his successor.

Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor and Founder
Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, American Director
David Nekrutman, Executive Director