ADL Hails Pope's Visit to Cologne Synagogue – "Steady Course of Reconciliation Between Catholics and Jews"
New York, NY, August 19, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) hails Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Roonstrasse Synagogue in Cologne as historic and "speaks volumes, not just to the Jewish community, but indeed the whole world." Inspired by the changes of the Second Vatican Council's declaration Nostra Aetate, and the remarkable example set by the Pope's immediate predecessor John Paul II, Benedict has charted a steady course in the holy work of reconciliation between Catholics and Jews.
In a letter sent to Pope Benedict XVI, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, and Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs, said "The very symbol of your presence on the pulpit of Northern Europe's oldest synagogue – destroyed by some of your countrymen under the influence of a murderous and morally bankrupt regime, and rebuilt by the hopes of a saving remnant – demonstrates to the world that we can look to the future without erasing the past."
Mr. Foxman and Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor were heartened by the Pope's acknowledgement that "new signs of anti-Semitism are emerging" and stated "We look to you as a partner in the work of eradicating the scourge of baseless hatred and xenophobia, that too often targets the Jews – even in places where Jews are absent."
They went on to say, "We stand ready to work together for the defense and promotion of human rights, social justice and peace for the world."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.