Pope Francis to the delegation of Conference of European Rabbis, “may the Shoah be like a word to the wise”. He recalled Toaff, “He was a man of peace and dialogue”
During the day of Elio Toaff memorial – the emeritus president of the Jewish Community of Rome – who died yesterday, as the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz was very close, the Pope focused his speech on anti-Semitism again. It never faded in Europe and lately it is in fashion again. “Anti-Semites tendencies are worryingly in Italy, like some acts of hatred and violence. Every Christian has to show is support to the Jewish population, it cannot keep silent. Recently the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. The memorial of this event that took place in the heart of Europe, may serve as a warning to present and future generations. Every act of hate and violence against Christian or other religion believers has to be condemned everywhere”. Concerning Toaff, Francis positively “recalled this man of peace and dfialogue who welcomed the Pope John Paul II during the famous visit to Tempio Maggiore”.
The relation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish Community has been constant for the past half century. On October 28, we will celebrate the Declaration Nostra Aetate, which represents our effort in pursuing direction. Being grateful to the Lord, we can think about these years and rejoice for our progresses as friends”.
In Europe, it is “very important to give spiritual and religious relevance to human lives. Our societies are secularized and menaced by atheism; the risk is living as if God did not exist. Men are tempted to put themselves in the place reserved to God, they consider themselves the main criteria of everything, and they think they can control everything. It is important to remember that our lives are a gift of God, we have to entrust Him, and trust Him, and always turn to Him. Jewish and Christians have a gift and a responsibility: contribute to keeping of a religious point of view in our society, testifying how holy and inviolable human life is”.
Translation provided by Mary Ann D’Costa