Pope Francis praises Jews in letter to newspaper

Pope Francis praised Jews in an open letter to Rome’s liberal newspaper “La Repubblica.”

The letter was published on the front page of its September 11 edition, and acted as a response to editorials that had addressed the pontiff on issues of religion and faith.

The pope’s reply calls for a necessary and open dialogue with nonbelievers, whom he calls right, proper and precious.

In response to questions regarding what should be said to Jews about the promise made to them by God, Pope Francis wrote that this is a question that radically challenges Christians, because Christians have rediscovered that the Jewish people are the holy root from which Jesus germinated.

The pope, who has close ties with Jewish people from his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires, says that Jews serve as an example for Christians.

He says that they point Christians to the fact that they are always waiting for the Lord’s return, and so must always be open to him and never take refuge in what they have already attained.

Speaking to Vatican Radio’s Linda Bordoni, Joseph Sievers, professor of Jewish history and literature at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, says that in his opinion the tone of brotherly closeness that sets the letter is one of the things that most impressed him.

Sievers says the tone of the letter is “one of speaking at eye-level to a person who does not profess a particular faith, and so in this context the answer to the question about Jews and Judaism, brings up the personal level, the experience of Francis when he was in Argentina”.

“Also I was impressed that he did not just speak about answers, but also about the deep questions that he brings in prayer to God about the Shoah. He does not pretend to have the answer, but brings that question to God,” Sievers says.



Vatican Radio

Times of Malta

Image: Reuters/The Guardian


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