Pope once consulted Jewish psychoanalyst

Pople Francis has revealed he went for analysis to 'clarify some things'


Pope Francis regularly consulted a Jewish psychoanalyst in his native Argentina when he was younger, he has revealed.

The Pontiff, who is 80, said he had weekly sessions with the unnamed therapist nearly 40 years ago.

“She was a good person. For six months she helped me a lot,” the Italian newspaper La Stampa quoted him as saying.

The reason he sought analysis was not disclosed beyond his wish to “clarify some things”.

He also said “one day, when she was about to die, she called me. Not to receive the sacraments, since she was Jewish, but for a spiritual dialogue.”

The visits emerged in the course of conversations between the Pope and a French author for a forthcoming book, the newspaper reported.

On Thursday last week, the Pope greeted a delegation of Orthodox rabbis at the Vatican in a further sign of strengthening links between the Catholic Church and world Jewry.

Representatives of the Conference of European Rabbis, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate and the Rabbinical Council of America presented him with the document Between Rome and Jerusalem – a response marking the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking 1965 Vatican statement Nostra Aetate, which heralded a new era in Catholic-Jewish relations.

The Orthodox rabbinical statement said, “Despite the irreconcilable theological differences, we Jews view Catholics as our partners, close allies, friends and brothers in our mutual quest for a better world blessed with peace, social justice and security.”

Pope Francis noted “in recent decades, we have been able to draw closer to one another and to engage in an effective and fruitful dialogue. We have grown in mutual understanding and deepened our bonds of friendship.”

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive