Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Papal outreach to German Jews, Muslims

Catholic World News - September 23, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI met separately with Jewish and Muslim leaders during the first 24 hours of his pastoral visit to Germany.

The Pontiff met with representatives of the German Jewish community in Berlin on Thursday afternoon, September 22. He welcomed Muslim leaders at the residence of the apostolic nuncio on Friday morning, September 23, before leaving for Erfurt. "The Church feels a great closeness to the Jewish people," the Pope said at the first meeting. “For Christians, there can be no rupture in salvation history,” he continued. “Salvation comes from the Jews.” The Pope went on to explain that the Sermon on the Mount does not abolish the Law of Moses, but “reveals its hidden possibilities and allows more radical demands to emerge.”

The Pope expressed his pleasure at the fact that “Jewish life is now blossoming in Germany,” after years of difficult recovery from the Holocaust. He reflected on the immense suffering of the Jewish people during the Nazi era, saying: “What man is capable of when he rejects God, and what the face of a people can look like when it denies this God, the terrible images from the concentration camps at the end of the war showed.” The next morning, in meeting with the representatives of Germany’s 4.5-milion strong Muslim population, the Pope emphasized the importance of religious freedom, and sought to make common cause with Muslims against secularization. Pointing out that many Muslims “attribute great importance to the religious dimension of life,” the Pope said that Christians should sympathize.

Such emphasis on the value of faith is not common in modern secular society, the Pontiff said. "At times this is thought provocative in a society that tends to marginalize religion or at most to assign it a place among the individual's personal choices.” Christians and Muslims alike should insist that Germany maintain the respect for religious freedom that is guaranteed in its fundamental laws, he said.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($34,359 to go):
$35,000.00 $641.00
98% 2%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

There are no comments yet for this item.

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear 18 hours ago
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects 18 hours ago
In the Aftermath of Obergefell 19 hours ago
The political outlook after Obergefell June 29
Good news/bad news on the Vatican PR overhaul June 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4