In An Audience With The Pope This Morning, The Jewish Head Of State Extended An Invitation To Francis To Visit Jerusalem

Shimon Peres with Pope FrancisAndrea Tornielli

Vatican City

A cordial meeting between Israeli president Shimon Peres and Pope Francis was held this morning, in the Vatican. During the audience, which lasted 30 minutes, the president invited Francis to Jerusalem. “It’s not just me who would like to see you there, the whole of Israel would.” When the two shook hands at the beginning of the audience, Peres asked Bergoglio to pray “for all of us.” Before parting, the president assured the Pope he would pray for him: “When I go to Assisi tomorrow, I will pray for you.” After the audience, Peres met the Vatican Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone and the “minister of foreign affairs” Dominique Mamberti.

A statement issued by the Holy See informs that “during the cordial talks, the political and social situation in the Middle East—where more than a few conflicts persist—was addressed. A speedy resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is hoped for, so that, with the courageous decisions and availability of both sides as well as support from the international community, an agreement may be reached that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, thus decisively contributing to the peace and stability of the region.” “Reference to the important issue of the City of Jerusalem was not overlooked.”

The statement went on to say that “particular worry for the conflict that plagues Syria was expressed, for which a political solution is hoped for that privileges the logic of reconciliation and dialogue. A number of issues concerning relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See and between state authorities and the local Catholic communities were also addressed. In conclusion, the significant progress made by the Bilateral Working Commission, which is preparing anagreement regarding issues of common interest, was appreciated and its rapid conclusion is foreseen.”

Francis and Peres also discussed the work being carried out by the commission that was set up to try and reach an agreement on the long-standing question of the Cenacle. The process has been a long and confused one and always seems on the verge of being concluded, but as yet has not. During today’s audience, the President assured Francis that Israel was eager to reach an agreement on the Cenacle, which once belonged to the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land. Israel could allow Christians to celebrate mass again in the place where according to the Christian tradition Jesus celebrated the Last Supper.

Over the past few years, the Vatican and Israeli delegations have been working on a solution that involves ownership of the Cenacle, the two small rooms adjacent to it and the staircase providing access to it, be transferred to the Custody of the Holy Land. The Israeli state would maintain ownership of the convent that was built by the Franciscans (trying to ensure spaces are not given to new tenants other than the already existing ones) and the area surrounding the Tomb of David, beneath the Cenacle. This, however, may not be the final solution the Vatican has been hoping for. Peres’ words on the Cenacle and the possibility of allowing Christians celebrate mass there, seem to indicate this. Israel would grant the Pope special authority over the Cenacle, indicating that the ownership of one of the most important holy sites in Christianity will not be returned to the Christians.

The Pope presented Peres with some medals and the Israeli president gave Franciscan copy of the Bible of Jerusalem, translated into Hebrew and English by the Dominican Ecole Biblique de Jerusalem. Peres included a handwritten note in the Bible, which read: “I hope you will prosper in everything that you do and wherever you go. With high esteem, Shimon Peres.” Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said Pope Francis welcomed Peres’ invitation with great joy because Popes are always glad to visit the Holy Land. However, he also added that it is known yet known when he might visit. Bergoglio has already been invited to Jerusalem by Latin Patriarch, Fouad Twal and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartolomew I, suggested a repeat of the historic embrace between Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in January 1964.

(Reposted from Catholic Insider)


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  1. Ramon A Sanchez

    Correction: I should have said Buenos Aires in the comment about the european city.

  2. Ramon A Sanchez

    Bergoglio, now Francis, is Argentinian. As such, he is acustomed to dealing with extremes both internal and external. Take into account that Argentina is one of the oldest european style cities in South America built in the grand style of Paris amidst the poverty of the gauchos in the almost desertic expanse of the Pampas. It is indeed a country of extremes and of strong ideological stances that pass through generations. He understands lifelong crisis that live in the blood.
    I think he will bring an enormous amount of pragmatism to the Church. A pragmatism almost unseen and probably strange to Rome.
    Jesus himself didn’t have an owned home. He stated the fact himself. All this diatribe on ownership of the Cenacle is not based on Jesus teachings or doctrine but on human management issues that are obscuring the real significance of the place which is in fact that Jesus used it as the place of the most significant and permanent acts of his ministry: the last supper, his own offering as sacrificial lamb for the sins of all, the acceptance of his betrayal, the institution of the Eucharist for Catolic understanding and of Holy meal for the rest, the begining of his Passion and finally the sending of the Holy Spirit and his Power to the apostles and disciples amidst the presence of His Mother Mary, the Bride of the Holy Spirit.
    Considering the stagering significance of these events, why we think that a paper that conveys tittle to the place has any meaning? Did Jesus rent the place for all of what he did?
    I think Francis will be along this line. After all, although he knows the Bible very well, he also knows Borges…

  3. Paul Herman

    It is a good thing for brothers to dwell together in unity. A Jew who has a personal relationship with Adonai through Messiah and a Christian who has a personal relationship with Adonai through Jesus-Yeshua are brothers.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      I think Christians of all background are realizing that divisions and demonizations of each other among themselves is not a good thing.

