Pope lifts blame from Jews for Christ’s death


VATICAN CITY – Pope Benedict XVI exonerates the Jewish people as a whole from responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus Christ in a new book due to be published this month, prompting praise from Jewish groups.
The pope wrote that the condemnations of Jesus Christ came from the “aristocracy of the temple” in Jerusalem and from the “masses” who acclaimed Barabbas instead of Jesus — not from “the Jewish people as a whole”.
Extracts from the book, the second volume of a biography of Jesus Christ, were published by the Vatican’s official Osservatore Romano daily on Thursday. The World Jewish Congress in a statement praised the pope “for unequivocally rejecting the argument that the Jewish people can be held responsible.” Congress head Ronald Lauder said: “2,000 years after the event it really was high time that the head of the Catholic Church made a clear statement on this. “It sets an important marker against anti-Semitism in the Church,” he said.