A new book written by Pope Benedict XVI -- titled "Jesus of Nazareth - Part II" -- became available for public purchase last week. The book has elicited much interest and discussion by Christians -- as well as Jews -- primarily because in it, the Pope states in no uncertain terms that the Jewish people are exonerated insofar as Jesus' death is concerned.
The Pope writes, Jesus blood "does not cry out for vengeance and punishment, it brings reconciliation. It is not poured out against anyone, it is poured out for many, for all."
Indeed, a plethora of Jewish people throughout the world are ecstatic with Pope Benedict's exoneration of the Jews for Jesus' death -- and rightly so -- because the Jews have been unfairly blamed and persecuted for the Lord's death for nearly 2,000 years. The fact is that all of the people of the world -- not just the Jews -- were responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus.
Many Jewish organizations and rabbis have applauded the Pope's declaration against the collective Jewish responsibility for the Crucifixion of Jesus.
For example, Rabbi Marvin Hier -- Simon Wiesenthal Center Founder and Dean -- said: "This is a critically important and timely statement by His Holiness, particularly at a time of increased mainstream anti-Semitism worldwide, and a very important tool in the fight against Jew-hatred."
In my complete agreement with Rabbi Hier's statement, I can only add one thought regarding the exoneration of the Jews for Jesus' death: "It's about time!"