Pope Francis has made his first visit to a synagogue as pontiff, greeting Rome’s Jewish community in their house of worship in a show of interfaith friendship. Pope Francis joined a standing ovation when Holocaust survivors wearing striped scarves reminiscent of their camp uniforms were singled out for attention at the start of the ceremony.
Parsi high priests have condemned both conversion and interfaith marriages. While acknowledging that several issues plague the community—not the least of which is its dwindling population—they have written, “The solution to our current issue does not lie in cutting out the very basis of Zoroastrianism and allowing widespread conversion and mixed marriages thus, diluting our Zoroastrian identity.”
On Wednesday 5th January 2016, Francis launched a monthly video prayer series with an emotional call for peace between people of different faiths.
“Many think differently, feel differently, seeking God or meeting God in different ways,” the pontiff said. “We are all children of God.”
Blessed Teresa of Calcutta will be proclaimed a saint in 2016. On Thursday afternoon, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to promulgate a decree regarding a miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Teresa (nee Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu). The Pope’s approval for these decrees came during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato SDB, prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
A coalition of Protestant and Catholic organisations has reached an agreement with the Italian government to provide travel and integration services for refugees from North Africa and the Middle East. The government will provide humanitarian visas to ensure the right to take up residence; the visas will not allow passage to other countries in the European Union. Christian agencies will furnish airline tickets to Italy as well as accommodation, assistance with asylum procedures, educational opportunities and Italian language courses.
The President of France, H.E. Francois Hollande, today praised the efforts of campaigners and faith leaders who personally delivered to him a collection of petitions containing over 1.8 million signatures calling for climate justice.
The Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews has published today the document “The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable: a Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of ‘Nostra Aetate’ (No. 4)”.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urged French Muslim leaders on Sunday to develop an “enlightened Islam” to confront what he called the obscurantist views of Islamic State that lead young Muslims into violence.
At their first meeting since the Nov. 13 killings of 130 people, he told about 400 Muslim leaders, imams and activists that France would do everything it could to track criminals, but only they could win the battle of ideas within Islam.
Heads of state discussing carbon emission limits must create a global and “transformative” agreement built on justice, solidarity and fairness, a papal representative told the U.N. climate conference in Paris.
Pope Francis has visited a mosque under siege from armed Christian militias in Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic, and took the occasion to deliver a message of peace and reconciliation in a show of solidarity.