...as he continues the tradition, established by John Paul II, of visiting a Rome synagogue. Thanks to the ghastly anti-Jewish rants of the Lefebvrist's Dr Williamson - still, alas, not denounced by that community - there are tensions between Rome's Jewish community and the Catholic Church. As Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict did more than anyone else in the Church to help forge new friendships between Jews and Catholics, and it has been tragic to see how the Lefebvrist issue has now got in the way.
For me, one of the most frightening things that happened in 2009 was the realisation that anti-semitism has a hold on a certain (thank God, extremely small) group of Catholics - I was truly shocked and disgusted at some of the emails I recieved after writing about this subject. I suspect that most belonged to schismatic groups or were of a schismatic mentality. But the fact that they felt that they could pronounce horrible anti-Jewish comments under the guise of calling themselves "traditional Catholics" appalled and sickened me. I do not see how anyone who is a traditional and loyal Catholic can be anti-Jewish.
I am currently working on some research concerning an English nun who hid Jewish children in Rome during the war and saved their lives. In the early post-war years, the name of Pius XII was revered by many is Israel who knew of lives saved in this way.