Saturday, February 3, 2007

The Vatican's Knight Defenders of the Talmud

These are two of the Vatican's seven Judaic Papal Knights

Pope Knights Jewish Man

Jewish Telegraph Agency

The head of Pave the Way, a non-sectarian group in New York, became the first Jewish man to be knighted by two popes.

Gary Krupp was promoted to the highest Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great, receiving the Silver Star in a Jan. 15 ceremony in Rome, after Pave the Way presented important Christian documents to the Vatican Library. Krupp “has encouraged, promoted and achieved high levels of cultural cooperation between Catholic and Jewish institutions,” said Father David Jaeger, the Vatican’s representative to Israel.

Pave the Way says religion should not be a tool for violence, but can help bridge cultural gaps between Israel and the Vatican and between Jews and Christians through education, tolerance and goodwill. Krupp “has never lost his optimism, never allowed anyone else to lose their optimism, and we need that in the world at this time,” Jaeger said.

Rabbi Rosen Invested as Papal Knight

Nov. 3, 2005

Jerusalem Post

Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee's international director of interreligious affairs on Thursday became the first Israeli citizen, the first Orthodox rabbi and the fifth living Jew to be invested with a papal knighthood.

Rosen received the decoration and citation attesting to his new status as a Knight Commander of the Pontifical Order of St Gregory the Great at a ceremony hosted at the Notre Dame of Jerusalem Center by the Apostolic Delegate in Jerusalem and Palestine and the Apostolic Nuncio in Israel Archbishop Pietro Sambi.

The investiture was conducted by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with Jewry. The ceremony coincided with the 40th anniversary celebrations in Israel of Nostra Aetate, the ground-breaking Vatican II document that paved the way for mutual respect and dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jews.

Kasper credited Rosen with being a moving force in the realization and implementation of the spirit of Nostra Aetate.

Noting that Rosen is active in many fields, Kasper who has known him and worked with him for several years said: "One meets him everywhere that this dialogue is going on - and he keeps the dialogue going on."

He first met Rosen, Kasper recalled, as a Jewish partner in dialogue. He found Rosen to be frank, free and outspoken, saying what pleased him about the Christians and also what didn't
please him.

Kasper characterized Rosen as "a fair partner who wants to understand Christianity" and struggles to overcome misunderstandings and slander. He described Rosen as a man of peace and dialogue who builds bridges.

One of the most positive developments of the last half century said Kasper is that Jews and Christians have found a way to gather. "It is a sign of hope and reconciliation, friendship and mutual understanding."

Kasper made a point of emphasizing that in his work for reconciliation and peace, Rosen is not a man of compromise, but acts from the depth of his Jewish faith ...

... Rosen who was on the team that negotiated diplomatic relations between Israel and the Vatican was pleased to see among the witnesses to his honor Shmuel Hadass, who was Israel's first ambassador to the Vatican.

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