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Pope says Christians can't be anti-Semites

Francis tells Jews 'Church firmly condemns hate, persecution'

24 June, 15:09
Pope says Christians can't be anti-Semites (ANSA) - Vatican City, June 24 - Pope Francis on Monday spoke out against anti-Semitism, calling Christians who are prejudiced against Jews a contradiction in terms. "Given our common roots, a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite," he said at an audience with the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), a broad-based coalition of Jewish organizations representing Judaism to other religions. Francis went on to stress the value of the 1965 Nostra Aetate, which was the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Part four of the declaration, which was promulgated by Pope Paul VI, states that even though some Jews during the time of Christ called for his death, all Jews then and now cannot be held responsible for 'deicide', as had been commonly preached. "(The Church) firmly condemns the hate, persecution, and all manifestations of anti-Semitism," said Francis. He also recalled the "push" towards dialogue by his predecessors, with "gestures and documents".

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