Interfaith diplomacy

Featured Photo

In a June 17 keynote speech opening a two-day conference titled “The Holy See and Israel: The Diplomacy of Engagement,” Mordechay Lewy, Israel’s ambassador to the Holy See, discussed the consequences of the May visit to Israel by Pope Benedict XVI. Addressing more than 100 academics, graduate students, and representatives of the Archdiocese and Boston’s Jewish community, Lewy characterized the Pope’s trip as a success, noting Benedict’s words at the national Holocaust memorial museum Yad Vashem, where the German pontiff declared that the millions of Jews who perished in the Nazi genocide “lost their lives, but they will never lose their names.” Referring to that affirmation of the power of name and memory as well as other papal reflections, Ambassador Lewy said, “Pope Benedict’s statements during the visit will nourish our [Israeli-Vatican] future relations for a long time,” and the diplomat added that that the Israeli people hold Benedict “in high esteem as very friendly towards Jews.” Above, seated in Gasson 100 are (front row, from left) James Bernauer, SJ, director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning, which sponsored the event; Lewy; Robert Stern, secretary general of the Catholic Near Eastern Welfare Association; and Eugene Fisher, former director of the secretariat for ecumenical and interreligious affairs of the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This feature was posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009 and is filed under Featured Photo.

Photograph: Gary Wayne Gilbert