- (Photo: Reuters/Tony Gentile)
Pope Francis met with a Jewish delegation to reaffirm the Catholic Church's stance against anti-Semitism in order to make relations between the two faiths better.
"Due to our common roots, a Christian cannot be anti-Semitic!" Francis told the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations, reports the Washington Post.
Francis went on to speak about the Second Vatican Council's 1965 declaration of "Nostra Aetate" which is a main reference for the religion's relations.
The church condemns, "hate, persecution, and all manifestations of anti-Semitism," said Francis.
Pope Benedict had a turbulent relationship with the Jews due to a Good Friday prayer where he called for the Jews conversion and was working toward the beatification of Pope Pius XII, whom the Jewish dislike for not making any sort of stand during the Holocaust reports the Washington Post.
Francis is doing his best to repair those ties, and has a history with them.
In 1994 a terrorist attack in an Argentinean Jewish center killed 85 people and wounded 300, Francis, who was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio at the time, was there for the people of the city of Buenos Aires.
In addition to this, the Pope invited Rome's top Rabbi to his inauguration and interviewed Rabbi Abraham Skorka in an almost long interview while still in Argentina.
"Pope Francis is a very good friend of the Jewish people and we rejoice in the fact that he will continue to advance the path of his predecessors in deepening the Catholic-Jewish relationship even further," said Rabbi David Rosen, director of international interreligious affairs at the American Jewish Committee, reports Washington Post.