Pope denounces violence during visit to synagogue

ROME -- Pope Francis denounced all violence committed in the name of God during a visit to Rome's main synagogue Sunday, joining the oldest Jewish community in the diaspora in a sign of interfaith friendship at a time of religiously-inspired attacks around the globe.

See Full Article

During a visit marked by tight security and historic continuity, Francis also rejected all forms of anti-Semitism and called for "maximum vigilance" and early intervention to prevent another Holocaust.

Francis joined a standing ovation when Holocaust survivors, some wearing striped scarves reminiscent of their camp uniforms, were singled out for applause at the start of the visit. And he elicited an ovation of his own when he paused in his remarks to acknowledge the survivors in the synagogue's front row.

The visit comes amid a spate of Islamic extremist attacks in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere -- violence which Francis has repeatedly condemned as anathema to religion, particularly given that Christians and religious minorities have often been the target.

"Violence of man against man is in contradiction to every religion that merits the name, in particular the three monotheistic religions," Francis said, referring to Christianity, Judaism and Islam. "Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother regardless of his origins or religious belief."

His sentiments were shared by members of the Jewish community, who sought to hold up the visit as a sign of interfaith friendship in the face of Muslim extremism.

"The hatred that comes from racism and bias or worse which uses God's name or words to kill deserves our contempt and our firm condemnation," Ruth Dureghello, president of the Rome's Jewish community, said in introductory remarks.

Francis' visit is meant to continue the tradition of papal visits that began with St. John Paul II in 1986 and continued with Benedict XVI in 2010. It also highlighted the 50th anniversary of the revolution in Christian-Jewish relations that was represented by the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that brought the church into the modern era.

Among other things, the council document "Nostra Aetate" repudiated the centuries-old charge that Jews as a whole were responsible for the death of Christ.

Francis repeated several times that Jews were the "elder brothers" of Christians, repeating the words first uttered by John Paul during his historic visit to the synagogue but adding that Christians' "elder sisters" in the Jewish faith were also part of God's family.

Francis began his visit by laying a wreath at a plaque outside the synagogue marking where Roman Jews were rounded up by the Nazis in 1943 and at another marking the slaying of a 2-year-old boy in an attack by Palestinians on the synagogue in 1982.

He met with members of the boy's family and survivors of the attack before entering the synagogue to rounds of warm applause, which continued during his speech, interrupting him several times.

The Argentine Jesuit has a longstanding friendship with the Jewish community in Argentina from his time as archbishop of Buenos Aires.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Judge to hold hearing on stopping Wisconsin recount

    World News CTV News
    MADISON, Wis. -- A federal judge is set to consider halting Wisconsin's presidential recount. Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by more than 22,000 votes in the state. Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein requested the recount to determine if election machines were hacked. Source
  • Alabama executes man convicted of killing store clerk

    World News CTV News
    ATMORE, Ala. - A man convicted of killing a convenience store clerk more than two decades ago in Alabama was put to death Thursday night, after two brief delays by the U.S. Supreme Court. Ronald Bert Smith Jr. Source
  • Woman accused of killing twin in Hawaii due in court

    World News CTV News
    ALBANY, N.Y. -- A woman accused of killing her twin sister by driving their SUV off a cliff in Hawaii is expected to clear the way for her extradition from upstate New York. Alexandria Duval is expected to waive her right to an extradition hearing in an Albany court on Friday morning. Source
  • Hillary Clinton blasts 'epidemic of malicious fake news'

    World News CBC News
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called "fake news" a danger that must be addressed quickly, in a rare public appearance on Thursday, a month after she lost the presidential election in a campaign marked by a flood of such propaganda. Source
  • Indonesian president vows to rebuild after deadly quake

    World News CTV News
    TRINGGADING, Indonesia - Indonesia's president travelled to areas devastated by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake and vowed that torn-apart communities would be rebuilt. Stopping Friday morning at a collapsed mosque in Tringgading not far from the quake's epicenter, Joko "Jokowi" Widodo gave money to people who had lost family members. Source
  • Elderly fraudster sentenced to three years in prison for bilking women, businessmen

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A 70-year-old fraudster who "bamboozled" $315,000 from five Albertans, including a disabled Wetaskiwin woman who ended up losing her home, was put behind bars Thursday. Gary Richard Walker was sentenced to three years in prison after earlier pleading guilty in Edmonton's Court of Queen's Bench to five counts of fraud relating to bogus investment schemes. Source
  • Lethal mistake leads to harrowing ambush in Mosul

    World News CTV News
    IRBIL, Iraq -- As Iraqi forces advanced toward the al-Salam hospital in Mosul earlier this week, encountering only light resistance from Islamic State fighters, commanders decided to seize the facility instead of sweeping the neighbourhoods along the road leading to it. Source
  • Video shows struggle, then shooting that paralyzed Iowa man

    World News Toronto Sun
    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — An unarmed black driver struggled with an Iowa officer and a police dog before the officer shot the motorist as he tried to get away in his pickup truck, paralyzing him, dashcam video released Thursday shows. Source
  • Bolivian official breaks silence about air crash in Colombia

    World News CTV News
    LA PAZ, Bolivia -- A Bolivian aviation official who signed off on the flight plan for a chartered aircraft that crashed in the Andes is breaking her silence and accusing her bosses of trying to stage a coverup. Source
  • Official accuses bosses of cover up in crash that wiped out soccer team

    World News Toronto Sun
    LA PAZ, Bolivia — A Bolivian official who signed off on the flight plan for a chartered aircraft that crashed in the Andes is breaking her silence and accusing her bosses of trying to stage a coverup. Source