There has also been considerable publicity over his comments concerning the (in)famous passage in St Matthew’s Gospel (27.25) in which “the Jews” demand the execution of Christ, exclaiming to Pilate: “His blood be on us and on our children.” The Holy Father explains that the crowd baying for the blood of Jesus does not represent the Jewish people, but sinful humanity in general. 'Furthermore, he offers theological insights to say that the blood of Jesus is not used in the purposes of vengeance but is poured out to reconcile mankind to God. It was not “poured out against anyone, it is poured out for many, for all”....' From the Catholic Herald - see [here]
Perhaps now would be a good time for those (particularly in the British media, but not only in that quarter) who have consistently misrepresented the Holy Father as a reactionary, obscurantist figure to admit they have been profoundly mistaken in their assessment of this gentle, scholarly but determined man. He is not only 'the Pope of Christian Unity' but the Pope of Reconciliation. I pray for the day when he may be not only 'the' Pope, but 'our' Pope, too.
This is part of a report from the Jewish Chronicle:
Israel has “welcomed wholeheratedly” the Pope’s announcement exonerating Jews for the death of Jesus. A spokesman for Israel’s embassy to the Vatican said it was “confirmation of Pope Benedict XVI’s known positive stance towards the Jewish people and the state of Israel.”
He said: “We hope that his positive view will inspire the more of one billion Catholics all over the world".
The new book has been described by one reviewer as "A whole Lenten retreat in one volume." I look forward to reading it all very soon.