Le 18 janvier 2005 - Rome : Des rabbins bénissent Jean-Paul II.

Selon Gary Krupp, Jean-Paul II est "réellement la personnification des idéaux et de l'esprit d'Aaron, le grand prêtre de l'ancien Israël".


Gary Krupp in the Uniform of a Knights Commander of the Pontifical Order of St. Gregory the Great picture here with Dr. and Mrs. Rolando Clementoni Italian advisors to Pave the Way

ZF05011802 - 18-01-2005
Permalink: http://www.zenit.org/article-9497?l=french
160 rabbins et chantres de synagogue venus remercier Jean-Paul II

CITE DU VATICAN, Mardi 18 janvier 2005 (ZENIT.org) – Ce sont 160 rabbins et chantres de synagogue venus d'Israël, des Etats-Unis et d'Europe qui ont rendu visite à Jean-Paul II mardi matin pour le remercier de son action en faveur des relations entre juifs et catholiques, à l’occasion du 40e anniversaire de la promulgation de la déclaration conciliaire « Nostra Ætate » pour les relations de l’Eglise avec les religions non-chrétiennes.

Traditionnellement, le 17 janvier, à la veille de la grande semaine de prière pour l’Unité des chrétiens, la conférence des évêques italiens promeut, à l’instar d’autres pays, la Journée pour le dialogue avec le Judaïsme.

C’est jusqu’ici l'audience la plus nombreuse accordée par le pape à des représentants d'autres religions. La rencontre avec cette délégation de la "Pave the Way Foundation" (« Pavez le chemin ») de New York, a eu lieu en la salle Clémentine du palais apostolique.

Le pape a remercié les membres de la fondation et son président, M.Gary Krupp, qui avait adressé, au nom de tous une salutation à Jean-Paul II.

« Cette année, soulignait le pape, en anglais, nous allons célébrer le 40e anniversaire de la déclaration du concile Vatican II, Nostra Aetate, qui a contribué de façon significative au renforcement du dialogue entre juifs et catholiques ».

« Puisse-t-il être l’occasion d’un engagement renouvelé pour faire grandir la compréhension et la coopération au service de la construction d’un monde plus fermement fondé sur le respect de l’image divine en tout être humain », a-t-il déclaré.

« J’invoque sur vous, disait le pape, les abondantes bénédictions du Tout-Puissant, et, en particulier, le don de la paix. Shalom aleichem » (« Paix à vous »).

Les rabbins avaient publié lundi soir un communiqué dans lequel il remerciaient le pape « de tous les efforts réalisés au cours de ses vingt-cinq ans de pontificat en vue de réconcilier les deux religions et d'abattre le mur de la haine ». Ce matin, ils ont prié pour Jean-Paul II.

De son côté, M. Krupp a rappelé que le but de la fondation est de « rassembler des hommes et des femmes de bonne volonté, quelle que soit leur foi et en dehors de tout préjugé, et par conséquent de combattre avec détermination les obstacles se présentant sur le chemin de la réconciliation interreligieuse ».

Il rendait cet hommage à Jean-Paul II : « Le pape a agi dans ce sens pendant des décennies et le moins que l'on puisse faire est de le remercier sincèrement de ce qu'il a fait pour le peuple juif dans le monde. Et pour notre part, nous travaillons sérieusement à établir la paix sur terre ».

Le rabbin Jack Bemporad, directeur du Centre pour l'Amitié interreligieuse, et depuis de longues années engagé dans le dialogue avec l’Eglise catholique, a déclaré que « depuis le Concile Vatican II et sous le pontificat de Jean-Paul II, l'Eglise catholique a fait de grand progrès dans la construction de nouvelles relations avec le monde juif, basées sur le respect et la réciprocité sincères ».

Il insistait tout particulièrement : « Avant Jean-Paul II, aucun pape ne s’était autant préoccupé de développer une relation fraternelle entre catholiques et juifs ».

Il concluait : « C'est pourquoi il sera considéré comme le principal assainisseur de ces relations. En venant le rencontrer au Vatican, nous rabbins du monde entier, nous le remercions ».

*voir February 4, 2005/Shevat 25 5765, Vol. 57, No. 23

Cantors make history with papal visit

Last month, 13 members of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America converged in Rome with the express purpose of making history. We joined a worldwide delegation of 160 cantors, rabbis, and other Jewish community leaders to meet with Pope John Paul II.

