By Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

Ambassador of Israel: John Paul II was one of the most important popes for interreligious dialogue

John Paul II was one of the most important popes who worked for interreligious dialogue and breaking stereotypes – said the Israeli ambassador to Poland Alexander Ben Zvi.

He also pointed out that John Paul II did a lot for the Christian-Jewish dialogue. “Since he said that Jews are older brothers in the faith, many prejudices have been broken and systematic joint contacts between Judaism and Christianity have begun. This can be compared to the publication of Nostra aetate (declaration of the Second Vatican Council on the relation of the Church with non-Christian religions)” – stressed Alexander Ben Zvi in an interview with the Polish community portal polskifr.fr.

He added that John Paul II’s visit to Israel is still remembered today (20-26 March 2000). “It was a very important event, there was a live broadcast of the meetings on television and a special postage stamp was issued to commemorate the visit. The Pope’s speeches were widely commented on and very well received. The memory of John Paul II is very strong in Israel” – he said.

The Ambassador of Israel also assessed the initiative of the National Remembrance Park commemorating Poles who rescued Jews during World War II, which was opened in Toruń, as a very important.

“This is very important for the history of Poland and Israel. We must pay homage to those who risked their own lives to save others. They were heroes. It is important to conduct historical research to find such people. It is also important that the Park commemorates the Holocaust. I often come across questions as to why we do so much to remind people of the Holocaust. First of all, we have to commemorate people who lost their lives, and secondly, the memory of the Holocaust makes it possible to fight against intolerance and anti-Semitism, so that it will never happen again” – said Alexander Ben Zvi.

Courtesy of polskifr.fr / Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

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