web analytics
April 26, 2015 / 7 Iyar, 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
USAID recipient Tarek Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud.
Abbas’ Son Loses $10 Million Libel Suit in US Court
Latest News Stories
Representatives from IsraeLife, United Hatzalah, Zaka and First strategize on how to provide the best relief in Nepal.

United Hatzalah, Zaka and First are among the first emergency responders from Israel to arrive in Nepal on Sunday as part of an international effort.

USAID recipient Tarek Abbas, son of Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud.

The PA and leftists lost twice in US courts, which threw out suits for libel and a claim against settlers’ “terrorist attacks.”

Franz Höessler, deputy camp commander at Bergen-Belsen. Höessler was hanged for his crimes in Dec. 1945.

Lauder: ‘Jews demanded no ‘Right of Return’ to Germany or Austria or Poland or any other European country.’

Several Israelis suffered light injuries but 150 still have made no contact with officials.

The emails are unclassified but include sensitive information of correspondence with ambassadors.

An Arkia plane made an emergency landing at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday morning after a bird was caught in one of the planes’ engines during a flight to Eilat. The plane landed safely. It was the second emergency landing in a week at the airport. An El Al plane that took off for Prague last […]

Arabs call for state of mourning, meaning a state of riots, after knife-wielding terrorist killed when he stabbed solider.

Several Israelis suffered minor injuries in Saturday’s devastating earthquake in Nepal that killed approximately 1,500 people, but approximately 250 Israelis are not accounted for, according to the Foreign Ministry. Communications systems have been disabled by the earthquake, which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale and is the latest in a series of disasters that have […]

Bayit Yehudi settles for three Cabinet posts. Shas to head Religious Affairs with Bayit Yehudi as Deputy.

The road from Jerusalem to Ma’aleh Adumim is closed to traffic due to Arab stone-throwing.

The officer of a Hareidi IDF unit was in Mea Shearim to visit two of his soldiers whose families have social or financial problems.

A soldier was stabbed, and a second soldier was nearly stabbed in separate attacks on Shabbat.

Three police have been injured in Jerusalem after a car ran into them. The three were walking on the sidewalk when the car slammed into them. The vehicular attack happened on the “Cohen’s Path” near Beit Orot on the Mount of Olives. One is moderately injured with pelvic injuries, and the other two are lightly […]

The airstrip, 10 miles from the Syrian border, could be used for UAV missions against Syrian rebels. Israel also is in range.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Student at Har Etzion Yeshiva reads announcement of the death of Rabbi Lichtenstein.

“He did not know what anger was and never engaged in slander.”

Sturmführer Horst Wessel leading his unit, SA-Sturm 5 of Berlin-Friedrichshain, Nuremberg 1929.

The teacher could face three years in jail for displaying Nazi symbols, which includes singing Nazi songs.

Ratification does not imply admission of the possession of nuclear weapons.

Muslim terrorists from Somalia want to make Kenya the next victim on its way to take over northern Africa.

Niv Asraf wasn’t kidnapped near Hebron after all. Apparently he and his friend planned this…

The discovery would be a death blow the PA claims that Tel Aviv is “Palestinian” if it weren’t for the fact that that Arafat was born in Egypt.

Three Israeli Caving Club hikers found the cache in a stalactite cave in northern Israel.

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.

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: