Pope Francis’s renewed commitment to fostering relations between Catholics and Jews and condemning anti-Semitism has drawn praise.
In “Evangelii Gaudium” (The Joy of the Gospel), a 224-page document outlining his vision of the church and its mission that was released this week, Francis praised the current state of Jewish-Catholic relations and expressed regret for past – and continuing – anti-Jewish actions.
“Dialogue and friendship with the children of Israel are part of the life of Jesus’ disciples,” Francis wrote in the document. “The friendship which has grown between us makes us bitterly and sincerely regret the terrible persecutions which they have endured, and continue to endure, especially those that have involved Christians.”
The Catholic Church, Francis wrote, holds “the Jewish people in special regard because their covenant with God has never been revoked.”