Retired Pope Benedict accused of anti-Semitism after article on Christians and Jews

Source: USA Today

PARIS – Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, is being accused of fostering anti-Semitism after publishing a controversial essay in a German-language theological journal.

Both Jewish and Catholic leaders say that the retired pontiff’s essay on Jewish-Catholic relations suggests he harbors anti-Semitic views despite his visits to synagogues and cordial relations with Jews during his papacy. Articles both criticizing and defending the essay have appeared in German, Austrian and Swiss media in recent weeks.

The central point of debate is Benedict’s denial the Catholic Church ever adopted “supersessionism,” the theological belief that God’s covenant through Christ replaced the covenant God made with the Jewish people, and his insistence at the same time that the Christian lens for reading the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is the only valid one.

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