VATICAN CITY, 12 MAY 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Mordechay Lewy, the new ambassador of Israel to the Holy See.
Addressing the diplomat in English, Benedict XVI expressed his “cordial good wishes on the occasion of Israel’s celebration of 60 years of statehood. The Holy See joins you in giving thanks to the Lord that the aspirations of the Jewish people for a home in the land of their fathers have been fulfilled, and hopes soon to see a time of even greater rejoicing when a just peace finally resolves the conflict with the Palestinians”.
The Pope also highlighted areas of mutual interest shared by the Holy See and the Sate of Israel, highlighting how “Judeo-Christian heritage should inspire us to take a lead in promoting many forms of social and humanitarian action throughout the world, not least by combating all forms of racial discrimination”. He also referred to “the cultural and academic exchanges that are taking place between Catholic institutions worldwide and those of the Holy Land” and recalled how dialogue between Jews and Christians "is bearing much fruit and needs to be continued with commitment and generosity.