(JNS.org) Pope Francis hosted 16 rabbis from his home country of Argentina on Thursday.
The meeting was organized by the Latin American Jewish Congress and the pontiff’s close friend, Rabbi Abraham Skorka of Argentina, who made headlines last fall when he spent the Jewish holiday of Sukkot with Pope Francis.
Meanwhile, a conference focusing on furthering dialogue between Catholics and Jews called “Jewish-Catholic dialogue, 50 years after ‘Nostra Aetate.’ A Latin-American perspective,” was held at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome on Thursday.
The conference was organized by Skorka and presided over by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Vatican News reported.
Since being elevated to the papacy last year, Pope Francis has made Jewish-Catholic relations a priority, meeting several times with Jewish delegations. As a Cardinal in Argentina, when he was known as Jorge Bergoglio, Pope Francis forged a close relationship with Argentina’s Jewish community. The pope is also scheduled to visit Israel in May.