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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Pope Francis’

Pope Praises Jewish-Catholic Dialogue in AJC Audience

Friday, February 14th, 2014

Pope Francis called on Jews and Christians to work together to construct a “more just and fraternal world,” and said he looked forward to his upcoming visit to Israel.

Francis made his remarks during an audience at the Vatican on Thursday with a 50-member delegation of American Jewish Committee leaders.

He called his visit to Israel, scheduled for May, a pilgrimage of “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.

AJC President Stanley Bergman called Francis a “true friend.” He said the pope’s visit to Israel in May is “eagerly anticipated, and we pray that it will be an inspiration to all in the region to reject the path of violence and pursue the path of peace.”

Israeli Archbishop of Haifa Resigns over Sex Scandal

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

The Apostolic Nunciature in Israel announced Monday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Elias Chacour, Archbishop of the Greek Melkite Archeparchy of Akko, Haifa, Nazareth and the Galilee, ICN reported. The Catholic news service added that archbishop, a “native Palestinian, whose family and entire village were evicted when the State of Israel was formed,” was the first Israeli citizen to be appointed a Catholic bishop. In this role, “he has devoted his life to advocating non-violence and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians and has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.”

But, according to CNS, last October, the well-known archbishop was called in for police questioning for suspected sexual harassment of a woman who works in the community. The allegations concerned an incident that allegedly took place five years ago.

Following several hours of questioning, the archbishop was released on bail under restricting conditions.

The woman’s complaint was filed two years ago, but the investigation needed special permission to proceed because of the archbishop’s high standing (what with the Nobel nominations and whatnot).

Archbishop Chacour was reported to have been cooperative with his interrogators (we almost wrote “inquisitors”) but denied the allegations against him.

A source familiar with the church in Galilee noted that the archbishop tendered his resignation after speaking with church officials, who suggested it would be best if he resigned. Ill health and the sexual harassment charges against him appear to be among the several reasons he resigned, said the source.

Pope Francis accepted the resignation yesterday, CNS reported.

Canon 210 of the Eastern Code of Canon Law allows for resignation for health reasons or at the age of 75. Archbishop Chacour is 74.

Back in June 2004, Maureen Clare Murphy, writing for The Electronic Intifada, described Chacour as a “Prophet in His Own Country,” which also happened to be the title of the film about him she was pushing:

It is Chacour’s goal to heal the souls and regain the dignity of his people. He hopes to convert people “not to Christianity, but to hope.” Chacour is one of those preachers of non-violence that the rest of the world says the Palestinians need to offer before the international community can be bothered to do anything about their plight. And young voices are following in his wake; a young female student of his says that while she feels out of place as an Israeli citizen, and notes the discrimination she faces, she has decided to stay put instead of going to Canada because Israel “would love” to have the Palestinians leave.

Turns out the holy Archbishop could be doing all kinds of touching.

Prophecy? Crow and Seagull Attack Pope’s Doves of Peace (Video)

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Pope Francis proudly prompted a girl and boy to release two doves of peace for the Ukraine on Sunday at the Vatican in front of thousands, who saw them rapidly being brutally attacked by a crow and a seagull looking for a good meal.

Prior to giving the doves to the children to free them, he prayed for peace in the Ukraine.

We don’t want to make fun of the Holy See’s prayers. After all, it could happen to Jews, also.

But Jews are supposed to back up their prayers with deeds to change their actions and improve themselves to be merited with God’s help to save them from enemies rather than simply carrying on as usual and praying that the enemies should change their ways.

The Vatican’s annual Caravan of Peace festival seems to be something with as much substance as the Obama administration, or that of Bush, Reagan Blair or any other world leader, condemning terrorism.

Al Qaeda does not shiver in its boots every time U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon appeals for terrorists today down their weapons, and the U.S. State Dept. routine condemnations of terror have about as much effect as the pope’s doves.

For the record, Pope Francis stated, “I am close to Ukraine in prayer, in particular to those who have lost their lives in recent days and to their families. I hope that a constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society can take place, that any resort to violence is avoided and that the spirit of peace and a search for the common good is in the hearts of all.”

He gave the boy and girl the two doves and then patted their little heads after they released them.

The annual peace gesture has been as effective as the peace process. Last year a sea gull pounced one of the doves.In 2012, the doves had enough sense to simply fly back into the Vatican’s apartments.

Perhaps it is not by accident that doves are one of the birds that Jews sacrificed in the times of the Holy Temples.

In today’s terms, that could be called a true sacrifice for peace.

