Address by Cardinal Kurt Koch to the WJC Executive Committee meeting, Rome 2022
VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis Tuesday welcomed the World Jewish Congress’ launch of an historic initiative known as “Kishreinu” (Hebrew for “Our Bond”), intended to strengthen Jewish-Catholic ties around the globe, explaining that “in light of the religious heritage that we share, let us regard the present as a challenge that unites us, as an incentive to act together.”
“Our two communities of faith are entrusted with the task of working to make the world more fraternal, combating forms of inequality and promoting greater justice, so that peace will not remain an otherworldly promise, but become a present reality in our world,” he added.
The Jewish communal leaders from more than 50 countries, who were received by the pontiff on Tuesday in Apostolic Palace, were gathered for a World Jewish Congress Executive Committee meeting – the first ever formal event held by a Jewish organization at the Vatican since the founding of the Catholic Church. Kosher food was served.
The Kishreinu initiative, when finalized, will serve as the Jewish community’s response to the Nostra Aetate Declaration of the Second Vatican Council, which in 1965 modernized the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish people.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said, “With our shared heritage, we have a common responsibility to work together for the good of humankind, refuting antisemitism and anti-Catholic and anti-Christian attitudes, as well as all kinds of discrimination, to work for justice, solidarity and peace, to spread compassion and mercy in an often cold and merciless world.”