Tag Archive for Pope Francis

Vatican releases landmark document: Catholics should not endeavor to convert Jews



Catholics should not try and convert Jews and should work with them to fight anti-Semitism, the Vatican said Thursday in a major new document that drew the Church further from the strained relations with Judaism of the past.

Pope Francis talks as he leads the weekly audience in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican. – Photo: REUTERS

The document, “A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations,” was issued by the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and approved by Pope Francis. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis: “Outright attack on the State of Israel is also anti-Semitism.”




Jewish leaders met with Pope Francis in Rome on the 50th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate, the declaration promulgated by Pope Paul VI that led to improved relations between Jews and Catholics.

Pope Francis meets with World Jewish Congress leaders at the Vatican. – Photo: WORLD JEWISH CONGRESS

“Yes to the rediscovery of the Jewish roots of Christianity. No to anti-Semitism,” the pope said Wednesday morning during the public audience on St. Continue Reading »

Israel ‘disappointed’ at Vatican’s appeasement in officially recognizing State of Palestine

Vatican treaty, soon to be signed, upgrades existing diplomatic relations from Palestinian Liberation Organization to ‘State of Palestine.’

By The Associated Press


The Vatican officially recognized the state of Palestine in a new treaty finalized Wednesday, immediately sparking Israeli ire and accusations that the move hurt peace prospects.

Abbas & PopePope Francis & Mahmoud Abbas talk at the Vatican, October 17, 2013. – Photo: AP/Maurizio Brambatti, Pool

The treaty, which concerns the activities of the Catholic Church in Palestinian territory, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic recognition from the Palestine Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.

The Vatican had welcomed the decision by the UN General Assembly in 2012 to recognize a Palestinian state. Continue Reading »

Pope receives Madonna lily seeds from Israel to bloom for spring Annunciation


In advance of Pope Francis’ arrival in Israel in May, Ben-Gurion University scientists send the Vatican Madonna lily seeds of the type that existed during the time of Jesus.



Pope Francis, who arrives in Israel at the end of May, has just received a special gift — seeds of the white Madonna lily of the type that existed during the time of Jesus two millennia ago. The seeds were developed in the lab of Dr. Michelle Zakai with the help of Asael Ram at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba.

Madonna Lily - Photo courtesy  Wikimedia Commons/Stan Shebs

Madonna Lily – Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons/Stan Shebs

According to Christian tradition, the lily was connected to the Annunciation during which the Angel Gabriel told Mary that she was pregnant with Jesus. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis II Plans Full State Visit

Pope Francis’ upcoming visit to Israel is planned as a full state visit, with official meetings scheduled with the President, Prime Minister & Chief Rabbis

By David Lev


Assuming Pope Francis makes it to Israel on his planned trip in May and is not delayed by the ongoing strike by Foreign Ministry workers, his stay will include visits to the Church of the Nativity, a Catholic site, as well as to the Temple Mount, where he will visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Western Wall.

Pope Francis – Reuters

The Pope’s schedule was announced Thursday by the Latin Patriarchate, responsible for the affairs of the Catholic Church in Israel. Continue Reading »

Vatican: Secret Archives on Pope Pius XII not ready to be opened

Pope Francis had expressed his views in 2010 in a book he co-wrote, that the World War II archives should be opened.



ROME – Should Pope Francis decide to open the secret Vatican archives regarding the World War II pontificate of Pope Pius XII, it could still take another year and a half before the thousands of documents in question are fully cataloged.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahy with Pope Francis at the Vatican, December 1, 2013.-  Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahy with Pope Francis at the Vatican, December 1, 2013.- Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

“It is a very complex operation, which we have been working on for six years,” Monsignor Sergio Pagano, the prefect of the Secret Vatican Archives, told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera on Monday.

Continue Reading »

UK Report: Pope Francis agrees to review Pius’ WWII conduct before deciding his sainthood


Sunday Times reports: The Vatican agrees to examine Holocaust-era archives, acquiescing to decades of Jewish pleas for historical accountability.


Pope Francis will open the Vatican archives from the era of Pius XII in order to determine if the controversial pontiff, who has been accused of failing to speak up during the Holocaust, can be considered for sainthood, according to a report in The Sunday Times.

President Shimon Peres with Pope Francis at the Vatican, April 30, 2013 – Photo: Kobi Gideon / GPO

The newspaper quotes a close friend of Francis, Argentinean rabbi Abraham Skorka, as saying that the pope will follow through on his promise to examine Pius’ wartime role.

Continue Reading »

Pope Francis may visit Israel next year

As promised, the Pope had a press conference on numerous topics including accepting the Israeli president’s invitation to visit Israel.


WASHINGTON  — Pope Francis said he may visit Israel as early as next year.

Pope Francis talks to press – Screenshot

On Monday, at a wide-ranging news conference aboard a plane returning him to the Vatican from Brazil, Francis said he was considering a Holy Land visit next year, The Associated Press reported.

Francis accepted an invitation to visit Israel from Shimon Peres when the Israeli president was at the Vatican in April. No date for the visit was set at the time.

Continue Reading »

Pope Francis accepts invitation to visit Israel

After invitation to visit Israel  from Deputy Foreign Minister Elkin, Pope Francis says he has plans to visit Jewish state.

By Itamar Eichner

Three months after succeeding Benedict XVI , Pope Francis has intimated he is planning a visit to Israel. 

Pope Francis - Photo AP

Pope Francis – Photo: AP

The meeting was held at the Pope’s residence rather than the reception hall, at the Pope’s request. At the end of the meeting, the deputy foreign minister presented the Pope with a silver embossment of Jerusalem and invited him to visit Israel, to which he replied that he has every intention of doing so.On Wednesday, the Pope met with Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin as part of Israel’s ongoing dialogue with the Vatican. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis accepts President Peres’ invitation to visit Jerusalem

The Vatican’s new pontiff accepted an invitation by Israeli President Shimon Peres to visit Israel ‘with willingness & joy,’ says spokesman.

By Reuters


President Shimon Peres invited Pope Francis on Tuesday to visit Israel, at his first meeting with the new pontiff who has appealed for peace in the Middle East.

Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with Pope Francis - Photo by Kobi Gideon , GPO

Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with Pope Francis – Photo by Kobi Gideon , GPO

The pope accepted the invitation “with willingness and joy,” a Vatican spokesman said, but there was no indication when a trip would be made.

“I am expecting you in Jerusalem, not just me but the whole country of Israel,” Peres told the pope in the presence of reporters after 30 minutes of private talks in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis Passes on Passover Wishes to Jewish Community

Pope Francis relayed his Passover Greetings to the Jewish community in a gesture aimed at strengthening relations between the two religions.

By Arutz Sheva staff


Pope Francis on Monday extended his wishes to Rome’s chief rabbi and Jews worldwide in a gesture aimed at strengthening relations between the two religions, as the Jewish world marks the beginning of the holiday of Passover.

Pope Francis – Photo: Reuters

In his message to Rabbi Riccardo di Segni, the pope said he hoped “that the Almighty, who freed his people from slavery in Egypt by guiding them to the Holy Land, continues to free them from all evil and accompany them with his blessing”. Continue Reading »