Religion: Mutual Declarations of Respect

Pope John Paul makes a historic visit to a synagogue

The two men, Pope John Paul in a white robe and Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff in a prayer shawl, stood side by side in Rome's main synagogue for a moment of silent prayer. Then they joined in an enthusiastic embrace. The throng of 1,000 people packed into the ornate synagogue, 40 of whom were survivors of Nazi death camps, burst into thunderous applause. Some wept openly.

The embrace was the climax of an 80-minute ceremony last week during a historic pre-Passover call by John Paul at the synagogue; it was the first time that a Pope is known to have visited...

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