This week, Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn of the Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Israel was part of the first Jewish delegation to have an official private audience with Pope Francis. Thanking the Pope for his friendship to the Jewish people, Rabbi Korn emphasized that “the Church and the Jewish people have natural reasons to work together since they have common roots in the Jewish covenant and biblical ethics.” He added, “both faith communities are threatened by religious extremism today that denies religious freedom around the world, particularly the freedom and security of Jews and Christians in the Middle East.”
The delegation consisted of members from the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC) which serves as an official body to maintain and develop relations with the Vatican’s Commission on Religious Relations with the Jews, the Orthodox Christian Church, the World Council of Churches, and other international religious bodies. The meeting between IJCIC and Pope Francis took place at the Vatican. Rabbi Korn thanked the Pope for his commitment to visit Israel soon, stressing that such a visit would be important for both political and religious reasons.