by Viviane Hewitt in Rome THE OLD Catholic-Jewish "deicide" wound was reopened in Rome this week in a new row between the Catholic hierarchy and the city's Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff.
The Rabbi took exception to an article in a leading Italian daily, // Messaggero, by Cardinal Camillo Ruini which claimed the .Iews "suppressed" Jesus.
Toaff claimed the Cardinal contradicted Pope John Paul II and the Second Vatican Council in his article on the Resurrection. labelling it "arrogant" and "historically false".
The Cardinal backed down with a second article in the same paper. in which he spoke of his "love for the Jewish people" and lamented the persecution of Jews this century.
This recent war of words is marring fresh hopes of a thaw in Vatican relations with Israel following Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger's unexpected visit to Jerusalem at Easter.
Elsewhere, leading figures in Catholic/Jewish dialogue were seeking to heal centuries old wounds.
In the United States, the Cardinal President of the Spanish Episcopal Commission for InterReligious Relations admitted that 500 years ago, as the Americas were being opened up. Christians were guilty of persecuting other faiths.
Cardinal Ramon Torrella told the Central Conference of American Rabbis: "There is no doubt that what was done then by Christians to Jews. and also to Moslems, is exactly the contrary of what should have been done. according to the tenets of out Christian faith."