For 20 centuries, the Catholic Church has had a turbulent relationship with the Jewish people. Jews were persecuted and held responsible for the death of Jesus, and were often the victims of church-instigated pogroms and anti-Semitic attacks.
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When the pope came to Missouri this week, the St. Louis archdiocese made sure to include several dramatic gestures of Catholic-Jewish friendship in his schedule. They were the sort of breakthrough events John Paul II has prized through 20 years of papacy.
But it's wearing thin.