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Pope invited to Jerusalem by Israeli president

By on Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Pope Francis greets Israeli President Shimon Peres  at the Vatican  (Photo: CNS)

Pope Francis greets Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Vatican (Photo: CNS)

Israeli president Shimon Peres has officially invited Pope Francis to Israel, it has been revealed after the pair met at the Vatican.

According to a statement issued by Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Pope would “be happy to go to the Holy Land,” although there are currently no firm plans in place for such a trip.

The statement said that during a meeting on Tuesday, Peres and Pope Francis discussed the political and social situation in the Middle East and expressed hopes for a resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians so that “with courageous decisions and availability on both sides, as well as with the support of the international community, an agreement that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two peoples can be reached.”

A resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would contribute to peace and stability throughout the region, the Vatican said. The two leaders also spoke about “the conflict that plagues Syria” and the need for a political solution in Syria that favours reconciliation and dialogue.

Peres met the Pope in the library of the Apostolic Palace; with the assistance of an interpreter the two spoke privately for about half an hour before the Israeli president introduced members of his entourage to the Pope and the two leaders exchanged gifts.

Pope Francis gave the president three Vatican medals and Peres gave the Pope a leather-bound copy of the Scriptures in Hebrew and English. The president had written a dedication: “To His Holiness Pope Francis, so that ‘you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go’ (1 Kings 2:3). With deep esteem, Shimon Peres, president of the State of Israel.”

Peres, who is scheduled to receive the Medal of Honor for Peace from Franciscan friars on Wednesday, told the Pope, “I shall go to Assisi and I will pray for you.”

Prior to their private discussions, photographers took pictures of the Pope and Peres seated at the desk in the library. The Pope shrugged his shoulders and Peres told him, “It’s part of our life now.”

Before leaving Israel on Monday Peres said he wanted to “personally invite Pope Francis for an official state visit in Israel and to strengthen the good relations that already exist between Israel and the Vatican.”

Talk about a possible Papal trip to Israel circulated in March after Pope Francis met Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople. Several news reports said the patriarch suggested that he and the Pope meet in Jerusalem in 2014 to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic first step in Catholic-Orthodox rapprochement: the 1964 meeting there between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras.

  • QAX3kFmH

    May his visit be a good one. God bless

  • John rice

    This shows how phoney this Pope is with his talk of justice and human respect. He is so dazzled by the war monger and Palestinian murder Peres he refuses to condemn Zionist persecution of the oh so very poor Palestinian people. Pure hypocrisy. And the Franciscans award Peres with a medal for peace! This confirms what I suspected and which pains me, this Pope is a bad man.

  • James M

    He shouldn’t continue to recognise Israel. The Holy See did not do so until very recently, and it is a great pity that it changed its policy. Israel survived without Vatican recognition, for about 40 years – so it is hard that it needs it to survive. States that practice violations of human rights should not be recognised by the Holy See. It was regrettable that the Third Reich was recognised, but the Papacy did not realise just how foul the Nazi regime would turn out to be. Should that not be a lesson to avoid giving diplomatic recognition to states that may turn out to be unsavoury ? The Holy See is not just any state, after all.

    As for the Orthodox – a lot of them seem to have a very low opinion of the action of the Patriarch in 1964. Unless there is complete agreement among them to recognise his action, it is hard to see just what weight it has among the Orthodox. So what authority in Orthodoxy does his action have ? Clarification would be very welcome.

  • Eran Frenkel

    May the POP come to Jerusalem and visit the holy sites for Christians – I invite you all to visit these places through my video site about Jerusalem –

  • QAX3kFmH

    you’re comparing the only western nation in the middle east to the Nazi regime in the mid 20th century? Israel has again, and again and again always supported a two state solution for the Palestinians even if it was the size of a table cloth (even though there is no such thing as the state of Palestine in history). I don’t support some of the stuff the Israeli government does but I support it’s right to defend herself from her enemies. The Israelis get’s no credit from the western liberal progressive media (and here apparently) for trying to medicate on Palestinian and Israeli soldiers alike, that have been wounded in this war all because the Palestinians didn’t want to recognize a Jewish state in exchange for receiving an Arab State by the U.N. In article 15 of the Palestinian charter it reads the Palestinian goal for the liquidation of all of Israel. In 2010 Mahmoud Abbas the current leader of the Palestinian Authority stated he would not have one single Israeli in Palestine. Even the son of the Hamas leader left Hamas and became a Christian.

    I know that the Traditional Catholics are going to hate me for this, by why is it every single time peace activists shout for world peace, they always and always shout it to the west and never the countries that have lower standards of morality then the west. These are the same people who call the Catholic Church a misogynist, child abusing dictatorship who should ‘modernize” the church.

    I’m sorry if other Catholics who wish for peace at any price hate me for this. But I have to call it. If wish to hold the west to a high standard then you must also criticism countries or other people that have low standards of morality and both should be jugged EQUALLY in these high standards.

