Cardinal Lustiger comments on the visit to the syngogue

Source: FSSPX News


On August 20, the day after the visit by Benedict XVI to the synagogue of Cologne, the cardinal of Jewish origin, Jean-Marie Lustiger told the agency I.MEDIA that this step taken by the pope was an act of faith, but also a gesture of consolation and mercy for the German people and the entire world. The architect of Judaeo-Christian dialogue during the pontificate of John Paul II, the former archbishop of Paris took part in the visit to the synagogue of Cologne with the pope.” It is at the very heart of the Catholic faith that this step belongs,” said the French cardinal, adding that “it is not like a fortuitous reconciliation between two nations or two enemies”. “For Cardinal Ratzinger, and even more so for Pope Benedict XVI, taking this step is an act of his apostolic ministry, it is to justify the faith transmitted through Peter and Paul”.

 Cardinal Lustiger , who has known Cardinal Ratzinger “for many years” said that he knew very well “what he had achieved at the side of John Paul II, particularly in this field” of Judaeo-Christian relations. He described Benedict XVI as “a man of extreme sensitivity”. “As a German, he lived through the drama of the war, he is aware of the historical burden of the Nazism which tore Germany apart.” He emphasized “the love and compassion of the pope for the Jewish people,” specifying that it concerned “not merely sympathy, but an esteem and a religious respect, because it concerns a people who carry the word of God.” “In the face of a civilization which has forgotten the Ten Commandments, we have a shared responsibility,” said the former archbishop of Paris, speaking about the pope’s remarks on the Decalogue, the common patrimony of the Jews and the Christians.

 On August 19, Benedict XVI called for “steps forward in the analysis, from the theological point of view, of the rapport between Judaism and Christianity.” According to Cardinal Lustiger, in this domain, “the field of reflexion and study is barely open.” In his view, Catholics must try to understand why the Jewish people subsists, not merely as a witness of something outdated, but as carrying always the Word and being the authentic and legitimate witness of it, because God’s gifts are irrevocable”.