Pope says antisemitism ‘not Christian’

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis condemned “all manifestations of antisemitism” during his first meeting with official Jewish representatives since his election.

Speaking to a delegation of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, which has traditionally served as the Catholic Church’s official link to the Jewish community, the Pope said: “Because of our common roots, a true Christian cannot be antisemitic.”

Pope Francis, who previously served as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, said that during his time in Argentina, Catholics and Jews “enjoyed each other’s company.

“We were all enriched through encounters and dialogue. We welcomed each other, and this helped all of us grow as people and as believers.”

Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s director of international interreligious affairs and former head of the IJCIC, welcomed the Pope’s speech as conciliatory.

“Pope Francis is a very good friend of the Jewish people, and we rejoice in the fact that he will continue to advance the path of his predecessors in deepening the Catholic-Jewish relationship.”

Last updated: 10:28am, June 25 2013