    2. Eric Rodríguez


      Catholicism with its idolatry, with its abbandon of the Torah, can’t be “brother”… they are the samaritans of our days
      They are in disovedience and has to turn back!
      We have to be, servants of God and his Son our Master Yehoshua’ Hamashíach without human laws!!

      1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

        Eric, on this issue (I am not a Catholic) we just to see eye to eye. I disagree with you strongly. Blessings and peace, Dr. Eli

      2. Paul Herman

        Eric, I see that you have a prophetic gifting, which is good. However, the Brit Chadashah says that we are to be “Wise as serpents, but gentle as doves.” and that “they will know that we are Yehoshua’s disciples by our love.” It is far better to bless the all the churches because they all have Born-Again” believers in Yehoshua in their midst.

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          I agree. I think we must leave judgement to God and to God alone. He is the judge of the whole earth, will he not judge justly?!

        2. Eric Rodríguez


          צדק, צדק, תרדוף
          Justice, justice you shall pursue…
          One thing is to judge (to exclude from everlasting life), and another different is to apply justicie (to point out/discern the sin).
          God is who will exclude them if they don’t turn back. I only point out the scandalous idolatry, and heresy against God and Bible and jewish people (Maybe they are solving this last one).That’s all Folks!

          1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            I know what you mean, Eric, but I think your take on this is one-sided, perhaps, this is so because you are yourself located in a Catholic-dominated country that did not make similar progresses (on some of these issues) that have the western catholics. It is often the case that tensions run higher in places like this one. Am I wrong?

          2. Eric Rodríguez


            Mr. Eli, my opinion is not based on the geographic location of that system/organization/empire, but upon the theological/spiritual/pagan content.
            If Catholicism leaves its idolatry, wouldn’t be romanic catholicism… but Neo-catholicism or something alike.
            eveybody has the opportunity to return, May God forgive their sins…

          3. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg


            This is part of our hermeneutic blindness. Think about it. The last thing that the fish in the tank of water will be aware of is water.

            I have the same thing like you, but in different ways and about different things. Our location geographical, social, theological, etc, etc, etc has far greater effect on how we see things in this case Roman Catholicism. I think if we are to grow, we must also realize that this is the case.

            I think what should happen is that we must become aware of our social locations and how they color our readings of everything/perceptions and then being aware of them still make judgements about things, separating good from bad, etc. This is how I see.

            Respectfully yours,


          4. Eric Rodríguez


            It is writen:
            You have to use Tzitzit, in order you don’t follow your eyes nor your heart…
            I understand your input, and if Catholicism is already fragmented and in middle east is different to which I see through internet and TV, and they are turning back to the Torah and Gospels I have to thank God. But this all is not so, I have to pray for them or God let be his judge.

          5. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Eric, I think we are improving already. I have asked my good friend Fr. David (who endorsed this blog) to respond. Here is his website which I hope you will find informative –
            He is one of the most brightest people I know.

          6. Eric Rodríguez


            Excuse me, but this is no any improving… They are Catholic, indeed, “Jesuite”.
            If I have readen in that Website they are abbandoning the Idolatry, and taking again the commandments of the Torah, I have noticed the difference. But They are creating clearly Catholic Communities!!! Is not a real testimony, I think 😀

          7. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

            Eric, by improving I meant not the Catholics, but your attitude towards others who understand the Bible differently. God bless you, Eric! I wish you well on your journey. Yours, Dr. Eli

          8. Eric Rodríguez


            I wish you the best too, Shalom Dr. Ely

  4. Eric Rodríguez

    I only can remember which was writen (Yirmeyahu Jeremiah 29:7)
    וְדִרְשׁוּ אֶת-שְׁלוֹם הָעִיר אֲשֶׁר הִגְלֵיתִי אֶתְכֶם שָׁמָּה וְהִתְפַּלְלוּ בַעֲדָהּ אֶל-יְהוָה כִּי בִשְׁלוֹמָהּ יִהְיֶה לָכֶם שָׁלוֹם

    Yes, is capable of causing enormous damage… maybe is the time of procuring enormous good.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      From my stand point many modern Popes did just that.

      1. Eric Rodríguez


        Excuse me, I don’t, I can’t love that type of unions… Ecumenism is fake.

        1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

          I think that some ecumenism is fake unity, but take exception to your views. I think some ecumenism is not fake. Missed your participation. Trust you are well, Eric!

  5. Venessa

    Prophecies are busy coming into fulfilment & really don’t think that the pope is the answer for Israel. G-D will fight for Israel.

    1. Dr. Eli Lizorkin-Eyzenberg

      Venessa, hi.

      I do not think there is any contradiction whatsoever between the Sr. Pastor of the Roman Catholic Church (The Pope) being good to Israel and God himself loving and saving Israel.

      Actually I am reminded of a great joke told by the Pope before the last Pope. He said: That to Israeli-Palestinian conflict there is only two solutions. One is supernatural and second one realistic. Realistic is if God comes down from heavens and cleans up the mess Himself, supernatural – if the two sides will agree to peace 🙂

      I am happy and proud to have another Pope who can set an example to the still largest church in the world in her relations with the Jewish people. Popes because of the status is capable of causing enormous damage and procuring enormous good. Wouldn’t you agree?

      Dr. Eli