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According to CBS News, Pope Benedict XVI will visit a synagogue while in New York, marking “just the third visit by any pope to a synagogue in the 2,000 year history of the Roman Catholic Church.” The story says that the first was a visit by Benedict’s predecessor, John Paul II, and Benedict will have twice entered Jewish houses of worship and learning. Only one problem with that: St. Peter, the first pope, was a Jew. And the separation between Jews and Christians was a gradual one. Early Christians considered themselves a sect within Judaism and had to be effectively kicked out of synagogues when the differences proved too great for Judaism to contain.

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