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October 13, 2013 2:49 pm

Pope Tells Jewish Community Leaders Christianity and Anti-Semitism Are ‘Incompatible’

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Israeli President Shimon Peres meets with Pope Francis April 30, 2013. Photo: Israel GPO.

Christianity and anti-Semitism are incompatible, the Pope told a group of Jewish community members Saturday during a meeting at the Vatican, the Catholic News Agency reported.

“It’s a contradiction that a Christian is anti-Semitic: His roots are Jewish,” the Pontiff told an audience that included the Chief Rabbi of Rome, the President of the Jewish Community of Rome and the President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities. “A Christian cannot be anti-Semitic! Let Anti-Semitism be banished from the heart and life of every man and every woman!”

Pope Francis, who recalled his own close relationship with the Jewish community in his native Argentina, observed that the two faiths share much in common, including the Ten Commandments as a solid basis for morality in a society that he said is “disoriented by an extreme diversity of choices and positions, and marked by a relativism which does not have many firm or safe points of reference.”

The Pope made headlines late last month after he hosted his close friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka for several days at his Vatican residence.

According to La Stampa’s Vatican Insider the visit was of an historic nature.

“Never before in the history of Christian-Jewish relations have a Pope and a Rabbi celebrated their friendship by living in the Vatican together for several days, sharing all meals, including on two Jewish festivals and the Sabbath at which the Rabbi said prayers in Hebrew, and discussing what more  they can do together to promote dialogue and peace in the world,” the paper wrote.

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