Friday, April 18, 2008

"Continue building bridges of friendship" - Papal Visit to Park East Synagogue

On the eve of Passover, Pope Benedict XVI paid a visit to Jewish leaders this afternoon at Park East Synagogue in New York. He was warmly received by Rabbi Arthur Schneier and became the first pope to visit a Jewish place of worship in the United States.

Frequent readers of my blog will know that my best friend in Fresno is Jewish and that I play Mah Jongg twice a month with a group of Jewish friends. During our games and in my friendship with Mara, we frequently discuss the many ties that bind our faith backgrounds. I am so happy to see Pope Benedict making special time during his agenda to express his respect for the Jewish community.

My favorite portion of this particular address is the following:

"I know that the Jewish community make a valuable contribution to the life of the city, and I encourage all of you to continue building bridges of friendship with all the many different ethnic and religious groups present in your neighborhood."

Pope Benedict's comments are a great reminder to all of us that we should work to build bridges between faith groups in our own communities.

Read the text of Pope Benedict's address to the Jewish community here.

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