As doctors treat Pope Francis, who has been in the hospital for several days due to a respiratory infection, many Jewish supporters and friends are expressing hope for his improving health. Media reports say he is expected to be released as soon as this weekend.
Noting the pontiff’s “commitment to make this a better world for all” and his “longstanding friendship with the Jewish people,” the Simon Wiesenthal Center wished Francis a “speedy and complete recovery.”
The Israeli embassy to the Holy See was one of several Jewish institutions that tweeted well wishes to the pope.
“We wish Pope Francis a speedy recovery and pray for him during his hospitalization,” it tweeted. The European Jewish Congress tweeted: “Our thoughts are with Pope Francis during this difficult time” and wished him “a swift and easy recovery.”
Ted Deutch, CEO of the American Jewish Committee, wished the pope a refuah shlemah, a full recovery, and shared a photo of a mission to the Vatican praying for the pope’s health outside a synagogue in Rome.
Also on Twitter, Rabbi Steven Wernick of Toronto’s Beth Tzedec Congregation wished Francis “a speedy recovery,” noting that both the pope and the church today demonstrate “real teshuvah,” repentance for past wrongs.
Last year, the pope met and prayed with Israeli families of those held captive by Hamas. “It is so difficult to comfort a mother’s tears,” he said.
Also in 2022, the pope and Jewish leaders launched an initiative to strengthen Catholic-Jewish relations, saying: “We, Jews and Catholics, share priceless spiritual treasures.”