Pope Benedict has rejected the idea of collective Jewish guilt for Jesus Christ’s death, in a new book to be published next week, the BBC informs. Tackling an issue that has led to centuries of persecution, the Pope argues there is no basis in scripture for the Jewish people to be blamed. Jewish groups say the Pope’s detailed analysis of the gospels is a major step forward. “This is a personal repudiation of the theological underpinning of centuries of anti-Semitism,” said Elan Steinberg, vice-president of the American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants. The Anti-Defamation League said it was an “important and historic moment”.