Pope Francis to visit Rome synagogue

Third visit by a pope to city's Great Synagogue.

Pope Francis is to visit the Great Synagogue of Rome on 17 January, at the invitation of the Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni and the city's Jewish community, during the Vatican's Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy.

It will be the first visit to the synagogue by Pope Francis but the third visit by a pope, following Benedict XVI in 2010 and the historic 1986 visit by John Paul II, who was invited by Rome’s former Chief Rabbi Elio Toaff.

The Vatican says the visit, which falls on Italy's annual day for Christian-Jewish dialogue, will take the form of a personal encounter between Pope Francis and representatives of Judaism and members of the Jewish community.