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The Chief Rabbi meets the Pope in the Vatican (Source: Chief Rabbi’s Twitter)

The Chief Rabbi has held talks with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Ephraim Mirvis was be accompanied by Cardinal Vincent Nichols, head of the catholic Church in England and Wales and his wife Valerie, for a private audience to cover issues including Jewish-Catholic relations and the role of faith in the public square.

He tweeted after the visit: “Our shared challenge is to marry the ‘timely’ with the ‘timeless’ to bring Godliness into the world”. 

This was the first meeting between the two faith leaders, and it comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate document, a watershed in Vatican relations with other faiths. It insisted the Jewish community cannot be held responsible for the death of Christ and that the community should not be seen as having been rejected by God.

The Chief Rabbi remarked before the visit: “Today we face challenges that could not have been accounted for by Nostra Aetate fifty years ago, such as the widespread secularisation of our society and the dramatic increase in prejudice against minority faith communities.

“We treasure the spirit of collaboration between our faiths and I look forward to discussing these and other pressing issues with Pope Francis.”