Pope Francis met with a delegation from the American Jewish Committee. It is one of the oldest Jewish defense institutions in the United States.
Its president, John Sapiro, was in charge of greeting the pope on behalf of all those from the organization.
“I would like to say that it is a great joy for our leadership group to meet with you; and to express deep appreciation for the special relationship we've had with the Holy See for more than half a century.”
The pope stressed the great importance of having good relations with Jews. He again denounced the new outbreaks of antisemitism.
“At present, a source of great concern to me is the spread, in many places, of a climate of wickedness and fury, in which an excessive and depraved hatred is taking root. I think especially of the outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks in various countries.”
For this reason, the pope warned of the need to address this phenomena. He said Christians cannot be anti-Semites, because it would be denying their own origins.
During the meeting, Pope Francis also took the opportunity to acknowledge the International Women's Day. He said peace is born from the tenderness of mothers.
“Today, 8 March, I would also like to say a few words about the irreplaceable contribution of women in building a world that can be a home for all. Women make the world beautiful, they protect it and keep it alive. They bring the grace of renewal, the embrace of inclusion, and the courage to give of oneself. Peace, then, is born of women, it arises and is rekindled by the tenderness of mothers. Thus the dream of peace becomes a reality when we look towards women.”
Finally, Pope Francis said in order build peace and overcome hatred as well as antisemitism it is important for inter-religious dialogue; and to unite over what cannot be separated.