Pope salutes ‘special spiritual bond’ with Jews
search

Pope salutes ‘special spiritual bond’ with Jews

Francis I makes remarks during interfaith meeting attended by several Jewish leaders

ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis told Jewish leaders that Catholics and Jews are “bound by a very special spiritual bond.”

The new pontiff on Wednesday also pledged to foster the interfaith dialogue begun with the Nostra Aetate decree of the Second Vatican Council.

“I thank you for your presence and trust that with the help of the Almighty, we can continue that fruitful fraternal dialogue that the Council wished for,” he said. “And that it is actually achieved, bringing many fruits, especially during the last decades.”

Francis made the remarks during an audience with the Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain and non-Catholic Christian delegations that had attended his inauguration a day earlier.

He said the Catholic Church was “aware of the importance of the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions. This I wish to repeat: the promotion of friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.”

Among the dozen Jewish leaders in attendance were Rome’s chief rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni; Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League; Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s international director of Interreligious Affairs; and Claudio Epelman, the executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, with whom Francis also had a private audience.

“There is no doubt that Catholic-Jewish relations will go from strength to even greater strength during Pope Francis’ pontificate,” said Rosen, who is among the few Jews to have received a papal knighthood.

Di Segni sat next to the pope during the encounter. According to the Rome Jewish news site Shalom7, when Francis and Di Segni exchanged personal greetings, the pontiff joked that he had “gotten a lot of information” about Di Segni and saw that he was “very active on Facebook.”

Shalom7 said Di Segni greeted the pontiff’s reference to social media “with a smile.” There are numerous Italian Jewish Facebook pages that feature news and other updates.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments