updated 4/4/2008 8:17:06 AM ET 2008-04-04T12:17:06

The Vatican has expressed its respect and esteem for Jews despite tension over a Good Friday prayer, issuing the assurances shortly before the pope begins a visit to the United States that includes a stop at a synagogue in New York.

Some Jewish groups had expressed disappointment over the prayer Pope Benedict XVI revived from the old Latin rite that had historically been used as an excuse for violence and discrimination against Jews.

The Vatican said Friday a landmark document of the Second Vatican Council continues to sustain bonds of esteem, love and cooperation between Catholics and Jews and repudiates any form of anti-Semitism.

The pope will visit Manhattan's Park East synagogue during his April 15-20 visit to Washington and New York.

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