Meeting the representatives of the Anti-Defamation League in Rome last week, Jorge Bergoglio
reaffirmed his condemnation of anti-Semitism in all forms.
“Sadly, anti-Semitism, which I again denounce in all its’ forms as completely contrary to Judeo-Christian principles and every vision worthy of a decent person, is still widespread today. I reaffirm that ‘the Catholic Church feels particularly obliged to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies’.”
The pope further stressed the importance of taking an active approach in the fight against anti-Semitism, encouraging ADL’s efforts in this direction.
“Today more than ever, the fight against anti-Semitism can benefit from effective instruments, such as information and education. In this regard, I thank you for your work and for combined efforts to counter defamation with education, promotion of respect for all, and protection of the weakest. Caring for the sacred gift of all human life and safeguarding its dignity, from conception to death, is the best way of preventing every type of violence. Faced with too much violence spreading throughout the world, we are now called to a greater nonviolence, which does not mean passivity, but active promotion of good. Indeed, if it is necessary to pull out the weeds of evil, it is even more vital to sow the seeds of goodness: to cultivate justice, to foster accord, to sustain integration, without growing weary; only in this way may we gather the fruits of peace. I encourage you in this work, in the conviction that the best remedies against the rise of hatred consist in making available the means necessary for a dignified life, in promoting culture and favoring religious freedom everywhere, as well as in protecting believers and religions from every form of violence and exploitation.”
“We know you understand and share our concern about the resurgence of anti-Semitism, especially in Europe,” ADL’s director Jonathan Greenblatt said, addressing the pope in a private audience at the Vatican. “We share your concern about the horrendous persecution of ethnic and cultural minorities, many of them Christians. Indeed, we are troubled that the world doesn’t seem to pay enough attention to this tragic situation.”
In his address, Bergoglio also expressed his gratitude for the development of the Jewish-Christian dialogue.