Pope: let's pledge to ban anti-Semitism from humanity

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 8, 2018

"A Christian can not be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots".

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Pope Francis greets a rabbi during an audience with a group of rabbis attending the World Congress of Mountain Jews, at the Vatican Nov. 5.

Pope Francis called on Monday for the eradication of anti-Semitism following an increase in attacks and hate crimes against Jews in several countries and said it was vital to preserve the memory of the Holocaust.

He noted the recent 75th anniversary of the deportation of Rome's Jews by Nazi occupiers and that November 9 will be the 80th anniversary of "Kristallnacht", the night when mobs ransacked thousands of synagogues and Jewish businesses in Germany and Austria.

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Francis said the Holocaust, in which the Nazis murdered six million Jews around Europe during World War Two, must continue to be commemorated to keep its memory alive.

The Pope went on to note that there are still anti-Semitic attitudes in society today. "It would be a contradiction of faith and life", he said.

This is why, he said, "religious freedom is a supreme good to be safeguarded, a fundamental human right and a bulwark against the claims of totalitarianism".

The Church's relations with Jews underwent a sea-change following the Second Vatican Council's 1965 declaration "Nostra Aetate" which condemned "hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone".

"I have always sought to emphasise the importance of friendship between Jews and Catholics", the Pope told the delegates of "Mountain Jews" whose largest communities are now in Russian Federation and Azerbaijan. He and the future Pope published a joint book, titled "Between Heaven and Earth", based on a series of public dialogues on topics ranging from the existence of God to capitalism.

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