(JNS.org) Pope Francis will make his first visit to Israel as pontiff from May 25-26, CNN reported Nov. 28, citing an unnamed senior Israeli source. When Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein urged him to visit Israel during an October meeting at the Vatican, Pope Francis replied, “I’ll come! I’ll come!”
Pope Francis has made Jewish-Christian relations a priority, continuing the legacy of his predecessors. On Nov. 26, he released his widely anticipated first Apostolic Exhortation, which included a strong reaffirmation of dialogue with the Jewish people and an expression of regret for past antisemitism. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu headed to Italy on Sunday for a two-day trip that was scheduled to include a meeting with Pope Francis.