Last Thursday 4th September, Pope Francis met with former Israeli President Shimon Peres, for an extended 45 minute private conversation. The focus of this discussion was a proposal by Peres to establish a “United Nations of Religions”.
It is very unusual for a Pope to meet with any world leader three times in just over four months. But it is this latest meeting between Pope Francis and Shimon Peres that was the most noteworthy by far.
Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed to reporters that Peres had pitched his idea for “the United Religions”
According to the Jerusalem Post, Lombardi said “The pope listened, showing his interest, attention, and encouragement,” adding that the pope pointed to the Pontifical Councils for Interreligious Dialogue and for Justice and Peace as existing agencies “suitable” for supporting interfaith peace initiatives.
Of course Pope Francis did not commit to anything, but all ideas have to start somewhere. If Pope Francis does ultimately decide to promote this idea, could we eventually see a single global body that claims to represent all of the religions of the world?