Pope Francis most open Pope to Jews in history, rabbi says

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 10:32 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Jewish rabbi and historian has lauded Pope Francis’ visit to the tomb of an important Jewish personality, stating that he is the most accommodating Pope history has seen. Pope Francis has taken “certainly the most friendly, proactive, accommodating position of any Pope probably in history” toward the Jewish people, Rabbi Ken Spiro explained to CNA May 26. The fact that the Roman Pontiff has “gone … [Read more...]

Meeting Pope a sign of the early Church, seminarian reflects

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 05:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Dcn. Bernard Poggi, who is among the priests and religious slated to meet with Pope Francis in Jerusalem later today, stated that seeing the successor of Peter reminds him of the first apostles. “To have the successor of Peter in this land where Peter was and to have so many priests, religious and seminarians” present with him “is a reminder of the first Church” Dcn. Poggi told CNA May 26. It brings hope … [Read more...]

Pope Francis lauds fraternal dialogue with Muslims, Jews

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 04:48 am (CNA).- Pope Francis spent a large part of the third day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land meeting with Muslim and Jewish leaders, praising the shared commitment to dialogue. “We are experiencing a fraternal dialogue and exchange which are able to restore us and offer us new strength to confront the common challenges before us,” the Pope told Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem on May 26. He met with the the Muslim leader … [Read more...]

Pope prays at Holocaust memorial, Western Wall

Jerusalem, Israel, May 26, 2014 / 02:35 am (CNA).- On the last day of his Holy Land pilgrimage Pope Francis stopped to pray at two sacred sites in Jerusalem. The Pontiff visited the the Western Wall in Jerusalem on the morning of May 26, pausing to pray at the site and leaving the Our Father in Spanish tucked into one of the cracks. The Wall is a sacred place for Jews, the only remains of second temple. Deviating from his planned itinerary, he also stopped to visit a memorial to Israeli … [Read more...]

We came to pray with our Pope, says papal Mass volunteer

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 12:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A leader of one of the Boy Scout troops manning the entrances to Pope Francis’ Mass in Bethlehem today explained that the volunteers came from all over in order to join the pontiff in praying for peace. “Now we came, all of us, to pray with our Pope, praying for peace. We’re praying for justice, to be and to give for everybody” George Zenee explained to CNA May 25. Zenee hails from Palestine and is a … [Read more...]

Choir director: singing for the Pope is like welcoming your father

Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2014 / 11:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The director of the choir who sang during Pope Francis’ Mass in Bethlehem earlier today expressed that to sing for the pontiff in his country is like receiving your father into your home. “It’s as if you are welcoming your father in your home. You have a home, and your father is coming to support you,” Fr. Ibrahim Shomali told CNA May 25. “God is visiting you in his person and honoring him, honoring … [Read more...]

Israeli, Palestinian presidents accept invitation meeting at Vatican

Bethlehem, West Bank, May 25, 2014 / 06:28 am (CNA).- Today Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced that they have accepted Pope Francis’ invitation to join him at the Vatican for an encounter of prayer. Pope Francis issued his invitation at the close of a papal mass in Bethlehem’s Manger Square on May 25, asking both men “to join me in heartfelt prayer to God for the gift of peace. I offer my home in the Vatican as a place for this … [Read more...]