National Catholic Reporter

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Papa Francesco Meets Shimon Peres

Vatican Insider reports on the meeting between Papa Francesco and Israeli President Shimon Peres. Like most of the world's Catholics, I am just beginning to get to know Papa Francesco and to admire him. Peres is a man I have long admired. Wouldn't you have loved to be a fly on the wall when these two men met? And, if you doubt the weight of history, evidently they spent a great deal of time discussing the Cenacle.

Most of the history between Catholics and Jews is an unhappy one, actually a cruel one, with Catholics being inhumane in their treatment of Jews. It is one of the undeniable, and most consistent, achievements of the Second Vatican Council, that the relationship has improved so markedly, first under Paul VI, then - and with acute historical significance - under John Paul II, who grew up not far from Auschwitz, and then under a German pope. Now, Papa Francesco continues the work of building a relationship built on respect and a sense of fraternity.

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