SWC Statement on Death of Pope Benedict

December 31, 2022

Rabbi Marvin Hier, Founder and CEO of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Associate Dean and Global Social Action Director issued the following statement on the death of Pope Benedict:

“SWC mourns the passing of Pope Benedict. The Center’s relationship dates back to when he was Cardinal Ratzinger and was fully supportive of Pope John Paul II’s historic rapprochement with the Jewish people and the decision to establish relations with the Jewish state of Israel. As Pope, he received our SWC warmly during at private audience during which full gamut of interfaith relations was discussed.”

In 2005, Rabbi Marvin Hier led a delegation who met with Pope Benedict in a private audience. During that meeting, which was the third of 6 visits at the Vatican with three Popes, Rabbi Hier discussed threats of global terrorism and Iran’s calls for the obliteration of the State of Israel.

The visit coincided with the 40th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the historic Declaration of the Second Vatican Council which condemned ‘antisemitism directed against the Jews at whatever time and by whomsoever.’ 

For further information contact the Center’s Communications department at pressinquiries@wiesenthal.com, join the Center on Facebook, or follow @simonwiesenthal for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

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).

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