web analytics
January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A poster in Gaza showing Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, shortly after Morsi's election in 2012.
Egypt Designates Hamas a Terrorist Organization
Latest News Stories
A poster in Gaza showing Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, shortly after Morsi's election in 2012.

Egypt bans and names Hamas as terrorist organization, Hamas says Egypt no longer broker between it and Israel

Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.

V15′s Bird was marinated in his former boss’s hatred of and blame-only Israel mindset.

Palestinian Child Soldiers

Palestinian Authority child soldiers – a crime against humanity.

Children learn how to shoot rifles to kill Jews.

Maybe, just maybe, the new generation of terrorists will one day turn their guns on their oppressors in Gaza.

The White House explains that Taliban is not a terrorist group — it is an “armed insurgency.”

The US in November stopped funding a left-wing group that is helping to campaign against Netanyahu

Super Bowl viewers will have to get along with Scarlett Johansson this year.

Cruz and New York Rep. Zeldin complained to Kerry of Obama’s “relentless harassment.”

A Shin Bet sting nabs Arab Israelis after returning from Syria where they join Al Qaeda and ISIS-linked terror groups — a whole group this month.

That’s it. If you didn’t register your party by now, you’re not running for the upcoming Knesset elections.

Simultaneous explosions in Egypt killed and wounded dozens Thursday night.

National religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.

ISIS threatens to behead Obama, turn the U.S. into a Muslim province, and destroy France and Belgium.

Locked in Auschwitz, their cries for assistance were not heard, so they escaped through an open window, setting off an alarm.

Hezbollah is a terrorist group and terrorist party, but most and worst of all, it is a huge and powerful army.

Lieberman’s issues a disproportionate response to polls that show his party will barely squeeze into the Knesset.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff
Picture of terror victim with tallis and tefillin.

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

Preserving Israel's Declaration of Independence.

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

Aliyah was up by 32 percent compared with 2013.

Just in time for the United Nations Security Council to think twice about recognizing the PA.

The South Carolina senator is another Republican thinking about running to succeed Obama

A faster-beating heart as a result of fear of terror increase the risk of heart disease, researchers report.

Arab media report Syria downed an Israeli drone over Quneitra, near the border between the two countries.

Excavations also turned up hidden tunnels dug by Jewish rebels in the period of the Bar Kokhba Revolt.

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: