“Even recently, we have witnessed a barbaric resurgence of cases of anti-Semitism.”
Pope Francis decried this to a delegation from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a human rights and research group, last Monday in the Vatican.
A week before the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Pontiff called on the world to never become indifferent nor complicit, and for Jews and Christians to work together.
The Declaration Nostra Aetate, the Pope said, stresses that “we, Jews and Christians, have a rich common spiritual patrimony, which we must increasingly discover to put it at the service of all.”
“I feel that, today in particular,” he reflected, “we ourselves are called first to this service: not to distance ourselves and exclude, but to make ourselves close and to include, not to force solutions but to initiate ways of proximity.”
“If we don’t do it, who believe in Him, who from the highest Heaven remembered us and took to heart our weaknesses, who will do it?” he asked.
The Argentinian Pontiff lamented how troubling it is to see around the world an increase in selfishness and indifference, a lack of concern for others and “the attitude that says life is good as long as it is good for me, and when things go wrong, anger and malice are unleashed”
“This,” he lamented, “creates a fertile ground for the forms of factionalism and populism we see around us, where hatred quickly springs up … where hatred is seminated.”
It is urgent, the Pope said, “to reintegrate those who are marginalized, to reach out to those far away, to support those that are rejected because they don’t have means and money, to help those that are victims of intolerance and discrimination.”
Pope Francis concluded, thanking them for their commitment and encouraging them to intensify their collaboration in defense of the weakest. “May the Almighty help us to respect one another and to love one another more, and to make the earth a better place by sowing seeds of peace. Shalom!” he prayed.