Pope Francis to visit Israel in March 2014

According to various news sources, particularly Channel 2, Pope Francis plans to visit Israel in March 2014.  It is well-known that he had very good relations with the Jewish community in his native Buenos Aires and a close friendship with Rabbi Abraham Skorka there.  It is reportedly the hope of Pope Francis that he and Rabbi Abraham can embrace each other in front of the Western Wall as a symbol of unity against anti-semitism.

Pope Francis was invited to visit Israel earlier this year by President Shimon Peres, and then just last week by speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein.  The exact date of the visit, and the itinerary, have not yet been finalized.  

Both of his predecessors, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Pope John Paul II, paid visits to Israel.  If you plan to visit Israel at a time that coincides with Pope Francis’ visit he may be celebrating Mass…..we will keep you informed.