(JNS.org) In a meeting with global Jewish leaders
at the Vatican, Pope Francis I wished Jews around the world a sweet and
peaceful new year ahead of the Rosh Hashanah holiday.
private informal meeting, attended by members of the World Jewish Congress and
its Latin American affiliates, Pope Francis spoke extensively about the situation
in Syria, the need for protection of Christian minorities in the Middle East,
and Jewish-Christian relations, specifically mentioning bans on kosher
slaughter in Poland.
reiterated his statement from last June that a “Christian cannot be an
anti-Semite” and that “to be good
a Christian it is necessary to understand Jewish history and traditions.”
“Pope Francis’ leadership has not only reinvigorated the
Catholic Church but also given a new momentum to relations with Judaism. Never
in the past 2,000 years have relations between the Catholic Church and the
Jewish people been so good,” WJC President Ronald S. Lauder said in a
Since becoming pontiff in March, Pope Francis has made
Jewish-Christian relations a priority, continuing the legacy of his
predecessors. He has met several times with Jewish leaders and has announced
tentative plans to visit Israel next year.