08/31/2017, 14.13
VATICAN – JEWS
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The pope meets rabbis from Europe, America, and Israel, says no to wars of religion

The Statement between Jerusalem and Rome is presented. The latter emphasises common traditions, as well as theological differences. Catholics are "partners, close allies, friends and brothers". Moral behaviour and religious education are a way "to influence and inspire ". The pope expressed his best wishes for the Jewish New Year.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis on Thursday met with representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, the Rabbinical Council of America, and the Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, who are involved in talks with the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. The meeting included the presentation of the Statement between Jerusalem and Rome.

In his address, the Holy Father said that religions must not use “war, coercion or social pressure” to exert their influence. Following greetings from Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, former Moscow chief rabbi and president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Francis underlined the growing relations between Catholics and Jews thanks to the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate, which “represents the “‘Magna Charta’ of our dialogue with the Jewish world.” The latter notes “that the origins of the Christian faith are to be found, in accordance with the divine mystery of salvation, in the Patriarchs, in Moses and in the Prophets.”

The pontiff praised the new “Statement Between Jerusalem and Rome, [which] does not hide, however, the theological differences that exist between our faith traditions. All the same, it expresses a firm resolve to collaborate more closely, now and in the future.  Your document is addressed to Catholics, speaking of them as ‘partners, close allies, friends and brothers in our mutual quest for a better world blessed with peace, social justice and security’.” 

For Francis, it is very important to affirm “’that religions must use moral behavior and religious education – not war, coercion or social pressure – to influence and inspire’.  This is most important: may the Eternal One bless and enlighten our cooperation, so that together we can accept and carry out ever better his plans, ‘plans for welfare and not for evil’, for ‘a future and a hope’ (Jer 29:11).”

The pope also expressed to the Jewish representatives his “best wishes for the Jewish New Year which will begin in a few weeks. Shanah tovah!”

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