(JNS.org) A delegation of young priests from several Latin American countries are in the midst of a week-long Jewish-Christian educational mission in Israel organized by the World Jewish Congress, the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel (CJCUC) and the Latin American Jewish Congress.
The focus of the mission is to highlight the improvements of Jewish-Christian relations since the Second Vatican Council in 1965, which changed the church’s teaching on Judaism and denounced anti-Semitism, as well as to introduce young Latino priests to Israel and the Jewish people.
Both Pope Benedict XVI and his predecessor Pope John Paul II took remarkable steps in improving Jewish-Christian relations, as well as establishing diplomatic ties with Israel.
“As Pope Benedict XVI leaves the papal office today, his legacy of building bridges between Jews and Christians will continue in these young priests,” CJCUC founder and chancellor Rabbi Shlomo Riskin said in a statement.
Another important goal of the mission is to increase understanding between Jewish and Catholic leaders from developing countries.
“As the center of gravity of the Catholic Church shifts to South America and Africa, it is vitally important to create new friendships between the future leaders of the Catholic Church in Latin America and the Jewish people,” David Nekrutman, the executive director of CJCUC, said in a statement.