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Migrant hired after handing in wallet with 900 euros

 
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7 of 10 gynecologists conscientious objectors agst abortion

 
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Cloistered nuns return to quake zone, in container

 
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Calenda launches pro-EU list

 
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Carige asks State guarantee for 2 bn in bonds

 
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Treccani adds Sordi to Italian biographical dictionary

 
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Italy shd work to defend EU, Schaeuble to Mattarella

 
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Soccer: Koulibaly appeal agst 2-match ban turned down

 
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Society splits if wealth not shared - pope

 
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Woman's charred body found in wood near Brescia

 
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Merkel lauds Italy Libya line

 

Vatican City

Pope to visit Rome Synagogue on Day of Judaism

Third pontiff to visit following John Paul II and Benedict XVI

Pope to visit Rome Synagogue on Day of Judaism

Vatican City, January 15 - Pope Francis's visit on Sunday to the Great Synagogue of Rome carries on a tradition started in April 1986 by Pope John Paul II, the first pontiff in history to visit the Jewish temple. This year's visit coincides with the annual "Day of Judaism", a Christian-Jewish day of reflection established by the Catholic Church in Italy in 1989 and held each year on January 17, just prior to the annual "Week of Prayer for Christian Unity" held each year on January 18-25. The most recent visit by a pontiff to the Great Synagogue was by Pope Benedict XVI on January 17, 2010, and this year's visit will continue to highlight interfaith dialogue and cooperation. "Pope Francis's visit to the synagogue of Rome has within it a message that the pontiff feels is very important and that he never tires of saying clearly: it's absolutely impossible to be Christians, and at the same time, be anti-Semites," said Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. "The choice of that date for Pope Francis's visit to the synagogue of Rome highlights the importance that he attributes to Jewish-Christian friendship and the dialogue in which it is expressed," said Monsignor Bruno Forte, archbishop of Chieti-Vasto and president of the Commission for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI). Chief rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni said he hopes that during his visit, Pope Francis will deliver the message that Christians shouldn't try to convert Jews. In an interview in the online version of Israeli daily Haaretz, Di Segni said doing so would send a clear message to Catholics throughout the world as a follow-up to the document released by the Vatican in December which stated that the Church doesn't support any missionary activity with regards to Jewish people. ​ Di Segni also spoke to Vatican Radio, stressing the importance of respecting interfaith diversity. ​ "I believe we have to send an essential message, which is that religious differences are a source of wealth for society, they bring peace, they bring progress," Di Segni said. During his visit, Pope Francis is expected to pray at the plaque marking October 16, 1943, the day that SS troops stormed Rome's Jewish Ghetto and took 1,024 people, including 200 children, to the concentration camps in Auschwitz. He is also expected to pray at the monument to October 9, 1982, the day Palestinian terrorists attacked the Great Synagogue of Rome, killing a two-year-old and wounding 37 others. ​ Ruth Dureghello, president of the Jewish Community of Rome (CER), said the pope's visit is "another step in the path to closeness between our two great faiths".

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