CNN reports: “Jewish groups around the world are welcoming a clear declaration from Pope Benedict XVI that the Jewish people are not collectively responsible for the death of Jesus.”
How does that matter politically?
“The Jews killed Jesus” has often been used to justify antisemitism and ultimately to justify the shoah. Jesus was nothing but a Jew but to this very day he is turned against his own people for no justifiable reason.
How does that matter religiously?
As strange as it sounds but for Christian theology the crucifixion of Jesus actually turns out to be a good thing.
How does that matter legally?
Capital Punishment could only be ordered and administered by the Roman Empire. The temple aristocracy worked with Roman authorities toward the goal of getting rid of this enemy of the state.
How does that matter societally?
Jesus was killed not by one specific people or one specific religion but by the establishment of his day and age. He was an outcast and treated as such.