News / Middle East

Pope Invites Muslim, Jewish Leaders to Vatican

Pope Francis Meets Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox Leadersi
X
Scott Bobb
May 26, 2014 4:24 PM
Pope Francis is completing his trip to the Middle East with a series of meetings with religious and political leaders in Israel. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Pope Francis Meets Muslim, Jewish, Orthodox Leaders
Scott Bobb
Pope Francis met with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres Monday as he wrapped up his three-day trip to the Middle East.

Netanyahu told the pope why he believes Israel needed to build a separation barrier around the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

The Israeli prime minister said that when incitement and terror against Israel ends, there will not be a need for the wall, where Pope Francis stopped and prayed on Sunday.

Peres thanked the pope for making efforts to restart the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Pope Francis invited Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to come to the Vatican in June to pray for peace and both men accepted his invitation.

Papal prayers

Also Monday, the pope prayed and laid a wreath at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem museum, which commemorates the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust.
 
He also placed a wreath on the grave of the father of modern Israel, Theodor Herzl. He also met with the two chief rabbis of Jerusalem.
 
Pope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, MayPope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, May
x
Pope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, May
Pope Francis meets with the Mufti of Jerusalem Muhammad Ahmad Hussein, left, and Abdul Azeem Salhab, Head of the Waqef supreme court, near the Dome of the Rock Mosque, May
Earlier, the pope met with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Mohammad Hussein at the Haram al-Sharif, also known as the Dome of the Rock. Speaking at the shrine, he said a visit to the Holy Land would not be complete without a meeting with the Muslim communities.
 
Speaking in Latin, the pope made a heartfelt plea to all people and communities who look to Abraham, calling on all to respect and love one another as brothers and sisters. He also called for those present to learn to understand the sufferings of others.
 
The pontiff also prayed at the Wailing Wall.
 
The Rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch, said for too many years, religion was a source of division. He said that from the wall, which is sacred to the pope, the rabbi, and to millions more around the globe, he called on people of all religions to fight hatred and anti-Semitism.

Holy site

On Sunday evening, Pope Francis met with Orthodox ecumenical leader, Patriarch Bartholomew, at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the site where many believe Jesus Christ was crucified and buried
 
Standing as pilgrims in these holy places, we remember in our prayers the entire Middle East, so frequently and lamentably marked by acts of violence and conflict, said Francis. He said we do not forget the many people in the world who are suffering from war, poverty, hunger and persecution.
 
Patriarch Bartholomew lamented what he called racial discrimination and religious extremism in contemporary society.
 
"Religious fanaticism already threatens peace in many regions of the globe, where the very gift of life is sacrificed on the altar of religious hatred. In the face of such conditions, the message of the life-giving tomb is urgent and clear: Love the other, the different other, the followers of other faiths and other confessions," said Bartholomew.
 
The two leaders then embraced. The meeting marked a similar encounter between their predecessors 50 years ago that launched reconciliation efforts after centuries of conflict between the two churches.
 
The pope on Sunday said mass and met refugees in Bethlehem, in the West Bank. He stopped his convoy to pray at the separation barrier that surrounds most of the city.
 
On Saturday he said mass in Amman, Jordan and met Syrian refugees near the site on the Jordan River where many believe Jesus was baptized.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: John Stefanyszyn from: Canada
June 07, 2014 11:34 AM
...but to which ‘god’ will Jorge Bergoglio (“Pope Francis”), President Peres, and President Abbas be praying to for peace at the Vatican since neither prays to the “same god”?
Bergoglio….Catholicism
Peres……..Judaism
Abbas……..Sunni Islam

In addition to this,
: the Catholic religion has redefined Christ to be a representative of political religion, of religious liberty & compromise, under the way of the Roman empire.
:the Judaic religion rejects Jesus Christ as the Son of God...referring to Him as a blasphemer and false prophet.
:the religion of Islam also denies that Jesus Christ is the Son of God & that He was only a prophet that was not resurrected and not the One Way of Forgiveness /Salvation, claiming instead that Muhammad was the last true messenger (via self righteousness).

