Anti-Semitism must be banned from society, pope says

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 8, 2018

'As I have often repeated, a Christian can not be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots.

He referred to his recent visit to Lithuania where, on the 23 September, the Pope recalled the horrors of the Holocaust which included the destruction of the Vilnius ghetto and the murder of thousands of Jews.

Francis lamented current anti-Semitic attitudes as he greeted visiting rabbis from the World Congress of Mountain Jews from the Caucasus at the Vatican Monday.

Pope Francis was speaking after receiving a delegation from the ancient community of Mountain Jews to discuss Holocaust anniversaries and the problems of anti-Semitism in the world today.

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. "It would be a contradiction of faith and life", he said.

The attempt to replace the God of goodness with the idolatry of power and the ideology of hatred ended in the folly of exterminating human beings. "Without a living memory, there will be no future, for if the darkest pages of history do not teach us to avoid the same errors, human dignity will remain a dead letter", he said. "In these times, we are called to promote and to expand inter religious dialogue for the sake of humanity", Francis said.

"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.

"I ask the Almighty to bless our journey of friendship and trust, so that we can dwell always in peace and be, wherever we find ourselves, artisans and builders of peace".

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