Catholic-Jewish relations discussed in Boston
(NECN: Alison King) - Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev was at Boston College Law School to speak to students about Israel and Middle East peace issues.
Shalev was a guest professor at the Catholic university, in the early eighties and her return, orchestrated by the anti-defamation league was a show of the strong Jewish-Catholic relationship that exists in Boston.
It’s a relationship that has been tested in recent months, following the decision in January by Pope Benedict to lift the excommunication of a holocaust-denying bishop: Richard Williamson.
Many Boston-area Jews have expressed outrage at the Catholic Church
But not ambassador Shalev.
Gabriela: We feel very strongly about denial of holocaust, but we have so many other conflicts that we are dealing with that I think this should be left behind.
The ambassador was joined by Boston Archbishop Cardinal Sean O’Malley, who was also invited to the event.
Cardinal Sean: I think everyone was shocked and disappointed that it took place, but no one who knows the holy father doubts his commitment to the good relations between Catholics and Jews.
Cardinal O’Malley says the commission that was advising the pope on this matter has been dissolved and turned over to a larger group of cardinals and bishops.
And he says, the pope's visit to Israel in May will go a long way to show the churches commitment to the Jewish people.
Cardinal Sean: I consider this a hiccup along the road. The relationships are there and they are important to us and I think that's why people reacted so strongly to this because the relationship is so strong.
Gabriela Shalev: We look very much forward to the visit of the Pope to Israel and you know there are many people who would like to welcome him. And we cherish and appreciate very much the good relations we have with our Catholic and Jewish friends?