Pope Francis plans to visit the Great Synagogue of Rome on January 17th. He had been formally invited by the Chief Rabbi and Jewish community of Rome.
It's the third time a Pope has gone to the site. Pope John Paul II made history when he first visited in 1986, and Pope Benedict XVI followed in 2010.
RICCARDO DI SEGNI
Chief Rabbi, Rome
"Relations with Pope Francis are good. We would like to maintain and grow them.”
The Jewish community in Rome has good memories of Pope John Paul II's visit, and they also generally approve of Pope Francis.
The Argentine pontiff had a strong friendship with the Jewish community in Buenos Aires. During his trip to the Holy Land, one of the most powerful gestures came when the Pope hugged his Jewish and Muslim friends before the Wailing Wall.
October 28, 2015
"The world calls on us believers, to give effective answers on so many issues. Peace, hunger, the misery that affects millions of people.”
After the Second Vatican Council, the Church's relations with the Jewish community have been guided by the document "Nostrae Aetate.” It calls for universal brotherhood among people of all faiths.