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

  • Ex-cop says Duterte paid him and others to kill suspects

    World News CTV News
    Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, berates erring policemen during an audience at the Presidential Palace grounds in Manila, Philippines, on Feb. 7, 2017. (Robinson Ninal / Presidential Photographers Division, Malacanang Palace) Source
  • Video footage shows attack in airport on Kim Jong Nam

    World News CTV News
    KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Security camera footage obtained by Japanese television appears to show a careful and deliberate attack last week on the exiled half brother of North Korea's ruler. The footage, obtained by Fuji TV and often grainy and blurred, seems to show two women approaching Kim Jong Nam from different directions as he stands at a ticketing kiosk at the budget terminal of the Kuala Lumpur airport. Source
  • Trump's 'streamlined' travel ban targets same countries

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — A draft of President Donald Trump’s revised immigration ban targets the same seven countries listed in his original executive order and exempts travellers who already have a visa to travel to the U.S., even if they haven’t used it yet. Source
  • B.C. woman calls for change to Air Canada's dog policy

    Canada News CTV News
    A B.C. woman is speaking out against Air Canada's policy on transporting certain types of dogs, after her pit bull-cross got stuck in Calgary after a medical procedure. Robyn Larocque, who lives in Highlands, near Victoria, B.C. Source
  • On frozen fields, North Korean farmers prep for battle ahead

    World News CTV News
    PYONGYANG, Korea, Democratic People's Republic Of -- Plug your noses and ready your "Juche fertilizer." It's time to prep the frozen fields in North Korea. North Korea relies on its farmers to squeeze absolutely all they can out of every harvest. Source
  • Trump's revised travel ban targets same countries: AP source

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- A draft of President Donald Trump's revised immigration ban targets the same seven countries listed in his original executive order and exempts travellers who already have a visa to travel to the U.S. Source
  • The force is with Everett; Social media helps brings in Star Wars Kraft Dinner for autistic boy

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    NANAIMO, B.C. — Hundreds of boxes of a limited-edition pasta have filled the home of a family in Nanaimo, B.C., following a plea to help their autistic son. Reed Botwright put out a call on social media last week when he and his wife could not track down any more boxes of Star Wars Kraft Dinner, one of the only foods their six-year-old son Everett will eat. Source
  • Man seen in photos now 'main suspect' in Indiana double homicide

    World News Toronto Sun
    DELPHI, Ind. — A man photographed walking along a northern Indiana trail system around the time two teenage girls later found slain were dropped off by a relative is now considered “the main suspect” in their killings, State Police said Sunday. Source
  • Father of teen drug user urges parents to band together to save lives

    Canada News CTV News
    As an Ottawa-area family laid their 14-year-old daughter to rest Sunday following an apparent overdose, a local father is speaking up about his own teenage daughter’s struggle with drugs in the hope of saving lives. Source
  • Colorado town getting weed shop with drive-through window

    World News CTV News
    PARACHUTE, Colo. - The western Colorado town of Parachute is getting a drive-through marijuana shop believed to be the first in the state. The Glenwood Springs Post Independent reported Saturday the Parachute Board of Trustees approved a business license for Tumbleweed Express last week. Source