Vatican – Pope Francis retracted an earlier statement calling Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “an angel of peace” and reportedly sent an email to a journalist stating that those who don’t recognize Israel are guilty of anti-Semitism.
Portuguese-Israeli journalist Henrique Cymerman tweeted Thursday that the pope emailed him saying, “’In an email we got from Pope Francis: ‘Whoever does not recognize the Jewish People and the State of Israel falls in anti-Semitism,’” reports the Times of Israel (http://bit.ly/1KBzNR2).
The Pope states he recalls telling Abbas during their meeting earlier in the month that he hoped Abbas would one day in the future become an angel of peace. Those comments were sent to Cymerman and Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka – an interfaith colleague of the Pope’s – after his meeting with Abbas.
The Vatican then revised the comment to “a bit an angel of peace,” and apologized for unintentionally causing offense.
Abbas visited the Pope just days after the Vatican finalized a treaty with Palestine recognizing the Palestinian statehood.