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Pope Benedict Urges Stronger Bonds Between Catholics, Jews

Pope Benedict has urged Roman Catholics and Jews to renew their commitment to deepen their bonds and work for the good of humanity.

The pope made the appeal Thursday in a message to a meeting in Rome of Catholic and Jewish leaders on the 40th anniversary of a document in which the Second Vatican Council deplored anti-Semitism and rejected collective Jewish guilt for the death of Christ. The pontiff praised those who had worked to foster reconciliation between the two religions despite what he called a long and painful history, including the Holocaust.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, who is responsible for Vatican ties with other religions, said the 40-year-old document signaled a definite no to all forms of anti-Semitism. But he acknowledged that many obstacles still remain to reconciliation.

Some information for this story provided by Reuters and AFP.