Tag Archive for Pope Francis I

Pope Says Mid-East Christians Suffering ‘Just Like the Jews’ Had

“First the Jews suffered savage attacks, & the world remained in silence. Now it is the Christians who are being annihilated, & once more the world says little.” Pope Francis reportedly told World Jewish Congress head.



Pope Francis has warned that Christians in Iraq and Syria face persecution just as Jews have in the past, a prominent American Jewish leader said Thursday.

“You have suffered, now it’s our turn,” World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder said the pope told him in a private audience.

Francis also repeated his recent warning that the global rash of religious extremism may have sparked “a third world war”, said Lauder, who met with the Roman Catholic leader late Wednesday at the Vatican. Continue Reading »

Live feed: Peres meets the Pope at the Vatican to pray for peace along with Abbas


Vatican plays down any expectations or that the meeting will lead to any immediate breakthrough in the ailing peace process.

The prayer meeting is being billed as a ‘pause from politics.’

By Reuters


Israeli and Palestinian presidents were to meet in an unprecedented prayer meeting with Pope Francis on Sunday, a gesture he hopes will “re-create a desire, a possibility” of relaunching the Middle East’s stalled peace process.

Peres and the Pope - CTV screenshot

Peres and the Pope – CTV screenshot

The Vatican has played down any expectations that the Sunday evening meeting between Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas – billed as a “pause from politics” – will lead to any immediate breakthroughs in the region’s tortuous problems and says it is not meddling in regional issues. Continue Reading »

President Peres gets Prime Minister’s blessing to join Abbas & Pope for prayer at Vatican

Despite termination of peace-talks, Israel’s President will lead an interfaith delegation to Rome, where he will call upon leaders of all religions to work together towards inter-religious dialogue.


Despite Israel’s objections to the Palestinian unity government, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and members of the government, realizing the historic importance of the occasion, gave President Shimon Peres the green light to accept the invitation of Pope Francis and travel to the Vatican on Sunday for an interfaith prayer for peace in the Middle East.

Pope Francis meets President Shimon Peres – Photo: קובי גדעון/לע”מ

Although arrangements were made in advance, it was not certain until Thursday afternoon that Peres would receive the necessary approval. Continue Reading »

Vatican Official: Pope Francis I Will Demand ‘Sovereign Palestine’

The Vatican’s Secretary of State says Pope Francis plans to talk about the ‘Palestinian right to a sovereign, independent homeland’ during his visit to Israel.

By Ari Yashar


The Vatican’s Secretary of State made a dramatic revelation ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to Israel next Sunday and Monday, declaring that the pope will talk about the “Palestinian people’s right to have a homeland, sovereign and independent.”

Vatican Sec'y of State Pietro Parolin

Vatican Sec’y of State Pietro Parolin – Reuters

Cardinal Pietro Parolin holds a role in the Vatican City State, located in the Italian capital of Rome, equivalent to that of a prime minister. Continue Reading »

Israel’s Christians Disappointed by Papal Visit


Israel’s Catholic community put hope in Pope Francis I visit, but dreamed of a bit more face time with the pontiff.


Catholic communities in Israel are praying for the success of Pope Francis’ visit, but excitement and joy are tinged with disappointment that the visit is so short, and that only one event on his schedule west of the Jordan River is truly open to the public.

Virgin Mary March Haifa

Virgin Mary March in Haifa in 2010.- Photo: Tomer Neuberg

The pontiff lands in Amman on May 24, visiting Bethlehem and Jerusalem, before leaving on May 26. (John Paul II visited for five days in 2000, while Benedict XVI visited for eight days in 2009.)

Continue Reading »

Pope Francis to pay tribute to President Peres during upcoming Israel trip


Pope Francis arrival in Israel on Sunday for “peace, faith & tolerance” includes joining 500 children at President’s Residence for a special prayer & song service dedicated to unity.

By Yori Yalon and Daniel Siryoti


Continue Reading »

Arab Knesset Member Writes Pope to Prevent Christian Volunteering for IDF


Israeli Arab lawmaker appeals to Vatican in a letter, asking help in stopping Arabic-speaking Christians from integrating too much with Israel.

By Israel Today Staff


Israeli Arab Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas has issued an appeal to Pope Francis to personally intervene against the enlistment of Arabic-speaking Christians in the Israeli army.

Israeli Arab Member of Knesset Basel Ghattas – Photo source: Israel Today

Haaretz reports that Ghattas’ letter was delivered to the Vatican’s representative in Jerusalem, Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, in hopes that Pope Francis would address the issue when he visits the Holy Land in May.

Like most other minorities, local Arabic-speaking Christians are not required to serve in the Israeli army, but a growing number are choosing to do so, many at the encouragement of the Nazareth-based Israeli Christian Recruitment Forum. Continue Reading »

Report: Vatican Seeking Control of Mount Zion


In advance of the Pope’s May visit to Jerusalem, the Vatican is in negotiations for the Church’s control of Mount Zion.

By Israel Today Staff


Israel could be entering the final stages of negotiations to turn over control of Mount Zion to the Vatican, if recent reports by Israel National News are to be believed.

