By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Peace will come to the Holy Land only if Jews, Christians and Muslims seek it together, Pope Benedict XVI told a delegation from B’nai B’rith International.
Representatives of the Jewish human rights organization met the pope Dec. 18 at the Vatican.
“I reiterate my unfailing hope and prayer for peace in the Holy Land,” he told them.
“Peace can only come about if it is the concern of Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, expressed in genuine interreligious dialogue and concrete gestures of reconciliation,” the pope said.
“All believers are challenged to show that it is not hatred and violence, but understanding and peaceful cooperation which open the door to that future of justice and peace which is God’s promise and gift,” Pope Benedict said.
The pope also told his guests he thanked God for “the remarkable transformation” in Catholic-Jewish relations since the Second Vatican Council.
The “rich heritage of faith” that Christians and Jews share, he said, has enabled the two communities “not only to enter into dialogue, but also to be partners in working together for the good of the human family.”
“Our troubled world needs the witness of people of good will inspired by the truth, revealed on the first page of the Scriptures, that all men and women are created in the image of God and thus possess an inalienable dignity and worth,” he said.