Israel has welcomed Pope Benedict XVI's exoneration of the Jewish people from responsibility for the death of Jesus Christ in a new book due to be published later this month.Look, Vatican II denied that the Jews were collectively responsible. The Catechism of the Catholic Church denies the Jews were collectively responsible. I'm sure Pope John Paul II must have referred to this a few times.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the Pope's "courage".
"I commend you for forcefully rejecting in your recent book a false charge that has been a foundation for the hatred of the Jewish people for many centuries," he said in a statement.
"My fervent hope is that your clarity and courage will strengthen the relations between Jews and Christians throughout the world and promote peace and reconciliation for generations to come."
Israel's embassy to the Vatican reacted with "joy" and said the comments were "a confirmation of the Pope's widely known positive attitude towards the Jewish people and the state of Israel".
The World Jewish Congress also praised Benedict, with director Ronald Lauder saying: "Two thousand 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.
It's like the pope comes out with a new statement on this, and everyone treats it like it's a brand new belief.
It's almost like people assume the pope and the Church is antisemitic and this latest statement represents a "step forward".