Latin America Leaders Jet Into Israel Ahead of Pope Francis

Jews and Catholics From 6 Nations Visit Holy Land

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By JTA

Published May 13, 2014.
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Jewish and Catholic religious leaders from six Latin American countries will make a pilgrimage to the Middle East following the route that Pope Francis will take on his upcoming visit to the region.

Young priests and rabbis from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela will share a seminar and visits to holy sites on the pilgrimage, which begins Wednesday. The pope will visit the region later this month.

“This is the third time we have held a seminar like this, with about 30 religious leaders from the region, but this time it has a special addition because it is being performed just few days before the arrival of the pope to the Middle East, so we will experience the atmosphere that Francis will feel upon his arrival in Israel,” Latin American Jewish Congress President Jack Terpins said.

The trip is being held in conjunction with the Israel-based Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation.

The program will include lectures and courses with experts on both faiths, and visits to holy sites in a historical context.

“If we can establish firm understanding between Jews and Catholics, we will leave our children a more fraternal world from which we received,” Terpins said.


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