ROME (JTA) – Pope Francis and Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni exchanged greetings to mark Passover and Easter.Source: JTA News 03/31/13.
The two holidays overlap this year.
The holidays, Di Segni wrote to the pontiff, “represent both the link and the separation between our religions.” He noted that over history Easter often was the occasion of anti-Semitic attacks. Today, however, “these days are experienced by both faiths in joy and harmony,” a fact for which he paid tribute to “all those people who have been committed to this healing.”
Di Segni offered a prayer for the pope “in the spirit of respect and brotherly friendship” with the hope that the lord “renders us able to reciprocally understand the sense of difference and the value of brotherhood.”
In his own message to Di Segni on the eve of Passover, the pope prayed that “the Almighty, who freed His people from slavery in Egypt to guide them to the Promised Land, continue to deliver you from all evil and to accompany you with His blessing. I ask you to pray for me, as I assure you of my prayers for you, confident that we can deepen [our] ties of mutual esteem and friendship.”
On Sunday, Christian pilgrims from around the world marked Easter in Jerusalem, where Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal led Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is believed to be the place where Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead on Easter.
- Friendship began with soccer, led to improved Catholic-Jewish ties, by David Agren. Catholic News Service. 03/27/13.
- Pope Francis to Rabbi of Rome:“I hope to contribute to the progress of relations between Jews and Catholics which began with Vatican Council II” Vatican Information Service. 03/15/13.
- Argentina’s Jewish community celebrate Pope Francis Miami Herald 03/18/13.
- Understanding Pope Francis's Surprising Affinity For Jewish Art The Forward 07/08/13.