By Carol Glatz
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Anti-Semitism is absolutely
contrary to Christianity, and the church has a duty to denounce and repel such
hatred, Pope Francis said.
There are no words, however, that could ever adequately
address “the horrors of cruelty and sin” of the Holocaust, he added.
There is only prayer “that God may have mercy and that such tragedies may
never happen again.”
The pope made his comments Feb. 9 at the Vatican during
an audience with a delegation of the Anti-Defamation League, an organization
that fights anti-Semitism.
“Sadly, anti-Semitism, which I again denounce in all
its forms as completely contrary to Christian principles and every vision
worthy of the human person, is still widespread today,” the pope said.
He reaffirmed that the Catholic Church “feels
particularly obliged to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to
repel anti-Semitic tendencies.”
More than ever, the fight against anti-Semitism needs
effective tools of education and formation that teach respect for everyone and
protection for 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,” he said.
“Faced with too much violence spreading throughout
the world, we are called to a greater nonviolence, which does not mean
passivity, but active promotion of the good,” he said. “Indeed, if it
is necessary to pull out the weeds of evil, it is even more vital to sow the
seeds of goodness.”
That requires cultivating justice, promoting harmony and
sustaining integration “without growing weary.”
Pope Francis encouraged the
delegates to continue their work, knowing 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
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