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.