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Monday, October 14, 2013

Pope sets March date for joint pilgrimage with rabbi

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Visit to Israel meant to bring message of reconciliation, says Channel 2

Pope Francis has said he plans on visiting Israel in March on a joint pilgrimage with his friend, Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Channel 2 news reported Sunday.
The Pope, who was formally invited to Israel by President Shimon Peres in April, said he will come with a message of reconciliation between Judaism and Christianity.
According to Channel 2, Pope Francis said he and Rabbi Zakorka have a joint dream of hugging one another next to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
In June, Pope Francis condemned anti-Semitism during a meeting with representatives of the international Jewish community at the Vatican, saying that “because of our commons roots, a true Christian cannot be anti-Semitic.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who will be visiting the pope in a few days’ time, said he would present him with a formal invitation to Bethlehem, Channel 2 reported.
In February, Pope Francis became the first pope in modern times to succeed a living pontiff, Benedict XVI, after Benedict resigned. Benedict went to Israel in 2009, and his predecessor, John Paul II, visited in 2000.