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Pope sends birthday greetings to longtime rabbi of Rome

May 04, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI sent birthday greetings to Elio Toaff, the longtime leader of Rome's Jewish congregation, on May 3. The retired rabbi was celebrating his 95th birthday. In his message-- which was read by Msgr. Georg Ganswein, the Pope's private secretary, at opening ceremonies for the new Elio Toaff Foundation for Hebrew Culture-- the Pontiff thanked the Jewish leader for "your commitment to promoting fraternal relations between Catholics and Jews." He mentioned the rabbi's special friendship with Pope John Paul II, whom he welcomed to the synagogue in Rome for his historic visit in 1986.


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