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Pope Francis Urges Jewish-Catholic Cooperation

Calls his upcoming visit to Israel a trip of ‘communion, hope, and peace’

Stephanie Butnick
February 14, 2014
Pope Francis arrives for a Valentine's Day celebration in St Peter's square at the Vatican on February 14, 2014. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis arrives for a Valentine’s Day celebration in St Peter’s square at the Vatican on February 14, 2014. (GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)

Pope Francis praised dialogue between Jews and Catholics, emphasizing the importance of interfaith cooperation, while addressing a 50-person delegation from the American Jewish Committee at the Vatican this week, JTA reports. He also called his upcoming trip to Israel a chance for “communion, hope and peace.”

Francis praised the AJC for its work in promoting Jewish-Catholic dialogue. He noted that next year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate declaration, which launched the formal dialogue and, he said, “constitutes for the Church the sure point of reference for relations” between Catholics and Jews.”

“It is important that we dedicate ourselves to new generations the heritage of our mutual knowledge, esteem and friendship which has, thanks to the commitment of associations like yours, grown over these years,” he told the group.

We’ve got a lot to look forward to from the Pope’s visit to Israel in May. Hopefully he’ll have time to read Ben Zion Netanyahu’s revisionist history of the Spanish Inquisition, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gifted him in December, before then. There may be a pop quiz.

Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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