Pope Francis and Rome Chief Rabbi Send Greetings for Easter and Passover

Pontiff Vows To 'Deepen Our Ties' As Holy Days Overlap

Holy Days:Pope Francis greets well-wishers on Easter Sunday in Rome.
getty images
Holy Days:Pope Francis greets well-wishers on Easter Sunday in Rome.

By JTA

Published March 31, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Francis delivered his message from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Basilica - the same spot from where he first appeared to the world as pope after his election on March 13 - to a crowd estimated by the Vatican at at least 250,000 people.

“Peace in Asia, above all on the Korean peninsula: may disagreements be overcome and a renewed spirit of reconciliation grow,” he said, speaking in Italian.

North Korea said on Saturday it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea. Tensions have been high since the North’s new young leader Kim Jong-un ordered a third nuclear weapons test in February, breaching U.N. sanctions and ignoring warnings from North Korea’s sole major ally, China, not to do so.

Francis, who has brought a more simple and personal style to the papacy, said the message of Easter is that faith can help people transform their lives by letting “those desert places in our hearts bloom”.

GUARDIANS OF CREATION

“How many deserts, even today, do human beings need to cross! Above all, the desert within, when we have no love for God or neighbour, when we fail to realise that we are guardians of all that the creator has given us and continues to give us,” he said.

Earlier, at a Mass in a square bedecked by more than 40,000 plants and flowers, the pope wore relatively simple white vestments, as opposed to his predecessor Benedict, who preferred more elaborate robes.

The huge crowd spilled out of St. Peter’s Square and into surrounding streets and included many who had come to see a pope they hope could give a new start to a Church that has been marred by scandals involving sexual abuse of children and allegations of corruption.

“It’s a new pope and new beginning,” said Tina Hughes, 67, who came to Rome with her family from Nottingham, England to see the pope. “I think he brings something special. He connects with people. I feel good about him.”

Francis, who took his name in honour of St. Francis of Assisi, who is revered as a symbol of austerity and the importance of the natural world, said:

“Peace in the whole world, still divided by greed looking for easy gain, wounded by the selfishness which threatens human life and the family, selfishness that continues in human trafficking, the most extensive form of slavery in this 21st century.

“Peace to the whole world, torn apart by violence linked to drug trafficking and by the iniquitous exploitation of natural resources! Peace to this our Earth! May the risen Jesus bring comfort to the victims of natural disasters and make us responsible guardians of creation.”

Easter Sunday, the day Christians believe Jesus was resurrected from the dead three days after his crucifixion, was the culmination of four hectic days of activity for the pope, during which he instituted several novelties.

On Holy Thursday, two women were included among the 12 people whose feet he washed and kissed during a traditional ceremony that had previously been open only to men.

Francis is still living in the same Vatican guesthouse where he stayed during the conclave that elected him the first non-European pope in 1,300 years, instead of moving into the regal papal apartments in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

He has also been inviting ordinary people to his morning Mass at the guesthouse, including Vatican street sweepers and gardeners.

With Reuters


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!
  • "I am a Jewish woman married to a non-Jewish man who was raised Catholic, but now considers himself a “common-law Jew.” We are raising our two young children as Jews. My husband's parents are still semi-practicing Catholics. When we go over to either of their homes, they bow their heads, often hold hands, and say grace before meals. This is an especially awkward time for me, as I'm uncomfortable participating in a non-Jewish religious ritual, but don't want his family to think I'm ungrateful. It's becoming especially vexing to me now that my oldest son is 7. What's the best way to handle this situation?" http://jd.fo/b4ucX What would you do?
  • Maybe he was trying to give her a "schtickle of fluoride"...
  • It's all fun, fun, fun, until her dad takes the T-Bird away for Shabbos.
  • "Like many Jewish people around the world, I observed Shabbat this weekend. I didn’t light candles or recite Hebrew prayers; I didn’t eat challah or matzoh ball soup or brisket. I spent my Shabbat marching for justice for Eric Garner of Staten Island, Michael Brown of Ferguson, and all victims of police brutality."
  • Happy #NationalDogDay! To celebrate, here's a little something from our archives:
  • A Jewish couple was attacked on Monday night in New York City's Upper East Side. According to police, the attackers flew Palestinian flags.
  • "If the only thing viewers knew about the Jews was what they saw on The Simpsons they — and we — would be well served." What's your favorite Simpsons' moment?
  • "One uncle of mine said, 'I came to America after World War II and I hitchhiked.' And Robin said, 'I waited until there was a 747 and a kosher meal.'" Watch Billy Crystal's moving tribute to Robin Williams at last night's #Emmys:
  • "Americans are much more focused on the long term and on the end goal which is ending the violence, and peace. It’s a matter of zooming out rather than debating the day to day.”
  • "I feel great sorrow about the fact that you decided to return the honor and recognition that you so greatly deserve." Rivka Ben-Pazi, who got Dutchman Henk Zanoli recognized as a "Righteous Gentile," has written him an open letter.
  • Is there a right way to criticize Israel?
  • From The Daily Show to Lizzy Caplan, here's your Who's Jew guide to the 2014 #Emmys. Who are you rooting for?
  • “People at archives like Yad Vashem used to consider genealogists old ladies in tennis shoes. But they have been impressed with our work on indexing documents. Now they are lining up to work with us." This year's Jewish Genealogical Societies conference took place in Utah. We got a behind-the-scenes look:
  • What would Maimonides say about Warby Parker's buy-one, give-one charity model?
  • For 22 years, Seeds of Peace has fostered dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian teens in an idyllic camp. But with Israel at war in Gaza, this summer was different. http://jd.fo/p57AB
  • 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.