Pope Francis on Monday signaled the rising tide of anti-Semitism in Europe, calling on Christians to show “solidarity with the Jewish people.”
“Anti-Semitic trends in Europe these days are troubling,” lamented the Pope. He called on Christians to be “firm in deploring all forms of anti-Semitism, and in showing their solidarity with the Jewish people.”
The pope was speaking with a delegation from the Conference of European Rabbis at a meeting that was meant to herald “the beginning of a new working relationship between the two communities to defend their shared values and strengthen inter-religious dialogue.”
The pontiff stressed that Jewish-Catholic relations had progressed in a “systematic way” over the past 50 years. He referred to a Vatican declaration, the Nostra Aetate, which half a century ago released Jews from historical charges of deicide.
Head of the CER delegation, President Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, thanked the Holy See and Catholic communities for “supporting our quest for religious freedom and our common quest to head off the dangers of a radical Islam, which has become a threat not only for us, but for the world as a whole.”
Goldschmidt mentioned recent violent attacks by radical Islamists at a synagogue in Copenhagen and a Kosher supermarket in Paris that targeted Jews.