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Ailing Pope Francis meets with European rabbis and condemns antisemitism, terrorism, struggle

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ROME — Pope Francis met with European rabbis on Monday and decried antisemitism, struggle and terrorism in a written speech he declined to learn, saying he wasn’t feeling effectively.

Francis informed the rabbis in the course of the viewers within the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace that he was very pleased to obtain them, however added: “I’m not feeling effectively, and so I want to not learn the speech however give it to you, so you possibly can take it with you.”

Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni stated the pope “has a little bit of a chilly and a protracted day of audiences.” The 86-year-old pontiff ”most well-liked to greet the European rabbis individually, and that is why he handed over his speech.”

He stated the pope’s actions are continuing repeatedly for the remainder of the day. On the pope’s schedule was a late afternoon encounter with kids from all over the world.

In his ready speech to the rabbis, Francis stated his first thought and prayers goes “above all else, to every little thing that has occurred in the previous few weeks,” a transparent reference to the Oct. 7 Hamas assault in Israel, together with the taking away of hostages to the Gaza Strip, and the guaranteeing Israeli-Hamas struggle.

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“But once more violence and struggle have erupted in that Land blessed by the Most Excessive, which appears frequently assailed by the vileness of hatred and the lethal conflict of weapons,” Francis wrote within the speech.

With France, Austria and Italy among the many international locations in Europe lately seeing a spate of antisemitic vandalism and slogans, Francis added: “The unfold of antisemitic demonstrations, which I strongly condemn, can be of nice concern.”

The pontiff stated believers in God are known as to construct “fraternity and open paths of reconciliation for all.”

“Not weapons, not terrorism, not struggle, however compassion, justice and dialogue are the becoming means for constructing peace,” Francis stated within the speech.

The pontiff additionally advocated taking steps to “seek for our neighbor” in addition to acceptance and endurance, and positively not “the brusque ardour of vengeance and the folly of bitter hatred.”

Francis lately has handled a number of well being setbacks, together with two stomach surgical procedures and a power knee drawback that forces him to make use of a wheelchair when strolling longer stretches. Earlier this yr, Francis was hospitalized for remedy of what the Vatican stated was bronchitis, however the pontiff described as a bout of pneumonia.

Only a few days in the past, in an interview with Italian state TV, Francis was requested about his well being. The pope replied with certainly one of his frequent strains: “I am nonetheless alive, you understand,” and in addition stated he was going to Dubai in early December for the COP28 convention on combating local weather change.

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