POPE FRANCIS and former president Shimon Peres chat at the Vatican.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
At a meeting that lasted more than an hour in the Vatican on Monday, Israel’s Ninth President Shimon Peres and Pope Francis concurred that no-one has the right to kill in the name of God. The two men who know each other well and have previously discussed ways of overcoming terror, once more made this the focal point of their discussion against the backdrop of terrorist killings in the Middle East and other parts of the globe.
The Pope, who embraced Peres on arrival, told him that together they would raise their voices for peace.
Peres voiced regret that since their last meeting on the lawns of the Vatican nearly two years ago much blood had been spilt in the Middle East and beyond. Instead of seeing a waning of terror the world is witnessing an intensity of terrorist activity against innocent people, said Peres adding that terrorist fanatics are blaspheming the name of God as a reason for murder and killing. “One cannot remain indifferent to tens of thousands of refugees, victims and abused children who have lost their families and their homes,” said Peres. “We have a moral obligation towards our children to stop the hatred and the bloodshed.”
The Pope agreed saying that he saw eye to eye with Peres on many humanitarian issues.
The two issued a call to religious leaders of all faiths to join together in this mission to save lives.
Peres told the Pope that it was beneficial that so many people admired him and would listen to his voice.. “For them you represent hope and the dream that can be realized,” said Peres.. “Continue to raise your voice and lead us all to a better world.”
The discussion also focused on the stalemate in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and the reluctance of the latter to return to the negotiating table.
Peres declared that attempts to secure peace must continue and must not be suspended. It was important to promote joint activities for Israeli and Palestinian youth he said, because in the final analysis, they will have to live together.