The former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, newly installed as Pope Francis I, opened his speech at today’s Papal inauguration with a nod to the Jewish community, saying say he was speaking “with the permission of the diplomatic corps, the Jews who are with us and all the rest,” according to Israel’s Chief Rabbinate.
A delegation of leaders of Jewish communities from around the world, including Rabbinate Director General Oded Weiner, was on hand at the Vatican today when Bergoglio officially took office as the leader of the world’s more than 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
The delegation is set to meet with the Pope on Wednesday.
“This reference to the Jews appears as a continuation of the warm ties forged between the Vatican and the Jewish people during the tenure of Pope John Paul II, who said that God never broke His covenant with the Jews,” according to Rabbinate spokesman Ziv Maor. Francis’ predecessor “Pope Benedict the 16th strengthened and nurtured the relationship” as well, he said, before noting that Francis had sent Chief Rabbis Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar personalized greeting cards on the occasion of his taking on the Papacy.