Tag Archive for Vatican

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 »

Reported Deal Giving the Vatican Part of David’s Tomb Raises Alarms

An official said that Israel has no intention of transferring control of King David’s Tomb to the Catholic church, but a report who’s source originates in Italy, says otherwise.

By Hezki Ezra, Gil Ronen


Is there a secret deal between the Vatican and Israel to transfer control over King David’s Tomb to the Catholic church? An investigative report in Makor Rishon cites La Stampa Vatican Insider journalist Andrea Tornielli as saying that the deal has been nearly completed, and that Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin is in charge of the negotiations with the Vatican, but Israel denies any such deal. 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 »

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.

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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.

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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.

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Jewish group says Vatican assisting in overturning Poland kosher slaughter ban

World Jewish Congress reports Pope is to host meeting to address Poland’s current ban on ritual animal slaughter.



The World Jewish Congress has said the Vatican is getting involved in a divisive issue in Poland over its ban on the ritual slaughter of animals, which has incensed Jews.

Pope Francis poses with a delegation of members of the World Jewish Congress.

Pope Francis poses with a delegation of members of the World Jewish Congress, including its President Ronald S.Lauder, fourth from right next to the pontiff, at the Vatican, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. – Photo: AP


The group said Monday that Pope Francis instructed the Vatican office in charge of relations with Jews to host a meeting next week to discuss the ban, which Jews consider a violation of their religious freedom. Continue Reading »

Pope slams anti-Semitism at Vatican meeting with Jewish delegation

“Because of our commons roots, a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic,” Pope Francis I said.




Pope Francis condemned anti-Semitism during a meeting with representatives of the international Jewish community at the Vatican.

Pope Francis I in Vatican City, April 2013 – Photo: Franco Origlia, Getty

“Because of our commons roots, a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic,” Francis said Monday at a meeting with a delegation of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, or IJCIC.

He added that the Catholic Church “firmly condemns hatred, persecution and all manifestations of anti-Semitism.”

While Francis has met with several Jewish leaders since becoming pope, he said Monday’s meeting was the first time he has spoken with an official group of representatives of Jewish organizations and communities.

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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 »

Dershowitz: Papacy contender is an anti-Semite

James Carroll, distinguished columnist for the Boston Globe, who is himself a Catholic, has characterized Rodriguez Maradiaga’s “crackpot” mindset: “When the church has a problem — here is the oldest move of all — blame the Jews.”



In a letter to the editor of the Miami Herald, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that one of the leading candidates to replace Pope Benedict XVI is an anti-Semite.

Alan Dershowitz, professor of law, Harvard University – Photo: Dudi Vaaknin

Responding to a list published last week after the resignation of Benedict, which identified Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras as a possible successor to the current pope, Dershowitz wrote:  “He has blamed the Jews for the scandal surrounding the sexual misconduct of priests toward young parishioners! Continue Reading »

Israel reach historic agreement with Vatican, seating them at Last Supper site

The Pope will finally have official seat in the Last Supper room on Mount Zion, Jerusalem

Outgoing Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon: This is a historic achievement and a symbol that will encourage Christian tourism.

By Shlomo Cesana



A historical agreement has been signed between Israel and the Vatican, ending a 20 year dispute. Israel has granted the pope an official seat in the room where the Last Supper is believed to have taken place, on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

Pope Benedict XVI and Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel did not give up its control over the room, as the Vatican had demanded, but Israel did decide to allow Vatican representatives a special modicum of control over the site.

Continue Reading »

Bishop Fellay, head of Society of St. Pius X calls Jews ‘enemies’ of the Church

The society’s founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, in a 1985 letter to Pope John Paul II identified the enemies of the faith as “Jews, Communists & Freemasons.”

Pope Benedict lifted the excommunications imposed on the Society’s 4 bishops. One of the bishops Richard Williamson, denied the Nazis used gas chambers & asserted that no more than 200,000-300,000 Jews died during  World War II.





TORONTO  — Jews are “enemies of the Church,” the head of a radical Catholic sect said in Canada.

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, made the remark during a Dec. Continue Reading »

Pope tells Abbas of Vatican’s hope for Palestinian State


Palestinian Authority president touring Europe, thanking countries that supported a de facto recognition of a Palestinian state in the U.N. General Assembly.

Abbas also met with Italian PM Mario Monti, who also expressed support for a Palestinian state.

By Reuters and Israel Hayom Staff


Pope Benedict XVI told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday the Vatican hoped the recent de facto recognition of Palestinian statehood at the United Nations would spur the international community to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Pope Benedict held private talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for about 25 minutes in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace on Monday.

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