Pope Francis held this meeting with a group of rabbis from the Caucasus belonging to the World Congress of Mountain Jews.
'Allow us to express our gratitude for receiving a delegation of the World Congress of Mountain Jews at the Vatican.'
It is the first time Jews from that area and tradition have visited a pope. Pope Francis stressed the importance of remembering the Holocaust, so that its memory remains alive. He also recalled that attacking places of worship or the people belonging to a religion is trying to eradicate the presence of the Creator from the heart the people.
'To attempt to replace the God of goodness with the idolatry of power and the ideology of hatred ended with the madness of exterminating creatures. Therefore, religious freedom is a supreme good that must be protected. It is a fundamental human right and a fortress against the claims of totalitarianism.'
The pope lamented that anti-Semitic attitudes from the past continue to be reproduced, especially amongst Christians.
'As I have often repeated, a Christian cannot be anti-Semitic. We share the same roots. It would be a contradiction in faith and in life. Together we are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is expelled from the human community.'
Finally, Pope Francis invited them to work to promote and expand the dialogue between Jews and Christians. He said it was especially important in these times and for the good of all humanity.