Peres tells new Pope: ‘come to Israel’

Israeli President Shimon Peres (Photo: AP)

Israeli President Shimon Peres (Photo: AP)

Peres tells new Pope: ‘come to Israel’

Israeli President Shimon Peres has invited the new pope, Pope Francis, to the Holy Land.

In a meeting with leaders of the Catholic Church of Poland on Thursday, Mr Peres welcomed the new pope. He said: “We need, more than ever, a spiritual leadership and not just a political one. Where political leaders may divide, spiritual leaders may unite.”

He then invited the pope to Israel and said: “He'll be a welcome guest in the Holy Land, as a man of inspiration that can add to the attempt to bring peace in a stormy area.”

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, former archbishop of Buenos Aires, was announced as the first ever Latin American pope on Wednesday evening.

Last updated: 10:14am, March 14 2013