Necessary for any sincere dialogue is the intention of each
partner to allow others to define themselves "in the light
of their own religious experience" [1974 Guidelines,
Introduction]. In fidelity to this affirmation, Catholics recognize
among the elements of the Jewish experience that Jews have a religious
attachment to the land, which finds its roots in Biblical tradition.
After the tragic extermination of the Shoah, the Jews began
a new period in their history. They have a right to a homeland,
as does any civil nation, according to international law. "For
the Jewish people who live in the State of Israel and who preserve
in that land such precious testimonies to their history and their
faith, we must ask for the desired security and the due tranquility
that is the prerogative of every nation and condition of life and
of progress for every society" [Apostolic Letter on Jerusalem
Redemptionis Anno, April 20, 1984].
This land was sanctified by the One Godís revelation to men; it
continues to bear the mark and does not cease to be a place of inspiration
for those who can make a pilgrimage there.
(Speech welcoming Shmuel Hadas, the first ambassador of Israel
to the Holy See, September 29, 1994)
September 11, 1987
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