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Pope recounts when he inadvertently gave communion to old Jewish woman

·1-min read
Pope Francis speaks to the media on board an Alitalia aircraft

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis on Wednesday related how he once inadvertently gave communion to an elderly Jewish woman, who only afterwards told him about her religion.

"I once went to say a Mass in a home for the elderly," he told a reporter who had asked him if he had ever denied communion to anyone.

He said he had not and then told a story about when he was a priest in his native Argentina.

"(At the home for the elderly) I said 'those who want to take communion raise your hand' and they all did, all the old men and old women wanted it," he said.

"Later this woman said to me, 'thank you, thank you, father, I'm Jewish.' I responded: 'so is what I just gave you' but let's move on," he said, laughing.

Catholics believe the communion bread is the body of Jesus Christ, who was Jewish.

(Reporting by Philip Pullella, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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