Euroasian Jewish News
Leaders of the USA Jewish Community Meet with the Pope
The European phase of the combined Jewish diplomatic mission, made possible by the arrangement made by the President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) Alexander Mashkevich and the Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations of the USA Malcolm I. Hoenlein during their meeting in New York, is coming to an end.
The combined delegation of the leaders of the Jewish communities of Eurasia and North America visited Rome to meet Pope Benedict XVI.
The meeting of the Pontifex with the delegation of Jewish organizations took place in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican. In conversation with the Jewish leaders, the Pope sharply denounced anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. The Pontifex called the Holocaust "the greatest crime against God and humanity," and stressed that any denial of the Holocaust is "impermissible," especially coming from a member of the clergy. The Pope expressed the desire to visit Israel in the near future.
Speaking on the results of the meeting with the Pope Benedict XVI, Alexander Mashkevich said to journalists that, "the conversation with the Pontifex went fruitfully, and the format of a combined diplomatic mission with American colleagues has completely lived up to our expectations." Speaking of the perspectives of further developing the relationship with Catholics, the Secretary General of the EAJC Mikhail Chlenov referred to the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in European international organizations, bishop of Vienna and Austria, Illarion. Illarion stated that the Patriarch of All Russia Cyril will probably continue the course chosen by his predecessor in the relationship between Catholic and Orthodox Christians. However, "he will do all he can to remove all obstacles to this meeting."
The combined diplomatic mission of EAJC and the leaders of Jewish USA organizations continues its work in Israel. Previously, such missions took place in Morocco, Georgia and Kazakhstan.
Photo 1: Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations of the USA Malcolm I. Hoenlein; President of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (EAJC) Alexander Mashkevich; photo 2: Secretary General of Euro-Asian Jewish Congress Mikhail Chlenov and Pope Benedict XVI.
EAJC Public Relations Department