web analytics
March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Jewish Leaders Praise New Pope

The new pope, Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina attended Rosh HaShanah services five years ago and was outspoken in the attack against the Jewish Community Center by agents of Iran in 1994.
Pope Francis I, Jorge M. Bergoglio, celebrating mass at the 20th Catholic Book Fair in Buenos Aires

Pope Francis I, Jorge M. Bergoglio, celebrating mass at the 20th Catholic Book Fair in Buenos Aires
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Jewish leaders praised the new Pope Francis, Argentinean Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and expressed optimism for an improvement of Vatican-Jewish relations after he was elected Wednesday night to replace Pope Benedict XVI.

“We have every reason to be confident Pope Francis I will be a staunch defender of the historic Nostra Aetate, the declaration on the relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council, which forever changed the relationship of the Catholic Church and the Jewish people,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean and founder of the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Bergoglio, 76, a Jesuit, was the choice of the College of Cardinals following two days of voting in Vatican City. He is the first pope to come from outside Europe in more than a millennium; reflecting the changing demographics of Catholics, he comes from Latin America.

Rabbi David Rosen, the director of interfaith affairs for the American Jewish Committee, told JTA that the new pope is a “warm and sweet and modest man” known in Buenos Aires for doing his own cooking and personally answering his phone.

As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio attended Rosh Hashanah services at the Bnei Tikva Slijot synagogue in September 2007.  Bergoglio told the congregation that he was there to examine his heart “like a pilgrim, together with you, my elder brothers,” according to the Catholic Zenit news agency.

After the bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in 1994, he “showed solidarity with the Jewish community,” Rosen said.

In 2005, Bergoglio was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing and was one of the signatories on a document called “85 victims, 85 signatures” as part of the bombing’s 11th anniversary. In June 2010, he visited the rebuilt AMIA building to talk with Jewish leaders.

Israel Singer, former head of the World Jewish Congress, said he spent time working with Bergoglio when the two were distributing aid to the poor in Buenos Aires in the early 2000s, part of a joint Jewish-Catholic program called Tzedaka.

“We went out to the barrios where Jews and Catholics were suffering together,” Singer told JTA. “If everyone sat in chairs with handles, he would sit in the one without. He was always looking to be more modest. He’s going to find it hard to wear all these uniforms.”

Bergoglio also wrote the forward of a book by Rabbi Sergio Bergman and referred to him as “one of my teachers.”

Last November, Bergoglio hosted a Kristallnacht memorial event at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral with Rabbi Alejandro Avruj from the NCI-Emanuel World Masorti congregation.

He also has worked with the Latin American Jewish Congress and held meetings with Jewish youth who participate in its New Generations program.

“The Latin American Jewish Congress has had a close relationship with Jorge Bergoglio for several years,” Claudio Epelman, executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress, told JTA. “We know his values and strengths. We have no doubt he will do a great job leading the Catholic Church.”

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

5 Responses to “Jewish Leaders Praise New Pope”

  1. Thank goodness he is supportive of Israel. I guess he is very aware that Roman Catholics after all worship an ancient Jew of good character.

  2. someone can pretend to be humble and pious but the Lord looks at the heart of mankind, and since Christ is head of the church, why do we need a pope who lives among pomp and splendor?

  3. I am so happy that Pope Francis I has had good relations with the Jewish community of Argentine, this spells well for future relations with Israel and Jewish relations in general.

  4. Astrid Palm says:

    Voor het eerst heb ik vertrouwen in een paus, hij kan veel voor de wereld betekenen. Paus Francis I lijkt me integer en menslievend.

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, calling for rejection of a bad nuclear deal with Iran, on March 03, 2015.
Post-Bibi Bipartisanship May Result in Congressional Ability to Review Iran Deal
Latest News Stories
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., the United States, calling for rejection of a bad nuclear deal with Iran, on March 03, 2015.

Netanyahu’s speech, attacked as partisan, birthed a very significant bipartisan Congressional review agreement.

Esther Denouncing Haman

Rabbi Lau was surreptitiously talking about current events and not ancient texts on the news Friday morning…

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iran’s Zarif claims his country is the peaceful anchor in the region, while Israel is the evil danger.

The dollar was trading at 4.01 shekels shortly before noon Friday, the highest rate since 2012. The Bank of Israel reported Friday that it bought $1 billion worth of dollars last month in its currency war to make the shekel cheap and increase exports. The shekel-rate sneaked across the 4.00 level last week but quickly receded. […]

A large turnout of Bedouin and Arab voters may make the United Arab List the third largest Knesset party.

Five people were wounded, including two policewomen, near a light rail train station in eastern Jerusalem.

Purim is a national holiday and costume party in Israel, when there is a spirit of unity.

The decision could lead to the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

A plane crash and snow storm all but paralyzed LaGuardia International Airport in New York on Thursday; one runway opened the airport by evening.

Actor Harrison Ford is in fair condition after crash-landing a private plane on a golf course in Venice, CA, Thursday afternoon.

An abandoned Jewish soldier who died for Ukraine was rescued and given a proper Jewish burial by ZAKA. Their story.

The race for nuclear power has begun in the Middle East in response to fears of an Iranian nuclear threat.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Megillah reading, which tells the story of the Jewish festival of Purim, inside the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem on March 05, 2015. The festival of Purim commemorates the rescue of Jews from genocide in ancient Persia.

A hitchhiker pulled out a gun and stopped the attack.

Israel was the sixth-highest source for tourists to Germany in 2014.

Eshed said that a smart meter can run for as long as 10 years if it is equipped with this chipset.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Americans have a more favorable view of Netanyahu than they do of Obama.

Israel’s PM Netanyahu was interrupted 40 times with standing ovations in his 40 minute historic speech to the US Congress on Tuesday. Transcript here.

Purim 2015 600x400

As Purim approaches, thousands of Israeli children and families grapple with poverty

“Israel is the home of every Jew,” the Prime Minister told the Cabinet Sunday.

Rabbis and Jewish leaders soon will take self-defense courses to protect themselves against terrorists.

Most Swedes have never realized that one minority group may expose another minority group to violence and intimidation.

Pres. Reuven Rivlin launches joint project with ‘Collective Impact’ to integrate Israeli Arab workers into private business sector.

Eulogies for the fourth Jewish victims at the attack on a kosher deli in Paris last week were held in Bnei Brak Tuesday.

The Declaration of Independence is the first document reflecting Jewish sovereignty since the time of the Hashmonean kingdom.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-leaders-praise-new-pope-for-relations-with-jews/2013/03/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: