“Let us work together to replace despair with HOPE, fear with human SECURITY and humiliation with DIGNITY”

Pope to European Rabbis: Dialogue is key to peace

“Not weapons, not terrorism, not war, but compassion, justice and dialogue are the fitting means for building peace.”

With these words Pope Francis reiterated on Monday his impassioned plea for peace in the Holy Land. Addressing a delegation of Conference of European Rabbis in the Vatican, the Pope focused on the ongoing war in the region.

The Pope handed his prepared remarks to members of the delegation and said he wasn’t feeling well enough to read it.

Matteo Bruni, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, told reporters afterwards that the Pope has a bit of a cold and a heavy schedule of audiences on Monday. “He wanted to greet the European Rabbis individually and for this reason he handed them his speech,” said Mr. Bruni. “Otherwise, the Pope’s activities continue normally.”

Concern  for resurgence of anti-semitism

In his prepared remarks to the Rabbis, Pope Francis also expressed his concern for the spread of anti-Semitic demonstrations in the world as a result of the conflict, which, he said, he “strongly” condemns.

The Pope underscored that in this time of violence and destruction, “believers are called to build fraternity and open paths of reconciliation for all and before all, in the name of the Almighty.”

Believers called to witness and build dialogue

They must, therefore, be “witnesses of dialogue”, the Pope stressed.  Indeed, he said, by its intrinsic social nature, “humanity is not only capable of dialogue, but is dialogue itself”, and “it is only in dialogue with the transcendent One and with our brothers and sisters who accompany us that we can understand and mature.”

We need Judaism to understand ourselves better

Referring specifically to the Jewish-Christian dialogue, Pope Francis recalled that relations with  Judaism are particularly important for Christians, because “they share Jewish roots.”

“We need Judaism to understand ourselves better,” said the Pope. “It is therefore important that Jewish Christian dialogue should keep its theological dimension alive, while continuing to face social, cultural and political questions.”

Recalling Pope St. John Paul II’s words during his historic visit to the Synagogue of Rome on 13 April 1986, in which he spoke of Jews as “our older brothers”, the Pope reiterated that Jewish-Christian relations  is more than an interreligious dialogue.  They are ” a family dialogue,” he said.

Jews and Christians linked to each other before the one God 

Bringing his address to a close, Pope Francis reaffirmed that Jews and Christians are “linked to each other before the one God “ and are called “to bear witness to His Word” with their dialogue, and “to His peace” with their actions.

By Lisa Zengarini

2023-11-08T07:03:39+00:00 November 8th, 2023|Categories: News|