The annual meeting of the International Council of Christians and Jews (ICCJ) on the topic of “Martin Luther and 500 Years of Tradition and Reform in Judaism and Christianity” has started yesterday in Bonn. Religions owe “the pioneers of reconciliation” a huge debt of gratitude, the President of the German Bishops’ Conference, Card. Reinhard Marx, said in his opening remarks: “Gratitude for their courage to start a dialogue the future of which no one could have predicted; and gratitude also for the patience with which they endured scepticism and criticism. Their courage and their patience have borne much fruit”. One of them, the cardinal said, is the fact that dialogue with Judaism has enriched “theology, catechesis, and proclamation”, and has led to “better knowledge of the Christian faith”. And also: a “new cordial coexistence between Christians and Jews”. Referring to the theme of the meeting, Card Marx went on to praise the Evangelical Church in Germany for having recently condemned and distanced herself from Martin Luther’s anti-Semitism. “This encourages us to continue along this path with patience and perseverance”. The meeting of the ICCJ, an umbrella organization of 40 national Jewish-Christian dialogue bodies, will continue until 5 July.