Pope Francis asks American Jewish leaders to pray for his trip to Jerusalem this May
Pope says both Catholic, Jewish communities should work in service to the poor, marginalized and the suffering
Pope Francis has asked leaders of the American Jewish Committee to pray for his trip to Jerusalem this coming May, "so that this pilgrimage may bring forth the fruits of communion, hope and peace."
Pope Francis told the American Jewish Committee delegation that both the Jewish and Catholic communities must also find ways to work together to construct "a more just and fraternal world."
The Nostra Aetate, the Pope said, is "the sure point of reference for relations with our 'elder brothers.'"
Carry this beautiful reminder of Our Savior with you everywhere --
Both Christians and Jews share a common heritage and a profound spiritual bond. The Nostra Aetate also explicitly taught that responsibility for Jesus' death "cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today." The modern relationship between Jews and Catholics, Francis said, has a "theological foundation" and is "not simply an expression of our desire for reciprocal respect and esteem."
Pope Francis told the American Jewish Committee delegation that both the Jewish and Catholic communities must also find ways to work together to construct "a more just and fraternal world," especially through service to the poor, the marginalized and the suffering.
In addition, he said "it is important that we dedicate ourselves to transmitting to new generations the heritage of our mutual knowledge, esteem and friendship." especially in seminaries and education programs for lay Catholics. "I am similarly hopeful that a desire for an understanding of Christianity may grow among young rabbis and the Jewish community."
Rabbi David Rosen, the committee's international director of interreligious relations told reporters that "Everybody is so excited - whether Jordanians, Palestinians and Israelis - that no matter how short his visit is, it's a guaranteed success.
"Hopefully it will leave behind it a sense of greater hope for the future. That's what we need in the Middle East."
Rabbi Rosen said both Blessed John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI had noted that Christians cannot understand Christianity without knowing something about Judaism.
While "it's true that Judaism does not have to understand Christianity in order to understand itself," he said, "that doesn't mean that we shouldn't."
Rabbi Rosen said he believed that in the relationship between Jews and Christians, "God is speaking to us and, therefore, it's our moral obligation to ask what this relationship means."
Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lordís invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
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