Pope to Visit Israel in May

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Pope Francis will visit Israel, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority in May.

The pontiff made the formal announcement of his long-anticipated trip from his Vatican window before a crowd who had gathered in St. Peter’s Square on a rainy Sunday.

“In the climate of joy, typical of this Christmas season, I wish to announce that from 24 to 26 May next, God willing, I will make a pilgrimage to the Holy Land,” he said after celebrating Mass.

Francis said he would visit Amman, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. The main purpose of the trip, he said, would be “to commemorate the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras” that took place 50 years ago, on Jan. 5, 1964.

Paul VI was the first pontiff to visit the Holy Land. Francis’ two predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVII, both made pilgrimages to the region.

Francis said his trip would include “an ecumenical meeting held at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with the representatives of all the Christian Churches of Jerusalem, together with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople.” He added, “As of now I ask you to pray for this pilgrimage.”

There had been speculation for months that the trip to would take place in the spring.

Francis had been officially invited to visit Israel on several occasions since he was elected pope in April, and he expressed his desire and intention to visit the Holy Land on more than one occasion.

Dec. 30 marked the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Fundamental Agreement that established diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Israel.

Pope’s Prayers for Peace Omit Iran and Korea

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Pope Francis’ first Christmas message was full of hope for peace in war-torn Syria and South Sudan, the “often and overlooked” war-torn Central African Republic and – as if the chaos and mutual barbarity are comparable – for a “favorable” outcome” in talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

He made no mention of what are the widely acknowledged two biggest threats to the world’s security – the nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea. He also did not utter a word about neo-Nazism.

Not surprisingly, the Associated Press led off its report with the pope’s prayers for “successful Middle East negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” followed by peace in Syria and African countries. An estimated nine million Syrians – one third of the country’s population – are homeless, and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, have been killed and wounded.

The world has not been able to do anything to stop the barbarity in Syria, but Pope Francis prayed that Jesus would “bless the land where you chose to come into the world and grant a favorable outcome to the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Heal the wounds of the beloved country of Iraq, once more struck by frequent acts of violence.”

Speaking to a cheering crowd of 70, 000 outside the Vatican, the pope explained his idea of peace.

“True peace is not a balancing of opposing forces. It’s not a lovely facade which conceals conflicts and divisions. Peace calls for daily commitment,” he intoned.

That brings to mind “commitments” made by Israel and the Palestinian Authority in previous accords. Virtually no one has accused Israel of not living up to commitments. Israel has a list longer than the width of the country of commitments that the Palestinian Authority has not fulfilled – such as halting incitement and tearing apart the terrorist infrastructure.

He has made the establishment of a Palestinian Authority state his highest priority by announcing a visit to Israel and Bethlehem in May.

Pope Francis also called on atheists to join the effort for peace. “I invite even non-believers to desire peace,” he said.

Pope Francis to Visit in Israel in May

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Pope Francis will make his first official visit to Israel for only 48 hours in late May, Israel media reported Thursday.

The trip is scheduled for May 25-26 and the pope reportedly will conduct mass only in Bethlehem, in the Palestinian Authority, and not in Jerusalem. He probably will probably visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust

The Vatican did not confirm or deny the report, and is spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told the French news agency AFP, “It is in the first instance up to the pope himself to decide upon and to announce such a visit.” He admitted that official have made a preparatory visit to Israel last week.

Argentinian Rabbi Sworn into National Parliament on Tanach

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Rabbi Sergio Bergman, wearing a colorful yarmulke, was sworn in to Argentina’s National Parliament Wednesday on a Tanach when he swore the oath of office before “God, the motherland and the sacred scriptures of the Bible, the Tanach.”

Bergman, the first rabbi to take office as a national legislator, was one of Argentina’s 127 newly elected legislators sworn in Wednesday at an opening ceremony in the Lower House of the National Parliament. His original text was an unprecedented formula that he prepared.

He is believed to be the only rabbi elected to a national parliament outside of Israel.

Bergman, 51, is also the senior rabbi of Argentina’s oldest congregation, Congregacion Israelita Argentina, which marked its 150th year last month with a series of celebrations, including the launching of the rabbi’s book about Pope Francis.

The rabbi-legislator founded a network of Jewish schools and educational projects that includes a gay alliance and a rural farm. In May, he received the Micah Award from the World Union for Progressive Judaism for his commitment to social justice at the organization’s convention in Jerusalem.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/argentinian-rabbi-sworn-into-national-parliament-on-tanach/2013/12/05/

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