So to which ‘god’ will they be praying for “peace”?
:::::But there is one common “call it religion” that all three worship, believe in, glorify, and live by.
….they will be praying to the ‘god’ of FREEDOM...freedom of self-rights, freedom of self-religions.
….Bergoglio….freedom of rights and religions for the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Christians, the Jews, the Muslims, the “non believers”, and the “others”.
….Peres…...freedom and rights for Israel ( and they believe that it is right for them to repossess all of the land for Israel)
….Abbas...freedom and rights for the state and land of Palestine...the land that they believe is rightly theirs.
= each believes his way to be right in their own eyes = I will serve and do good for myself first (XES), my neighbor second = way of conflict (and not peace) as Cain killed his brother Abel.

And this ‘god of fortresses’ dictates that it is RIGHT (a right) to be free to worship ANY ‘god’.

But there is Only One Creator, whose identity is clearly defined by His Son Jesus Christ….and He said that we are to worship the One and Only Creator and Him Alone, His Will Alone to serve in obedience and love….love for Him and love for the neighbor….and not “my rights”.

Note...soon the Lord Jesus Christ will return to rule the earth in power according to and in obedience to the Will of the One and Only Creator and NOT according to man’s first love for “his freedom”.....and man will weep and clench his teeth in anger when “his self-freedom” will be no more.

John Stefanyszyn


by: Magnus Botchway from: Nsawam
May 27, 2014 10:56 AM
just yesterday my driver I work with him said he read the koran and the bible, now pope has invite middle east leaders for peace on june coming,if pope could invite them and is good for moslem to read the bible why can't both religion accept?this I want to know

by: Jude Ikezu from: Lagos, Nigeria
May 26, 2014 8:56 PM
Peace is needed all over the world especially in all war torn nations. Thank God for the wonderful move by Pope Francis I to reconcile the Faiths. I believe with sincere co-operation of all and sundry, the entire world will experience peace in near future. Thank God for your courage and wisdom dear, His Holiness, Pope Francis I.

by: amir from: new jersey
May 26, 2014 2:58 PM
There is no current chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He met the chief Rabbis of Israel.

by: Nisar Siddiqui
May 26, 2014 11:54 AM
V good effort by pop may Allah bring us all together as v all believe that Abraham Alaisalam was too true prophet and great grand father of all our Prophet and the last Prophet Mohammad may peace be upon Him was His Great Great Son.

by: salome wambui from: kenya
May 26, 2014 8:53 AM
We are one in the Spirit and in the Lord.Thank you Pope Francis for bringing different Religious Communities together.Your presence meant a lot and has increased the faith of some unbelievers.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
May 26, 2014 8:14 AM
iI want to react to Pope's earlier statement at Bethlehem where he said, “The time has come for everyone to find the courage to be generous and creative in a protracted conflict that has inflicted many wounds.” Yes Pope, we agree. But first and foremost to agree that the land – Bethlehem – in the land of Judea where he stood and made the statement has been known to belong to Israel from ancient times, even in the bible. Today it is occupied by Palestinians. That Israel has not gone forcefully to take it over shows the magnanimity the Pope is preaching has been in the works over time by Israel. And there are so many such places right now occupied by what was known then as Gentiles.

But aside from this show of charity by Israel, the Pope should not lose sight of the fact of those holy sites to Christianity and perhaps other religions too. What is happening in Iraq, Libya and Mali should be good eye openers to the fact that islam may one day rise to either take over these onerous Christian holy sites or declare them null and void to both destroy and bare Christians and other religions pilgrimages to them. Right as we speak, the Pope may have forgotten the Holy Temple of Jerusalem that the muslims have taken over as their holy site, and with the birth of the Arab Spring which has done nothing but elevate terrorism to state heights, there is no indication the muslims will respect the right of the Christians and others to these holy sites, especially for Christian worship or to share same with the Christians in case they find any reason to have dual respect for such holy sites in islam.

Yes Pope, we agree to share neighborhood with them, even to absorb them in the Jewish state of Israel, but when they ask to be in charge seems they are asking for too much. On a second thought, since these formerly unknown people who occupied the land that was called the land of Israel, the land of the Jews, who should be integrated into the country of Israel but have refused, yet magnanimously accommodated by the new state of Israel, can be granted greater autonomy they are looking for based on what the original owners of the land have to offer. The Pope should summon the Arab and Islamic leaders to his office to discuss this point so that the much desired peace may return to the Middle East - IF HE MEANS ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

by: jean brown from: saint mary of the woods
May 26, 2014 7:12 AM
God of heaven and earth.....heal this broken world.....

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More