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Israeli President Reuven Rilvin was welcomed Thursday morning in the Vatican, at the start of his first official state visit as president.
The President was received by Prefect of the Papal Household, Msgr. Georg Gänswein, before going on to hold a private meeting with Pope Francis, after which President Rivlin met with Vatican Prime Sec of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin.
The meeting between President Rivlin and Pope Francis took place in the Pope’s private library and lasted for around an hour, according to the President’s Office.
The meeting began with an exchange of gifts during which the President presented the Pope with a stone tablet bearing the Aramaic inscription “House of David,” a copy of the stele found at the entrance of the ancient city of Dan in the north of the Hula Valley, dating back to around the ninth century BCE.
Echoing comments he made upon his departure in Israel, Rivlin said the gift was meant “as a symbol of hope and living together, for all faiths.” Most Israelis respect and are extremely supportive of the pope with only the Settler Movement extremists adamantly hostile.
Pope Francis warmly thanked the President for what he noted was a moving and symbolic gift.
The inscription contained the earliest known reference outside of Scripture to “Beit David”, the “House of David”, and refers to events mentioned in Chronicles II (Chapter 22), in Kings II (Chapters 8-9). The original inscription is now located at the Israel Museum. This replica, with the Aramaic words “House of David” highlighted in gold – was made in honor of Pope Francis, to mark the visit of President Rivlin to the Vatican.
Rivlin’s office stated that the unique gift “was chosen as an expression of the deep roots shared by Judaism and Christianity, and as King David is regarded by both Judaism and Christianity as the founder of the House of David, revered in tradition as being from which would come the redemption of humanity, and from whom the Messiah would be descended.”
In return, Pope Francis presented the President with a bronze coin bearing an image of intertwined olive branches, symbolizing the shared responsibility of all states and nations, to work for the sake of peace.
The gift included a personal dedication to President Rivlin which read, “To seek that which unites, and to overcome that which divides.”
Later Thursday Rivlin will be moving on to Italy, where he is scheduled to meet his Italian counterpart, before going on to address a special meeting with members of the Jewish community in the Great Synagogue in Rome’s old Jewish quarter, with the attendance of over 700 members of the community and guests.
Rivlin’s meeting with Pope Francis comes at a time of increased tension between Jerusalem and the Vatican.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin in the Vatican on Thursday (3rd August) and held talks that focused on the situation in the Middle East and bilateral relations.
A statement was issued afterwards by the Holy See’s Press Office which said that in addition to meeting Pope Francis, the Israeli Head of State also held talks afterwards with the (Vatican) Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, accompanied by the Secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Paul Gallagher.
It said during the “cordial discussions” the two parties discussed “the political and social situation in the Middle East plagued by various conflicts, paying particular attention to the situation concerning Christians and other minority groups.” They also stressed “the importance of interreligious dialogue and the responsibility of religious leaders to promote reconciliation and peace.”
The statement went on to say that the talks covered “the need and the urgency to promote a climate of trust between Israelis and Palestinians and to restart direct negotiations to reach an accord that respects the legitimate aspirations of the two Peoples, as a fundamental contribution to peace and stability in the region.”
Finally, the statement also said that the two parties held discussions on “several questions concerning relations between the State of Israel and the Holy See and between the state authorities and the local Catholic community, and expressed the hope for a speedy conclusion of the Bilateral Accord that is currently being drawn up and for an appropriate solution to several questions of common interest including that regarding Christians schools in the nation.”
When the coming Mideast regional war is over and a genuine peace deal is made; a miracle working pope will go to the holy place with the backing of most Israelis. However the extremist Settler Movement is expected to sabotage the peace deal enraging the Palestinians and Muslim countries to rise up.
Then the soon coming New Europe will move into Israel in the name of peace to stop the slaughter. Jews will be concentrated in ghettos to protect them from the Palestinians and the nations of Psalm 83; and many Jews will be deported out of Palestine over the following 3 1/2 years.