The purpose of this mission was to express appreciation for the many ways this Pope has shown support for the Jewish people. Gary Krupp, president and founder of Pave the Way Foundation, a group dedicated to bridging the gap between religions, organized the expedition. As one of only seven Jews to have been knighted by Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Equestrian Order of St. Gregory the Great, Krupp was uniquely qualified to lead this delegation.

On the evening of Jan. 17, the 13 cantors presented the first-ever cantorial concert in the enormous 100-year-old Great Synagogue of Rome, for the members of the delegation, representatives of the Vatican, the Roman Jewish community and other dignitaries. The enormous synagogue was filled to capacity throughout the entire two and a half hour concert, even though it was heated only by the warmth of the spirit of those in attendance. RAI (Italian television) covered the concert and broadcast our performance, making us recognizable to many Romans as we met them on the streets during the rest of our stay. At the conclusion of the concert, with the audience already standing, we all spontaneously began singing the Hatikvah. There were very few dry eyes.

The next morning, members of the delegation loaded onto buses for the short trip to the Vatican. The buses wove through the narrow streets of the Vatican City, passing several checkpoints manned by guards who stood at attention and saluted our buses as we passed.

We met with the Pope in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, a large hall covered by colorful frescoes. Rabbi Barry Dov Schwartz noted that the guards in the room seemed not quite sure what to make of the group. Usually people in this room sat in silence and observed extreme decorum while waiting for their audience with the Pope. This group was buoyant and noisy during the half hour we waited.

Finally the rear doors opened and the Pontiff was wheeled into the room seated on a thickly uphostered white chair, waving to the now standing and applauding delegation. After the Pope was situated, Krupp, dressed in his full Knightly regalia, addressed the Pontiff with a carefully crafted message: "We are a group of people who represent a cross-section of Judaism, who have traveled here with the blessings of millions of our faith in order to thank you.

"You have defended the Jewish people at every opportunity, as a priest in Poland and during your 26-year pontificate. You have denounced anti-Semitism as a sin against God and humanity."

Krupp listed the many different ways in which this pope has pursued peace and reconciliation. He closed his statement by saying, "You have referred to us, the children of Abraham, as your beloved elder brothers. My prayerful wish is that Jews, Christians and Muslims, the three children of Abraham, may soon bond together in one common cause and voice to defend all humanity against those who defame God by committing wanton acts of violence in His holy name. Your Holiness, thank you, thank you, thank you. Shalom, shalom, shalom."

The Pope responded, first by noting that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the Vatican's landmark Nostra Aetate declaration, which rejected the charge that Jews collectively were responsible for the death of Jesus. He continued, "May this be an occasion for renewed commitment to increased understanding and cooperation in the service of building a world ever more firmly based on respect for the divine image in every human being ... Upon all of you I invoke the abundant blessings of the Almighty and in particular the gift of peace. Shalom aleichem."

Three rabbis, Barry Dov Schwartz, Benjamin Blech and Jack Bemporad, all of whom are members of the Pave the Way Foundation board, approached the Pontiff and collectively gave him a blessing. The 13 cantors then chanted the Shehecheyanu prayer. The Pope demonstrated his enthusiasm for this gathering by personally greeting all those in attendance individually. Each member of the delegation was invited to greet and shake hands with the Pontiff. I found it interesting to note that while he appeared to be frail, his handshake was firm and purposeful, and his eyes were clear and sharp.

Rabbi Blech commented to me that the fact that our delegation was met and greeted by the very same person who welcomes the president of the United States or the secretary of state is an indication of just how far we've come in building relations with the Church. He also mentioned that a priest with whom he traveled commented on the individual greetings with the Pope and stated that he had never seen a grand gesture like that before. It was a clear indication of the love that this Pope felt from us and that he wanted to return.

Cantor Victor I. Beck, a part-time resident of Ahwatukee, is the president of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America.

The Pave The Way Foundation :

- Commentaire du séjour à Rome et résumé de l'allocution de Gary Krupp, président de la Pave The Way Foundation :PDF file
- Le programme du séjour à Rome de la délégation juive : PDF file

Pour mieux découvrir la Pave The Way Foundation :
- son site internet : www.ptwf.org
- un document présentant la Pave The Way Foundation : PDF

Commendatore Gary Krupp KCSG, President of Pave the Way, addresses Pope John Paul II in the largest Jewish audience in history, in the Clementine Hall in the Apostolic Palace January 18, 2005 http://www.ptwf.org/Projects/MissionToVatican/PhotoPage1.htm


1) http://www.barhama.com/PAVETHEWAY/GK.html Krupp's speech to JPII. His concluding words : "Thank you, thank you, thank you, Shalom, Shalom, Shalom". Discours de Krupp à JPII. Ses derniers mots : "Merci, merci, merci, Shalom, Shalom, Shalom".

