Pope's visit significant to non-Catholics as well

BROOKLYN - Pope Benedict XVI?s visit to the United States this week will not only be significant for Catholics. The pontiff plans to meet with other religious groups as well.

Just over a year ago, Brooklyn native David Michaels, a member of the Jewish organization B?nai B?rith International, met the pope in Washington, D.C.

?We found him, and certainly his church, to be very interested in inter-religious friendship, inter-religious partnership and particularly the friendship between the Jewish and Catholic communities,? said Michaels, who will present the pope with a menorah at an inter-religious meeting Thursday.

While some Brooklyn Jews say they?re indifferent to the pope?s visit, others say his visit and planned trip to a Manhattan synagogue Friday is historic.

?I think it?s wonderful to bring peace and harmony around the world,? said David Burg. ?I think it can?t be any better than that.?

Pope Benedict will also reach out to other Christian denominations during his visit, with a prayer service scheduled for Thursday. The Rev. A.R. Bernard, pastor of the Christian Cultural Center, said the pope?s visit is important for people of all faiths.

?I don?t have to deny my own personal faith in order to embrace and appreciate and respect such a large figure with such a large body [of followers] all over the world.?

Click here for News 12 Brooklyn's extended coverage of Pope Benedict XVI's visit

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