WJC officials meet Pope Benedict
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WJC officials meet Pope Benedict

Top officials from the World Jewish Congress met with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican.

WJC President Ronald Lauder and new Secretary-General Michael Schneider focused on interreligious dialogue and anti-Semitism in their talks with the pope.

During a private lunch, Lauder thanked the pope for his efforts on behalf of the Jewish people over the past decades. Benedict emphasized that the issue of Catholic-Jewish relations was close to his heart.

Lauder and Schneider were scheduled to meet later Monday with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano. They were expected to call on Italy to take a firm stance against the intentions of Iran to develop nuclear capabilities.

On Sunday evening, Lauder and Schneider hosted a dinner attended by cardinals, ambassadors to the Vatican and officials engaged in interreligious dialogue.