Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Thursday 15 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. César de Bus
home iconChurch
line break icon

Pope: A Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots



Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/05/18

Warns that if "the darkest pages of history do not teach us to avoid the same errors, human dignity will remain a dead letter."

Pope Francis lamented that anti-Semitism is still present in our day, even as the world marks important anniversaries of some of the most tragic events in Jewish history.

Receiving on November 5 a delegation from the World Congress of Mountain Jews, the pope recalled his recent meeting with the Jewish community in Lithuania, which commemorated 75 years after the destruction of the Vilnius ghetto.

“The Holocaust must be commemorated so that there will be a living memory of the past,” the pope said. “Without a living memory, there will be no future, for if the darkest pages of history do not teach us to avoid the same errors, human dignity will remain a dead letter.”

He went on to note two other anniversaries: The October 16th anniversary (also 75 years) of the raid on the Roman ghetto, and the upcoming November 9 anniversary (80th) of the Kristallnacht, “when many Jewish places of worship were destroyed, not least with the intent of uprooting from the hearts of individuals and a people that which is absolutely inviolable: the presence of the Creator.”

“The attempt to replace the God of goodness with the idolatry of power and the ideology of hatred ended in the folly of exterminating creatures,” the pope said, adding that in this light, we see that “religious freedom is a supreme good to be safeguarded, a fundamental human right, and a bulwark against the claims of totalitarianism.”

The Holy Father went on to lament that anti-Semitic attitudes continue to be present in our own times.

“As I have often repeated,” he said, “a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots.  It would be a contradiction of faith and life. Rather, we are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from the human community.”


Read more:
New text from Benedict XVI: Judaism has a special place for the Church

The Bishop of Rome said that the friendship between Jews and Catholics is “based on a fraternity grounded in the history of salvation,” finding “concrete expression in concern for one another.” He spoke of the call to “promote and to expand interreligious dialogue for the sake of humanity.” Citing Isaiah, he said that dialogue and prayer are “our means of turning ‘spears into pruning hooks’ (cf. Is 2:4), so as to give rise to love where there is hatred, and forgiveness where there is offense, without ever growing weary of imploring and tracing the ways of peace.”

“I ask the Almighty to bless our journey of friendship and trust, so that we can dwell always in peace and be, wherever we find ourselves, artisans and builders of peace,” he concluded. “Shalom aleichem!”


Read more:
Mosaics found in medieval synagogue tell a tale of Jewish life in Galilee

JudaismPope Francis
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.