Pope Francis to travel to Israel in May

By Marcus Dysch, January 6, 2014

The Pope is to travel to Israel in May for his first visit since becoming Pontiff.

Francis I announced his plans during his Sunday address to thousands of Catholics gathered in St Peter's Square.

Further details announced by the Vatican revealed that the trip to the Holy Land would be the Pope's first overseas tour of the year.


Prime Minister Netanyahu's papal gift: book on Inquisition

By Shira Rubin, December 5, 2013

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented Pope Francis with a book about the Spanish Inquisition during their unprecedented, 25-minute private audience at the Vatican on Monday.

Mr Netanyahu gave the pontiff the Spanish translation of the 1995 book, The Origins of the Inquisition, written by the Israeli leader’s late historian father, Ben-Zion Netanyahu.


Embarrassment as Netanyahu misses out on Pope meeting

By Charlotte Oliver, October 21, 2013

Amid growing signs that Pope Francis I is seeking better and closer ties with global Jewry, a meeting between the pontiff and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was called off this week after the Vatican said it had not been aware of any such appointment.


Netanyahu to meet the Pope and John Kerry in Italy

By Charlotte Oliver, October 17, 2013

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Pope Francis I in Italy next week, before holding discussions with US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Mr Netanyahu will visit Pope Francis in the Vatican next Wednesday, ahead of the pontiff's anticipated trip to Israel in March. This follows President Shimon Peres's recent meeting with the head of the Catholic Church earlier this year.


Pope says antisemitism ‘not Christian’

By Josh Jackman, June 25, 2013

Pope Francis condemned “all manifestations of antisemitism” during his first meeting with official Jewish representatives since his election.


Pope accepts invitation to Jerusalem

By Elliot Miller, June 11, 2013

The new Pope Francis has accepted an invitation from Israeli President Shimon Peres to visit Jersualem. Both of the Pope’s direct predecessors, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, visited the holy city, the latter in 2009.


Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka: firm friends but football rivals

By Isabel de Bertodano, April 25, 2013

On the evening before his inauguration last month, Pope Francis made a call to an old friend in Buenos Aires.

“Hello, it’s Bergoglio. They trapped me here in Rome and they won’t let me come home,” he told Rabbi Abraham Skorka, whom he has known for 20 years.


Pope’s role in sordid history

By Colin Shindler, March 29, 2013

There has been a great welcome for the new Pope from Jewish groups. They point to his good relationship with Jews — “our elder brother” — and his strong condemnation of the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. He has even co-authored a book with a rabbi that will appear in English shortly.


‘No other pope has been so engaged with Jews’

By Ed Kessler, March 22, 2013

As the first Argentine Pope, Francis I comes from a country where there are 230,000 Jews in a country of 37 million, of whom 80 per cent are Catholic.

The new Pope is likely to follow in the footsteps of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. He was appointed cardinal by John Paul II in 2001 and is a Latin American with Italian roots, who studied in Germany. His spoken English is good.


Wobbles ahead of Barack Obama's Israel trip

By Anshel Pfeffer, March 14, 2013

last-minute itinerary changes have played havoc with Israeli preparations for President Barack Obama’s planned 48-hour trip to the Holy Land from March 20-21.

Before the election of Argentinian Pope Francis I on Wednesday night, there had been speculation that Mr Obama might have had to interrupt his visit and attend the installation ceremony if an American pontiff had been chosen.