BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Jewish and Catholic religious leaders from six Latin American countries will make a pilgrimage to the Middle East, following the route that Pope Francis will take in the region later this month.
Young priests and rabbis from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela, will share a seminar and visits to holy sites on the pilgrimage, which begins Wednesday.
“This is the third time we have held a seminar like this, with about 30 religious leaders from the region, but this time it has a special addition, because it is being performed just few days before the arrival of the pope to the Middle East, so we will experience the atmosphere that Francis will feel upon his arrival in Israel”, said Latin American Jewish Congress President Jack Terpins about the trip that will be held in conjunction with the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation.
The program has two main focuses: academic, including lectures and courses with experts in various subjects about both ancient religious faiths; and visits to holy sites in an historical context with explanations about the outlook of the region.
“If we can establish firm understanding between Jews and Catholics, we will leave our children a more fraternal world from which we received,” Terpins said.
The Israel-based Judeo-Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation is an organization with vast experience in promoting the relationship between Jews and Christians.
The Latin American Jewish Congress, based in Buenos Aires, is the umbrella organization representing Jewish communities in the region and is a leader in topics related to interreligious dialogue.