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Warm relations reported between new pope and Rome’s chief rabbi

By Mason White 4:05 PM March 18, 2013
Rome’s chief rabbi with pope Benedict 

By: Sarah Weiss
(Scroll down for video) Just a few days after the appointment of the new pope there are reports of warm relations between the pope and Rome’s Jewish community, according to press reports in Italy.

On the very first day of being appointed pope, Pope Francis approached the Jewish community of Rome and said he hopes to build good relations between the two religions.

The city’s Chief Rabbi, Riccardo Di Segni, has accepted the invitation of the new Pope to attend the inaugural mass.
Di Segni is cautiously optimistic that the Catholic leadership could help in the Middle East.

“The Vatican is present in that region. It is involved in the conflict and not as a neutral entity. If it can maintain reasonable conversations with a peaceful resolve, then it is welcome,” Di Segni said.

Only a stone’s throw from the Vatican, the Portico d’Ottavia district is in the center of the Jewish community.
A local woman said: “Everyone has their faith, their religion and belief. But one can talk to others. Of course, one must be humble enough to do that.”

The Jewish community in the Italian capital is considered to play a leading role in relations between Catholics and Jews worldwide.
Pope Benedict XVI and John Paul II, both made visits to the Great Synagogue of Rome.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view