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2) http://www.barhama.com/PAVETHEWAY/pope.html JPII responding to Krupp. His final words : "Shalom, Shalom, Shalom". JPII répondant à Krupp. Ses derniers mots : "Shalom aleichem, Shalom, Shalom".

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3) http://www.barhama.com/PAVETHEWAY/rabbis.html Three rabbis blessing JPII. Trois rabbins bénissant JPII.

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4) http://www.barhama.com/PAVETHEWAY/people.html

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Rabbi Barry Dov Schwartz, Rabbi Benjamin Blech and Rabbi Jack Bemporad bestow the Priestly Blessing upon Pope John Paul II

Discours de Gary Krupp, président de la Pave The Way Foundation, à Jean-Paul II, à Rome, le 18 janvier 2005.

Your Holiness:

We are a group of people who represent a cross section of Judaism, who have traveled here with the blessings of millions of our faith in order to thank you. Soon after your ascension to the throne of St. Peter, you made a telling trip to Auschwitz in order to pay homage to victims of the Holocaust. You have defended the Jewish people at every opportunity, as a priest in Poland and during your Twenty-six year pontificate. You have denounced anti-Semitism as a "sin against God and humanity.” This tone of reconciliation has been the corner stone of your papacy and its relations with the Jewish people. On April 13, 1986, you became the first Pope since St. Peter to visit a synagogue. Upon presenting his credentials to you in June 2003, Israeli Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur expressed this enormous gesture best when he said, “On that day you took upon your shoulders the 2000 year old church, back to the first century synagogue of Capernaum, where Jesus used to pray, thus closing an historic circle".

You moved the Holy See to initiate the process of normalizing of diplomatic relations with the state of Israel in 1992, the beloved biblical homeland of the Jewish people, symbolically acknowledging the existence of Eretz Yisrael yesterday, today, and forever. Your pilgrimage to Israel and the Holy Land on March 21, 2000, was immortalized in the hearts and minds of the Jewish people around the world, when you placed your prayer asking for forgiveness in the Western Wall. Your solemn remarks during your visit to the Hall of Remembrance, Yad Vashem profoundly moved us and touched our hearts.

It is impossible to describe the emotional impact these milestones have had on Jews worldwide. Your Holiness, these reconciliatory acts have, in fact, been a hallmark of your pontificate as you have also tried to repair the ancient rifts in all of the religions in the world. The Jewish Ethics of the Fathers beautifully captures, in verse, the love you have exhibited for all humanity. Rabbi Hillel says: among the disciples of Aaron, by being a lover of peace, a pursuer of peace, a lover of all humanity and bringing them closer to religion."

For your acts of love of all humankind and your implacable pursuit of peace and reconciliation of all the faiths, your Holiness truly is the personification of these ideals and spirit of Aaron, the high priest of ancient Israel.

In closing, you have referred to us, the children of Abraham, as your beloved elder brothers. My prayerful wish is that Jews, Christians and Muslims, the three children of Abraham, may soon bond together in one common cause and voice to defend all humanity against those who defame God by committing wanton acts of violence in his holy name.(*)

Your Holiness, thank you,….. thank you,……. thank you.

Shalom,…. Shalom,….. Shalom

Et Jean-Paul II d'applaudir le discours de Garry Krupp.

(*) Thème repris par Ratzinger à Naples, le 21 octobre 2007.

La réponse de JPII

Ladies and Gentleman, Dear Friends,

With affection I greet the members of the “Pave the Way Foundation” on your visit to the Vatican, and I thank Mr. Krupp for the kind words which he has addressed to me on your behalf.

This year we will be celebrating the fortieth anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration Nostra Aetate, which has significantly contributed to the strengthening of Jewish-Catholic dialogue. May this be an occasion for renewed commitment to increased understanding and cooperation in the service of building a world ever more firmly based on respect for the divine image in every human being.

Upon all of you, I invoke the abundant blessings of the Almighty and, in particular, the gift of peace. Shalom aleichem, shalom, shalom.

Statement of Rabbi Jack Bemporad
On the Occasion of the Meeting of 160 Rabbis with Pope John Paul II
January 18, 2005
Vatican City, Rome

"This is the first time in history that rabbis representing all branches of Judaism from all over the world have come together to collectively thank Pope John Paul II and the Church for all they have done to build bridges of understanding and mutual respect between Jews and Catholics.

