Pope decries resurgence of anti-Semitism

VATICAN (CNS): “I will never tire of firmly condemning every form of anti-Semitism,” Pope Francis told a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, the international Jewish human rights organisation that combats hate and anti-Semitism around the world.

The pope told the delegation on January 20, “It is troubling to see, in many parts of the world, an increase in a selfish indifference” that cares only about whatever is easy for oneself and lacks concern for others.

It is an attitude that believes “life is good as long as it is good for me, and when things go wrong, anger and malice are unleashed. This creates a fertile ground for the forms of factionalism and populism we see around us. Hatred rapidly grows on this ground,” he added.

The pope said, “We must commit ourselves also to tilling the soil in which hatred grows and sowing peace instead.”

With integration and seeking to understand others “we more effectively protect ourselves,” the pope said, therefore, it is “urgent to reintegrate those who are marginalised, to reach out to those far away” and support those who have been “discarded” and to help people who are victims of intolerance and discrimination.  

Pope Francis noted that January 27 would mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp from Nazi forces.

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Recalling his own visit there in 2016, he underlined the importance of making time for moments of reflection and silence, so as to better hear “the plea of suffering humanity.”

Today’s consumer culture is also gluttonous with words, he said, churning out so many “useless” words, wasting so much time on “arguing, accusing, shouting insults with no concern for what we say.”

He said, “Silence, on the other hand, helps to keep memory alive. If we lose our memory, we destroy our future.” 

The commemoration of “the unspeakable cruelty that humanity learned of 75 years ago” should “serve as a summons to pause,” be silent and remember … so we don’t become indifferent,” he said.

The pope asked that Christians and Jews continue to serve all people and to create ways of drawing closer together.

Author: SundayExam