JDL Publication Honors John Paul II

From the Zenit News Agency:

Jewish Group’s Publication Honors John Paul II

Anti-Defamation League Marking 1st Anniversary of His Death

NEW YORK, MARCH 27, 2006 (Zenit.org).- The Anti-Defamation League has issued a new publication focusing on Pope John Paul II’s historic visit to Israel and the Middle East in 2000.

The publication aims to commemorate the first anniversary of the Polish Pope’s death and to honor his unique relationship to the Jewish people and Judaism, the ADL said in a statement.

“Pope John Paul II — Visit to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority: A Pilgrimage of Prayer, Hope and Reconciliation,” includes selected passages from the speeches and presentations made by the Holy Father during his Mideast visit, compiled and with commentary by Rabbi Leon Klenicki, ADL’s retired director of interfaith affairs.

Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, who wrote the introduction to the publication, said: “Pope John Paul II’s outreach to the Jewish community will remain an important part of his extraordinary legacy.”

“As a youth in Poland he related to Jews who were his friends and neighbors. As Pope, through his words and actions he condemned anti-Semitism as a sin, visited the Rome synagogue, a first ever for a Pontiff, prayed at Auschwitz for the Jews who died there at the hands of the Nazis, and established relations with the Jewish State of Israel.”

Rabbi Klenicki, an expert on and participant in Catholic-Jewish relations for many decades, said, “As no other Pope in history, John Paul II will forever be recognized as the Pilgrim of Peace and the Apostle of Reconciliation.

“His prayer at Judaism’s holiest site, the Western Wall, his visit to Yad Vashem to pay homage to the Jews who died in the Shoah, his meetings with the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Israeli officials and the Israeli people, were historic moments in his pilgrimage.”