The Pope Francis Effect and Catholic-Jewish Relations The_Pope_Francis_Effect - Page 10

which has grown between us makes us bitterly and of the State of Israel to exist and to flourish in peace and sincerely regret the terrible persecutions which they security within internationally recognized borders.” 17 have endured, and continue to endure, especially He recognized the right of the Palestinian people to a those that have involved Christians. 15 homeland and the Holy See’s support for a two-state Rabbi David Rosen, my AJC colleague and the leading solution. Francis followed the latter aspiration with an assemblage at the Vatican to pray for peace that was Jewish dialogue partner with the three most recent popes, attended by Jewish, Christian, and Muslim religious put Evangelii Gaudium in historic context. “His emphasis leaders, together with Israel’s President Shimon Peres and on the ongoing Divine Presence in the life of the Jewish Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. People and on the importance of the ‘values of Judaism’ for Christians is particularly significant in further advancing the Holocaust memorial and museum in Jerusalem, Francis historic transformation in the Catholic Church’s approach “humbly bowed to kiss the hands of Holocaust towards the Jewish people,” said Rosen. 16 Pope Francis wasted little time in affirming the At a moving encounter at the Yad Vashem survivors,” 18 and offered an elegiac homily concluding with, “Adam, ‘where are you?’ Here we are, Lord, shamed centrality of Holocaust commemoration and the by what man, created in your own image and likeness, importance of the State of Israel to Jews, Catholics, and was capable of doing.” 19 Catholic-Jewish relations. Following in the footsteps of his two predecessors but prioritizing it earlier in his papal at the grave of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern travel schedule, Francis made a pilgrimage to the Holy Zionism. 20 The drama of history was not lost upon Francis was the first pontiff to visit and lay a wreath Land with a state visit to Israel. Notwithstanding some overstated controversy regarding an impromptu stop at the security wall in Bethlehem, Francis clearly conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for the Jewish story. Building upon the historic establishment of Holy See-Israel diplomatic relations with Israel in 1993, Francis articulated the “right 15. Pope Francis, Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium of the Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful of the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World, 185 content/francesco/en/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_ esortazione-ap_20131124_evangelii-gaudium.html, accessed March 5, 2015. 16. “AJC Welcomes the Appeal by Pope Francis for Catholic-Jewish Friendship,” (Nov 26, 2013), aspx?c=7oJILSPwFfJSG&b=8480439&ct=13423079, accessed March 5, 2015. 8 17. Pope Francis, Welcoming Ceremony: Address of Pope Francis, (May 25, 2014), 2, documents/papa-francesco_20140525_terra-santa-cerimonia-benvenuto-tel- aviv.html, accessed March 5, 2015. 18. Crispian Balmer and Philip Pullella, “As Mideast Trip Nears End, Pope Navigates Minefield of Symbols,” Reuters, (May 26, 2014), http://www.reuters. com/article/2014/05/26/us-pope-holyland-idUSBREA4O00120140526, accessed March 5, 2015. 19. Pope Francis, Visit to the Yad Vashem Memorial: Address of Pope Francis, (May 26, 2014), 2, may/documents/papa-francesco_20140526_terra-santa-memoriale-yad- vashem.html, accessed March 5, 2015. 20. Jodi Rudoren, “Pope Lays Wreath at Tomb of Zionism’s Founder,” The New York Times, (May 26, 2014), world/middleeast/pope-francis-jerusalem.html, accessed March 5, 2015. 9