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'May anti-Semitism be banished from the heart of Christians': Pope Francis to Jewish leaders

2013-10-11

Pope Francis firmly denounced anti-Semitism as he addressed Jewish community leaders on the eve of 70th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from pre-World War II Rome.The Pope welcomed delegates from the Eternal Citys Jewish community, considered to be the oldest in all of Western Europe, dating back to Imperial times.   


POPE FRANCIS
"For many centuries the Jewish community and the Church of Rome have co-existed in this city, with a history that has, as we well know, often been marred with misunderstandings and real injustice. However, by now this history includes, with the help of God, many decades of the development of friendly and brotherly relations.” 

Pope Francis recalled that as deportations of Jews began, the Catholic Church opened its churches, monasteries and even St. Peter's Basilica to provide them refuge. The Pope went to say that, "A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic! May anti-Semitism be banished from the heart and the life of every man and woman!” 

Before the start of the audience with the delegates, the Pope met in private with the president of Jewish Community in Rome, as well as the president of the Italian Union of Jewish Communities. 

"It am truly pleased to welcome you.” 

The Pope is no stranger to dialogue and building relationships with Jews. As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he established close links with Latin America's largest Jewish community. He also took part in a TV show and wrote a book with Rabbi Abraham Skorka from Buenos Aires. 


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