  • PaulF

    Be careful with your words, Rowan and Parasum. Jesus is Yahweh of Israel come in the flesh (1 John 4:2,3). The same Yahweh of Israel said to Abraham at the beginning of salvation history: “I will bless those who bless you, and curse those who curse you, and in you will all the families of the earth be blessed” (Genesis 12:3).
    Beware of placing yourselves under the curse of anti-Semitism.
    The same Yahweh of Israel also said to Abraham: “Look all round from where you are, to north and south, to east and west, for all the land within sight I will give to you and your descendants for ever” (Genesis 13:14,15).
    In the language of the Bible, for ever means for ever.

  • Jon Brownridge

    Really – What is your IQ?

  • John rice

    Here we go the usual Zionist ploy of making out that anyone who oppose Israel’s murderous Zionist existence is anti-semitic. Hassidic Jews declare that the existence of Israel is a grave sin against God and protest that the land occupied by Israel is of course Palestine. And Paul Yahweh does not exist ‘he’ is a false notion of the One True God of The Blessed Trinity. You forget we Christians live by a new covenant that was Gods will and came into effect when God in the person of Christ offered his life for the redemption of men, Jews and Gentiles alike. It was the followers of the false God Yahweh who rejected the divinity of Christ and had him crucified.

  • John rice

    about 133

  • PaulF

    Rowan, Yahweh is a false God? Beware of blasphemy. The name Jesus in Hebrew is ‘Yeshua.’ ‘Shua’ means ‘saves.’ ‘Ye’ or ‘Ya’ is short for ‘Yahweh.’ So the name Jesus and the name Yahweh are inseparable.
    What else did the apostle St John mean when he gave us the test of spirits in 1 John 4:1-4? ‘Whoever confesses Jesus Christ come in the flesh is of God.’ Meaning, ‘Whoever confesses that Yahweh of Israel has come in the flesh is of God.’ And whoever does not confess that Yahweh of Israel has come in the flesh is not of God, but is of the spirit of Antichrist.
    You need to know what the apostolic Christian faith is, Rowan. If you’ve missed that then I am not sure where exactly you are on anything.

  • Julian Lord

    Yahweh does not exist

    This is a direct violation of the First Commandment, and constitutes a blasphemy and a form of apostasy — though I’ll guess that all three are unintentional.

  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP


  • Thomas Poovathinkal SSP

    OUR POPE is for everybody. Anybody can invite him.

  • John rice

    Thank you for your condemnation. I hold by what I have said.

  • John rice

    Thank you for your advice an interpretation of Holy Scripture. I stand by what I have said and condemn this pope for failing to help the Palestinians whilst welcoming a murderer and a manipulator. I look forward to the next instalment whilst anther needle head theologian tells me that Allah to is the true God as well and that the murder and suffering of Christians is fine so long as the Pope can continue to make saccharine pleas on behalf of the ‘beautiful’ poor.

  • PaulF

    Well at least on one thing I agree with you. The other religions do not worship the true God. If they did they would do what the Magi did, who sought the New King out diligently and when they found him, worshipped him.
    The Jews are in a unique position, because God did reveal himself to them, and through them to us. You cannot brush them aside after all that as if we do not owe them an everlasting debt of gratitude.
    Everything JabbaPapa says above is true and completely consonant with Scripture.
    Romans 9-11 is also essential reading on the Jews, and I suggest you study every word of it also before speaking on this subject again.

  • PaulF

    You’re welcome! Praise God.

  • Mwaka Mutinda

    differentiate then what is done in the pretext of yhwh and yhwh himself. That is where you go wrong. Of course we know that religion (God) has been used to legitimize all manner of immorality, but you need to show how that arises. Otherwise don’t make unqualified statements.


    I am very happy for the pope, it a great thing for him to visit holy land.


  • József Attila Domonkos

    WOW you are all blinded by your religions mehmehmehmehhhhh

  • József Attila Domonkos

    God is a myth created by intelligent people to keep mindless people under contol ;p But over hundreds of years it became an integral part for those who can`t decide rationally for themselves what is wrong and what is rite.

  • József Attila Domonkos

    Thus creating herds of mindless sheep mehh mehhh

  • Matthew Holder

    The correct Christian attitude towards the Jews used to be expressed in those illustrations in pre-V2 missals, which would show a blindfolded figure representing the synagogue, standing at the foot of the Cross.

    Alongside the blindfolded figure stood one representing the Church. This figure looked up at OLJC, and collected the Blood and Water gushing from His side.

    One day, the blindfold will be removed from the synagogue, by God, the God of those who were temporarily blind, as well as of those who now see, and hope to continue seeing.

  • Ormond

    A sad and troubling visit in the same week as the Israeli court verdict approving the illegal confiscation of land from 2 religious communities and over 50 Christian families in the Bethlehem Governate at the Crimisan valley. The only thing that stops the international community from prosecuting this president for past war crimes is the power and protection of the U.S.

  • peter

    the Patriarch of Jerusalem should send him an invitation. jerusalem is occupied by Israel