Pope wishes Jews a Happy New Year
Pope Francis also directed Cardinal Koch to investigate Poland's bans on kosher slaughter. The pontiff reiterated that anti-Semitism is inimical to the Catholic faith.
Pope Francis wished Jews around the world a sweet and peaceful year 5774 as they celebrate Rosh Hashanah - the Jewish New Year - from sundown on Friday September 4 until nightfall on September 5. The pontiff called for increased dialogue among the world’s religious communities and opposed fundamentalism. In his first private audience with an international Jewish leader since being elected in March of this year, Pope Francis asked World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S Lauder to convey his greetings to Jewish communities world-wide. He added that he is also in need of a sweet year because of the important decisions lying ahead.
After the Pope wished world Jewry a "Shana Tova" - Happy New Year - Lauder presented him with a Kiddush cup and a honey cake. Traditionally, Jews eat fruit and honey-tinged foods during the holiday in the hope of a sweet year. It is on September 7, while Jews mark the new year, that Pope Francis has declared a day of prayer and fasting for peace in Syria. Within two weeks, Jews mark Yom Kippur - when fasting, prayer and repentance are required. It is during the marking of Yom Kipp
At their meeting, Pope Francis and Lauder discussed the situation in Syria and agreed to speak out against attacks on religious minorities, such as Coptic Christians in Egypt and against trends to restrict well-established religious practices such as circumcision. The Pope expressed special concern about bans on kosher slaughter in Poland. He directed Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Vatican’s Commission for Relations with the Jews, to investigate and host a follow-up meeting as early as possible.
Pope Francis reiterated a statement made in June that “a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite” and said that “to be good a Christian it is necessary to understand Jewish history and traditions.” He added that Jews and Christians shared the same roots and that dialogue was the key to building a common future. With reference to the fighting in Syria, the Pope called the killing of human beings unacceptable and said “world leaders must do everything to avoid war.”
After the meeting, Lauder praised the Pope for his commitment to dialogue. He said that “Pope Francis’ leadership has not only reinvigorated the Catholic Church but also given a new momentum to relations with Judaism. Never in the past 2,000 years have relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people been so good. The leadership of successive popes over the past five decades has helped to overcome a lot of prejudice. This allows us now to work together in defending religious freedom wherever it is under threat and whichever community is affected.”
President Obama is expected to attend Mandela's funeral on December 15.
First Christians painted fresco of woman some claim depicts a female priest.
Newly discovered wooden structure reveals the beginning of Buddhism.
This page took 0.1953seconds to load