Simon Wiesenthal Center Lauds Pope Benedict XVI’s Absolving Jewish Collective Guilt for the Death of Jesus

The Simon Wiesenthal Center applauds Pope Benedict XVI’s forceful arguments against collective Jewish responsibility for the Crucifixion in his new book, Jesus of Nazareth-Part II, released today.

“This is a critically important and timely statement by his Holiness, particularly at a time of increased mainstream anti-Semitism worldwide and a very important tool in the fight against Jew-hatred,” declared Rabbi Marvin Hier, Simon Wiesenthal Center Founder and Dean who has led numerous delegations to Vatican City and had audiences with Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II. “As I told his Holiness during our November 2005 meeting at the Vatican, “Prior to (The Nostra Aetate), Jews were often held in contempt and derided as an accursed people. Millions suffered through the ages because there were none to defend them.”

Photo: Rabbi Hier and SWC delegation meeting with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, 2005

“The Second Vatican Council’s Nostra Aetate declared that this was a false teaching, and absolved the Jewish people as a collective from the crime of deicide. The Pope’s new book goes beyond this declaration and shows why the earlier popular reading is not supported by the Gospel texts,” he noted.

“With this statement, His Holiness has added a powerful voice to help stem the tide of Jewish hatred,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean. “Some faithful are most impressed by authority. Others want to be convinced,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s director of Interfaith Affairs. “Pope Benedict took his signature strength – the power of his intellect – and trained it on the Gospels to provide Catholics and other Christians with the Scriptural evidence to back up the position the Church took against the charge of deicide in Nostra Aetate.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center applauds Pope Benedict XVI’s forceful arguments against collective Jewish responsibility for the Crucifixion in his new book, Jesus of Nazareth-Part II, released today.

“This is a critically important and timely statement by his Holiness, particularly at a time of increased mainstream anti-Semitism,” declared Rabbi Marvin Hier, Simon Wiesenthal Center Founder and Dean who has led numerous delegations to Vatican City and had audiences with Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II. “As I told his Holiness during our November 2005 meeting at the Vatican, “Prior to (The Nostra Aetate), Jews were often held in contempt and derided as an accursed people. Millions suffered through the ages because there were none to defend them.”

“The Second Vatican Council’s Nostra Aetate declared that this was a false teaching, and absolved the Jewish people as a collective from the crime of deicide. The Pope’s new book goes beyond this declaration and shows why the earlier popular reading is not supported by the Gospel texts,” he noted.

“With this statement, His Holiness has added a powerful voice to help stem the tide of Jewish hatred,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, the Center’s Associate Dean. “Some faithful are most impressed by authority. Others want to be convinced,” added Rabbi Yitzchok Adlerstein, the Center’s director of Interfaith Affairs. “Pope Benedict took his signature strength – the power of his intellect – and trained it on the Gospels to provide Catholics and other Christians with the Scriptural evidence to back up the position the Church took against the charge of deicide in Nostra Aetate.”

Read text of Rabbi Marvin Hier's remarks at private audience with Pope Benedict at the Vatican...


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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).



El Centro Simon Wiesenthal elogia la argumentación del papa Benedicto XVI que exonera a los judíos de la responsabilización colectiva por la muerte de Jesús

El Centro Simon Wiesenthal elogió la argumentación contundente expuesta por el papa Benedicto XVI, en su nuevo libro Jesus de Nazaret – Segunda Parte, contra la responsabilización colectiva de los judíos por la crucifixión.

“Este pronunciamiento de Su Santidad es oportuno y de máxima importancia, en especial en tiempos de creciente antisemitismo”, señaló el rabino Marvin Hier, Decano y Fundador del Centro Simon Wiesenthal, quien ha encabezado numerosas delegaciones al Vaticano y ha mantenido audiencias con el papa Benedicto XVI y con su predecesor, el papa Juan Pablo II. “Como le manifesté a Su Santidad durante nuestro encuentro en noviembre de 2005 en el Vaticano, ‘antes de la Declaración Nostra Aetate, los judíos solían ser despreciados y ridiculizados como un pueblo maldito. Millones de personas sufrieron a lo largo del tiempo porque no había nadie que los defendiera”.

“La Declaración Nostra Aetate del Concilio Vaticano II estableció que esta era una enseñanza falsa, y absolvió al pueblo judío como colectivo del crimen de deicidio. El nuevo libro del papa va más allá de esta afirmación y muestra por qué la interpretación anterior no tiene sustento en los textos evangélicos”, destacó Hier.

“Con esta declaración, Su Santidad sumó su poderosa voz para contribuir a contener la corriente de odio antijudío”, dijo el rabino Abraham Cooper, Decano Adjunto del Centro Wiesenthal.

“Algunos fieles responden a la autoridad. Otros quieren argumentos que los convenzan”, agregó el rabino Yitzchok Adlerstein, Director de Asuntos Interconfesionales del Centro. “El papa Benedicto utilizó la fortaleza de su firma y el poder de su intelecto y su conocimiento de los Evangelios para exponer ante los católicos y otros cristianos la evidencia que encuentra en las escrituras para respaldar la posición de la Iglesia contra el cargo de deicidio, tal como señala Nostra Aetate”.

El Centro Simon Wiesenthal es una organización judía internacional de derechos humanos con más de 400.000 miembros en todo el mundo. Tiene status de ONG ante la ONU , la UNESCO , la OEA , la OSCE , el Consejo de Europa y el Parlamento Latinoamericano.