Pope Francis praises Bar-Ilan University for commitment to interfaith relations

Pope Francis. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) Pope Francis praised Israel's Bar-Ilan University for its commitment to fostering interfaith dialogue in a meeting with the university’s president.

Bar-Ilan President Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz visited the Vatican last week with a delegation of South American and Spanish businesspeople. Hershkowitz said that "as a microcosm of Israeli society, Bar-Ilan's doors are open to students of all races and religions,” Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

"Through a variety of ongoing dialogue programs aimed at fostering understanding and acceptance, Bar-Ilan University has been working to bridge gaps between various sectors of Israeli society for many years. It is, therefore, a deep privilege to be meeting with and honoring the pope, who has taken it upon himself to undertake this tremendous task on a worldwide scale,” he said.

Pope Francis replied that "we are the sons of Abraham and we have the privilege and the responsibility to guide humankind on the path to peace."

During the meeting, Bar-Ilan also gave the pope its highest honor—the Award of Distinction—for his commitment to interfaith dialogue, peace between nations and peoples, and human rights.

Posted on November 4, 2014 .