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Pope receives B'nai B'rith delegation, speaks of Catholic-Jewish friendship

June 25, 2015

Pope Francis met on June 25 with a delegation from B’nai B’rith International, and expressed his gratitude to predecessors who had advanced friendly ties between Catholics and Jews.

The Pope mentioned especially St. John XXIII, who “save many Jews during the Second World War” and sought a document from the Second Vatican Council on inter-faith relations. That document, Nostra Aetate, was “a milestone on the path of mutual knowledge and esteem between Jews and Catholics, based on the great spiritual patrimony that, thanks be to God, we share in common,” the Pontiff said.

Next Pope Francis cited the work of St. John Paul II, his dramatic gestures toward Jews, and particularly his visits to the death camp at Auschwitz and the synagogue in Rome.

“Respect for life and creation, human dignity, justice and solidarity” is the firm basis for alliance between Catholics and Jews, the Pope said. He observed that the two faiths should also “pray and work together for peace.” In parts of the world—particularly the Middle East—that requires a “courageous commitment to peace,” the Pope said.


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