"In the history of the world, the last forty years will be seen as the most revolutionary and significant in terms of progress in the Jewish-Catholic relationship. Since Vatican II and under the leadership of Pope John Paul II, the Church has taken dramatic steps to build new bonds with the Jewish people based on true mutuality and affection.

"No Pope has done as much or cared as much about creating a brotherly relationship between Catholics and Jews as Pope John Paul II. He was the first Pope to visit the synagogue in Rome. He issued the 'We Remember' statement on the Holocaust. He established full diplomatic relations with the State of Israel. And He asked forgiveness of the Jews for all past acts of anti-Judaism by the sons and daughters of the Church during his pilgrimage to Israel in 2001. For me, it's simply revolutionary. I believe Pope John Paul II will be considered a great healer in the relationship between Catholics and Jews.

"The efforts of Pope John Paul II and the Church to reach out to the Jewish people are profoundly significant because some of the greatest sources of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism throughout history have been Catholic teachings.

"By coming to the Vatican from across the world, we rabbis are saying 'thank you.'"

Biographie du Rabbin Jack Bemporad : http://www.faithindialogue.org



The JMCA and thirteen Cantors of the association were invited to a special private audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II in Vatican City on Tuesday, January 18, 2005. Pave The Way Foundation , a non-profit corporation, took this initiative by choosing the JMCA to represent the Jewish Community amongst some 160 Jewish clergy and lay leaders.

The Jewish dignitaries traveled to Rome specifically to recognize and to thank Pope John Paul II for his efforts during his 26-year pontificate in bringing down the walls of hate, as well as his contribution towards religious reconciliation with the Jewish People and the State of Israel. The Rabbis in attendance recited a special prayer and the Cantors sang a special blessing, the Shehecheyahu, to commemorate this event at the Vatican in Clementine Hall.

The group attending this special audience with the Pope was headed by Mr. Gary Krupp, President of Pave The Way Foundation along with Oded Ben-Hur, Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See; Amire Ofek, Israeli Consul for Media in New York; Rabbi Adam Mintz, President of the New York Board of Rabbis; Rabbi Samuel Rene Sirot, Past Chief Rabbi of Europe and France; Rabbi David Lincoln, Chief Rabbi of the Park Avenue Synagogue, New York; Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Jerusalem; Rabbi Joseph Arbib of the Great Synagogue in Rome and Gadi Golan, former Director of Religious Affairs for the Israel Foreign Ministry.

One of the scheduled and exciting items on the agenda was a rare visit to the Vatican’s Jewish archives. The Cantors, all of whom are members of the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America presented a concert at the Great Synagogue of Rome on Monday, January 17 at 8:00 PM for the delegation and representatives of the Vatican and the Roman Jewish Community. Participants in this concert were Cantors: Avraham Amar, Eliezer Kepecs, Josh Rubenstein, Leslie Rimer, Motti Fuchs, Victor I. Beck, Yehuda Rossler, Michael Trachtenberg, David Montefiore, Steve Shor, Ofer Barnoy, Gadi Elon and Sol Zim.

The JMCA, once known as the Chazzanim Farband is the oldest and most prestigious cantorial association in America. The JMCA has a glorious history and a membership that included some of the greatest talents of the past century. It is interesting to note that on December 9, 1947 the Jewish Ministers Cantors Association of America held its 50th Anniversary Concert at the Metropolitan Opera House with such luminaries as: Cantors Berele Chagy, Moshe Ganchoff, Samuel Vigoda, Leib Glantz, Eliezer Zaslavsky, Moshe Koussevitsky and Benzion Kapov-Kagan.

The JMCA leadership has been a proponent of dialogue and rapprochement and is delighted with the events in Rome. Pope John Paul II will be remembered as an extraordinary human being, a credit to the Creator who made him and a source of everlasting hope to all humankind.

Le programme

Cantors on Bimah of the Tempio Maggiore at concert for the Roman Community January 17, 2005

The Pope's Gift to the Cantors

Cantor David Montefiore, JMCA President being greeted by Pope John Paul II (au deuxième plan, Gary Krupp, président de la Pave The Way Foundation

JMCA Cantors as they await audience with with John Paul II IN Clementine Hall - January 18, 2005

Shaking hands with the Pope at the Vatican (l. to r.): Dr. Harvey Passes, Gary Krupp KCSG, Pope John Paul II.

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