Pope Francis welcomed Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, at the Vatican. He was joined by other Congress leaders, which represent the Jewish populations in over 100 countries at the world governing bodies.
The Pope used that time to wish them a 'Happy Jewish New Year,' using a customary Hebrew expression.
The meeting was very cordial. Lauder gave the Pope a honey cake, a traditional gift to start the Jewish New Year symbolizing the start to a sweet year, as well as a Kiddush cup.
During the audience, they spoke about the need to avoid wars at all costs, and they agreed to work together to defend religious liberty, especially for minorities, across the world.
But the religious leaders also made time for a few playful remarks. They congratulated the Pope for his Brazilian 'miracle.'
You have achieved a miracle in Brazil. For Brazilians to like an Argentinian, it's a miracle.
It truly is miracle.
Ronald Lauder seemed satisfied with their gathering. He issued a statement afterward, saying that Pope Francis leadership strengthens the Catholic Church. He added that in the past 2000 years, ties between the Catholic Church and Jews had never been this good.