A delegation of Jewish leaders visited Pope John Paul II on Monday, Dec. 1, as part of a vigorous campaign against suicide bombings. The group, members from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, presented an award recognizing the Pontiff’s longtime friendship to the Jewish community, and asked him to declare that suicide bombings are “crimes against God and crimes against humanity.”
"The world turns to you, Your Holiness, to declare such acts as both crimes against God and crimes against humanity," the center's founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said in a speech to the pope.
While John Paul did make a note for peace, urging followers to “pray that all peoples everywhere will be strengthened in their commitment to mutual understanding, reconciliation and peace,” he did not make specific comments on the requests of the Center.
According to Hier, the delegation sought out the Pope’s support because of his role as a “moral force” in the world. Hier remained optimistic that the Pope will give his support, saying, "I believe he will take it into consideration."