NEW YORK (JTA) — The Vatican chief liaison to world Jewry voiced an urgent call from Pope Benedict XVI for all religious leaders to openly denounce violence in the name of religion.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, on his first visit to the United States as a Vatican representative, made his remarks Monday during the inaugural luncheon for the Milstein Center for Interreligious Dialogue at the Jewish Theological Seminary.
“We know God does not dwell in violence, only in peace,” Koch said.
Koch is the president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Vatican branch encompassing the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. He assumed his position in June 2010.
During an appearance Sunday at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, Koch told an audience of rabbis, priests, theologians and specialists in interfaith dialogue that many Jews approve of the likely canonization of Holocaust-era Pope Pius XII, the wartime pope who many accuse of not doing enough to defend Jews from the Nazis.
His assertions, including that the opening of the Vatican’s Holocaust-era archives would not add more information about Pius’ activities during the Nazi era, were met with anger from some attending the program, the Forward reported.