When hundreds of thousands of people converge on the Vatican for the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 1, a Brooklyn-born Jewish orchestra conductor will have an honored place among them.
Pope John Paul II, who made bettering relations with the Jewish world a cornerstone of his papacy, will be beatified on May 1, placing the Polish-born pontiff one step closer to sainthood. The Vatican announced Friday that Pope Benedict XVI will preside at the Vatican ceremony. John Paul died in 2005 and was put on a fast track to be made a saint.
In 2000, the pope undertook a pilgrimage to and formally recognized the State of Israel, inserting a note between the stones of the Western Wall.