Pope Francis Offers Hand of Friendship to Jews

Pontiff Praises Vatican II Council That Improved Relations

Working Together: Pope Francis I has vowed a ‘spirit of renewed collaboration’ with Jews.
getty images
Working Together: Pope Francis I has vowed a ‘spirit of renewed collaboration’ with Jews.

By Reuters

Published March 14, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 3)

Meanwhile, the pope’s distant cousins in a hilltop hamlet in northern Italy claim Argentina’s Pope Francis as one of their own.

Bergoglio’s great grandfather, also named Francesco or Francis, bought a farmhouse in 1864 in Bricco Marmorito which sits in the shadow of the snow-capped Alps in a wine-producing region in northwest Italy.

Relatives living in the quiet hamlet were as excited as anyone when Bergoglio’s name was announced as the new pope from the balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica 700 km south in Rome on Wednesday night.

“When we heard the news we were really surprised because we never thought he could become pope,” Anna Bergoglio, a distant cousin of Pope Francis, said in the garden of her house in the province of Asti, best known for its sparkling wines.

Her grown-up daughter Roberta was one of the few in the family - and beyond - who seemed to have an inkling that he might become leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

“Last Friday we were looking at a photograph of him and my daughter said ‘Mum, do you think he could be Pope Bergoglio?’ And I said ‘I hope so’,” Anna recalled.

Francis and the cardinals who elected him toasted his appointment on Wednesday with a glass of Asti spumante fizzy wine, a nod to his Italian roots and less expensive than champagne for a man who likes to eschew life’s luxuries.

FAMILY REUNION

Bergoglio’s father emigrated from Italy in the 1920s, one of millions of Italians who moved to Argentina in search of a better life.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • The real heroines of Passover prep aren't even Jewish. But the holiday couldn't happen without them.
  • Is Handel’s ‘Messiah’ an anti-Semitic screed?
  • Meet the Master of the Matzo Ball.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.