The Pope has exonerated Jewish people for the Crucifixion and death of Jesus.
In extracts released from his forthcoming book on Christ, Pope Benedict XVI has addressed one of the most controversial issues of Christianity by saying Jews bore no culpability.
He confronts the controversial text of St Matthew?s Gospel in which ?the Jews? demand the execution of Jesus and shout to the Roman governor Pontius Pilate: ?Let his blood be on us and on our children.?
The passage has been described as a ?rallying cry for anti-Semites down the centuries?.
But the Pope said when St Matthew wrote ?the Jews? he meant the mob in Pilate?s courtyard and not the Jewish people in general.
As such the crowd was representative of the whole of sinful humanity, he added.
It did not represent ?a curse, but rather redemption, salvation?, the Pope said in Jesus of Nazareth ? Holy Week: From Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, which will be published next week.
Roman Catholicism explicitly rejected the notion of the inherent guilt of the Jews in 1965.
See Grog? I can do happy news, this one is about forgiving the tricky jews.