Vatican City: Pope Benedict XVI has tackled
one of the most controversial and critical issues in
Christianity in a new book, making a sweeping exoneration of
the Jewish people in the death of Jesus Christ.
In "Jesus of Nazareth," excerpts of which were released
today, Benedict uses a biblical and theological analysis to
explain why there is no basis in truth to claims that Jews as
a whole were responsible for Jesus` death.
Interpretations to the contrary have been used for
centuries to justify the persecution of Jews.
While the Vatican has long echoed Benedict`s conclusion,
Jewish scholars said the argument laid out by the German-born
pontiff, who has had his share of missteps with Jews, was
significant and would help fight anti-Semitism today.