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February 13, 2014 11:25 am

Pope Francis Says Jews, Catholics Should Work Together to Help World’s Poor

avatar by Joshua Levitt

Pope Francis delivering his Christmas address. Photo: Screenshot.

Pope Francis I told a delegation from the American Jewish Committee at the Vatican on Thursday that Jews and Catholics should work together to help the world’s poor, according to a transcript.

Speaking at the Vatican’s Consistory Hall, Pope Francis I told the AJC delegation, “Your organization, which on various occasions has met with my venerable Predecessors, maintains good relations with the Holy See and with many representatives of the Catholic world. I am very grateful to you for the distinguished contribution you have made to dialogue and fraternity between Jews and Catholics, and I encourage you to continue on this path.”

“In addition to dialogue, it is also important to find ways in which Jews and Christians can cooperate in constructing a more just and fraternal world. In this regard, I call to mind in a particular way our common efforts to serve the poor, the marginalized and those who suffer. Our commitment to this service is anchored in the protection of the poor, widows, orphans, and foreigners as shown in Sacred Scripture (cf. Ex 20:20-22). It is a God given duty, one which reflects his holy will and his justice; it is a true religious obligation.”

The Pope said the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of the Second Vatican Council¬†constitutes a point of reference “for relations with our ‘elder brothers.’¬†From this document, our reflection on the spiritual patrimony which unites us and which is the foundation of our dialogue has developed with renewed vigor.”

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He said “it is important that we dedicate ourselves to transmitting to new generations the heritage of our mutual knowledge, esteem and friendship which has, thanks to the commitment of associations like yours, grown over these years. It is my hope therefore that the study of relations with Judaism may continue to flourish in seminaries and in centers of formation for lay Catholics, as I am similarly hopeful that a desire for an understanding of Christianity may grow among young Rabbis and the Jewish community.”

“Dear friends, in a few months I will have the joy of visiting Jerusalem, where – as the Psalm says – we are all born (cf. Ps 87:5) and where all peoples will one day meet (cf. Is 25:6-10). Accompany me with your prayers, so that this pilgrimage may bring forth the fruits of communion, hope and peace. Shalom!”

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