File:St Peter's Square, Vatican City - April 2007.jpg

St Peter’s Square, Vatican City – Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

According to the online news source, a secretive meeting took place this week between the Jerusalem Municipality, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Tourism and senior Catholic officials.

During the meeting, the Catholic delegation reportedly pressed Israel to follow through on a years-old proposal to give the Church control over the compound that houses the traditional “Hall of the Last Supper.” Continue Reading »

Pope Francis visits Israel on May 24-26


Pontiff’s May Visit will include Jerusalem, Bethlehem & Amman.

By , Reuters and



Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he will visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan in May, his first trip to the region as pontiff.

Pope Francis

A handout picture released by the Osservatore Romano shows Pope Francis (L) holding a mass to celebrate the sainthood of Pierre Favre at the Chiesa Del Gesu’ in Rome on January 3, 2014. – Photo: AFP

The May 24-26 trip to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Amman will mark the 50th anniversary of a landmark trip there by Pope Paul VI in 1964, the first by a pope in modern times. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis plans for Bethlehem Mass Headline Israel Visit


Catholic pontiff’s truncated trip disappoints Israeli Christians expecting papal-led Mass in Jerusalem.

Officials in Jerusalem ask Vatican to reconsider decision to hold single service only in Bethlehem.

By Itamar Eichner

Pope Francis will arrive in the Jewish State for a whirlwind visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories on March 25, 2014. The trip will last less than 48 hours, as the Roman pontiff will arrive in the morning hours on Sunday and leave the following night.

Pope Francis at Mass (Photo: EPA)

Pope Francis at Mass – Photo: EPA

The forward delegation sent on behalf of the Vatican finished its initial visit to Israel on Tuesday, and preparations are underway for the Bishop of Rome’s trip. Continue Reading »

Israel’s PM Netanyahu chats with Pope Francis I


Netanyahu meets with pontiff at Vatican for 1st time since his ordination in March.

The 2 discuss the Iranian nuclear program, Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Christians in Israel & the Mideast.

PM expected to invite Pope Francis to Jerusalem.


VATICAN CITY – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Pope Francis in a 25-minute closed-door meeting Monday, with a host of geo-political and religious issues on the agenda as well as a formal invitation for the pontiff to visit the Holy Land next year.

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 was the first time the two leaders met face to face, and they discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the escalating worries about Iran’s nuclear program, the Syrian civil war, the welfare of Christians in Israel, as well as the pope’s expected visit to Israel.

Continue Reading »

Pope Francis I will visit Israel in May

During an official visit to Italy next week, Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to meet with Pope Francis.

By and


Pope Francis will visit Israel on May 25-26, Italian news agency ANSA reported on Thursday. The report cited CNN’s Jake Tapper, who posted the news on Twitter.

Pope Francis.

Pope Francis I – Photo: AFP

ANSA said the Vatican would not confirm the dates.

The report comes after the release this week of “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), a 224-page document outlining the pope’ vision of the church and its mission.

“Dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus’ disciples,” Francis wrote in the document. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis says at Kristallnacht commemoration, Jews are ‘our big brothers’

Pope Francis, Merkel, Obama & thousands of ordinary Germans among those commemorating the 75th anniversary of the 1938 pogrom.

By Reuters and



Pope Francis commemorated Kristallnacht at a mass in front of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, describing the Jewish people as the “big brothers” of his Roman Catholic flock.

Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 - Photo AP

Pope Francis delivers his blessing during the Angelus noon prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013 – Photo AP

Riots organized by German authorities on November 9-10, 1938 killed 91 Jews and destroyed 267 synagogues. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis to receive Israel’s Prime Minister next week


Benjamin Netanyahu to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss Iran and then meet with US Secretary of State Kerry to discuss the peace talks.

By The Associated Press


Israel‘s prime minister plans to meet with the pope on a trip to Italy next week.

President of Israel Shimon Peres, Papa Francisco I ,April 30, 2013 - Photo courtesy: GPO

President of Israel Shimon Peres, Papa Francisco I, April 30, 2013 – Photo courtesy: GPO

Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet Pope Francis at the Vatican next Wednesday. Israeli President Shimon Peres, who serves in a largely ceremonial position, met the head of the Catholic church in April.

Earlier this week, Israel’s Channel 2 reported that Pope Francis will visit Israel in Marc

A statement Wednesday from the prime minister’s office announcing the scheduled meeting said Netanyahu also will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on the same trip. Continue Reading »

Pope Francis I will make 1st visit to Israel in March


Israel’s TV Channel 2 reports pontiff will arrive with close Argentinian friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka.

They plan to visit both Israel & the West Bank.




Pope Francis will make his first visit to Israel in March.

The pope told his close friend, Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, of his lifelong dream to visit the Holy Land, and of his intentions to visit Israel and Bethlehem, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.

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

Skorka is expected to join Pope Francis on his visit.

According to Channel 2, the pope hopes his visit will bring a message of reconciliation.

Continue Reading »