Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Pope visits figures signifying Christianity and Judaism

"Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time"

Pope Francis says a blessing in front of the statue of "Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time," by Philadelphia sculptor Joshua Koffman. It was dedicated in a ceremony on campus Sept. 25, and the pope was asked to bless it. Submitted photo


On Sunday afternoon, an unannounced visit to Saint Joseph’s University, which straddles City Avenue in Lower Merion and Philadelphia, provided the setting for a moving ceremony, as the pope stopped to bless a newly-installed statue commemorating a historic change in relations between the Catholic and Jewish faiths. - MainlineMediaNews

Pope makes impromptu stop at statue marking Jewish-Catholic unity


PITTSBURGH, Pa.,Pope Francis paid an unscheduled visit to St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia to bless a statue celebrating improved Vatican relations with the Jewish community.

The bronze statue, titled “Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time,” depicts two figures – signifying Christianity and Judaism – sitting beside each other and displaying their sacred texts in postures of dialogue.
“This statue is exactly a demonstration of two sisters of the same dignity, the church and the synagogue,” said Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi.
The statue, which was crafted by a Philadelphia native, revolutionizes past artwork on relations between the Catholic Church and Jewish communities. In the past, the Catholic Church was often depicted as a triumphant figure celebrating its defeat of a blindfolded woman representing the Jewish community.
The Jesuit St. Joseph’s University installed the statue on Friday in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Vatican II document that reformed relations between Christianity and Judaism. Nostra Aetate condemned anti-Semitism and promoted unity and dialogue between Catholics and Jewish communities. The statue is placed outside of a Catholic chapel.
Pope Francis made the unscheduled stop on his way to celebrate the closing Mass for the World Meeting of Families at Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. He visited with St. Joseph’s students and administration as well as several religious leaders, including the Pope’s close friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who co-authored a book with Pope Francis about interreligious dialogue. - CBCP

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