Pope: Anti-Semitism Shows Need for Judeo-Christian Understanding


VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Decrying what he described as “hostile times” when anti-Semitism and violence against Christians are on the rise, Pope Francis said a renewed commitment to Catholic dialogue- Jew is needed.

“The path we have traveled together is considerable,” but the work is clearly not finished, the pope told members of the Amitié Judéo-Chrétienne de France, a dialogue and education group founded in 1948 by Jules Isaac, a French historian who worked to improve Christian-Jewish relations after World War II and met Popes Pius XII and John XXIII.

“We must give thanks to God” for the progress, the pope said, especially “given the weight of mutual prejudice and the sometimes painful history that must be acknowledged.”

“The task is not finished, and I encourage you to persevere on the path of dialogue, fraternity and common initiatives,” the pope said. “This beautiful work of creating links is fragile, always to be resumed and consolidated, especially in these hostile times when attitudes of closure and rejection of the other are increasing, including with the worrying resurgence of anti-Semitism. , especially in Europe, and violence against Christians.

Pope Francis praised Isaac and, in particular, his work at the Seelisberg conference of the International Council of Christians and Jews in 1947, which listed a 10-point list of facts that Christians must keep in mind when talking with or about their Jewish brothers and sisters. . They begin with the assertion that there is one God who “speaks to all of us through the Old and New Testaments” and that Jesus, his mother and his disciples were all Jews.

Many points were later incorporated into the Second Vatican Council document “Nostra Aetate” on relations with Jews, Muslims and other non-Christians, Pope Francis noted.

Thanking the French group for its “tireless” work, the pope said the members had helped “Jews and Christians to rediscover each other as brothers and sisters, children of the same father.”

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