Pope Francis is committed to interfaith dialogue

Editor’s note: The following letter to Bishop Thomas J. Tobin was sent by the Community Relations Council of the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island following the election of Pope Francis.


Dear Bishop Tobin,

On behalf of the Jewish Community of Greater Rhode Island, we write to you on the eve of Passover and Holy Week to express our best wishes on the election of Pope Francis as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church.

Pope Francis assumes the leadership of the 1.1 billion Catholics with an amazing resume of actions, which demonstrate his commitment to interfaith dialogue, social justice and an abiding commitment to the poor. We were deeply moved to learn that one of the first actions by Pope Francis was to send a message to the Chief Rabbi of Rome, in which he stated: “I strongly hope to be able to contribute to the progress of the relations that have existed between Jews and Catholics since Vatican Council II in a spirit of renewed collaboration and in service of a world that may always be more in harmony with the Creator’s will.”

Inspired by Pope Francis, may we here in Greater Rhode Island re-dedicate ourselves in the Holy Week ahead for both our faiths to follow his example and to continue to seek opportunities to foster our cherished interfaith partnership. We offer our blessings and look forward to strengthening and deepening our communal and personal friendship through working together to make our community and ultimately the entire world a better place — where our shared commitment to the worship of God, the study of Scripture and the performance of acts of kindness and charity will enrich us all.

Scott Libman, Chair

Community Relations Council

Marty Cooper, Director

Community Relation Council

Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island