Yesterday afternoon, Pope Francis met with 45 members of an important interfaith group from Argentina who returned from a visit to the Holy Land. The Holy Father, who will also visit the Holy Land in May, met with the group at his residence in Casa Santa Marta.
In a communique sent by the Holy See Press Office, the interfaith group included 15 Jews, 15 Muslims, and 15 Catholics. “Their trip covered many of the stops which the Holy Father is expected to visit during his brief pilgrimage to Jordan, Israel and Palestine,” the communique stated. The group also met with political and religious authorities as well as visiting the holy sites of all three monotheistic religions.
Many members of the group have known the Holy Father for many years when he served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires. Then Cardinal Bergoglio collaborated with them in interreligious dialogue as well as joint charitable projects. The group expressed their friendship and closeness with the Holy Father at the conclusion of their pilgrimage. They also conveyed their best wishes for his upcoming trip to the Holy Land.
Also present at the meeting was Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews and Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.