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Fr David Neuhaus on Jewish-Catholic dialogue in Israel


From a linguistic perspective, the synod of bishops on the Middle East marks the first time that Arabic has been used as one of the four official working languages for the two week meeting here in the Vatican. It’s also the first time that information in Hebrew will be made available through our Vatican Radio website, reflecting the importance of dialogue with the Jewish world and with Israel in particular.
Jesuit Fr David Neuhaus is a convert from Judaism to the Catholic Church and now serves as vicar for the tiny community of Hebrew and Russian speaking Catholics with the Jerusalem Patriarchate. He talked to Tracey McClure about his expectations from the synod and about the very specific situation of the Jewish-Christian dialogue in Israel…

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“It’s a very complex situation…most people are aware that what needs to develop here is a very specific Christian-Jewish dialogue….this is the only place in the world, where Jews and Christians dialogue, where Jews are in the majority, where they have political power, where there is an ongoing conflict…..”

“The (local) Church is perceived by the Israeli authorities as being close to the Palestinian party to the conflict, and that seems logical as indeed most Catholics are Palestinian.
That creates a situation which demands enormous finesse, a lot of diplomacy, a lot of patience and also an insistent need for the development of a very particular type of dialogue.”




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