Francis I reiterated his desire to visit Israel next year during a visit to the
Vatican by Israeli Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday.
During the meeting, after Edelstein urged Pope Francis to visit Israel, the pontiff emphatically replied, “I’ll come! I’ll come!” Edelstein also asked the pope to continue to combat anti-Semitism, the Jerusalem Post reported.
“There is still anti-Semitism in the world,” Edelstein said. “I ask you to use your influence to combat it.”
Earlier this year, during a meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Pope Francis accepted an invitation by Peres to visit Israel.
Since becoming pontiff in March, Pope Francis has made Jewish-Christian relations a priority, continuing the legacy of his predecessors. Recently, Pope Francis also praised the Jewish people for “keeping their faith in God” despite centuries of persecution, and also declared in June that a true Christian “cannot be anti-Semitic.”