Pope Benedict XVI has made a sweeping exoneration of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus Christ, tackling one of the most controversial issues in Christianity in a new book.

In Jesus of Nazareth-Part II excerpts released today, Benedict explains biblically and theologically why there is no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus’ death.

Interpretations to the contrary have been used for centuries to justify the persecution of Jews.

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