Vatican Chief: We Are Proud to Call Jews ‘Our Brothers and Sisters’

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ROME — The Vatican’s Secretary of State has condemned a recent rise in anti-Semitism, asserting Thursday that Catholics are proud to stand with Jews as “our brothers and sisters.”

“In recent years, we have witnessed the spread of a climate of evil and antagonism, in which anti-Semitic hatred has been manifested through a number of attacks in various countries,” stated Cardinal Pietro Parolin in a virtual symposium organized by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See.

“The Holy See condemns all forms of anti-Semitism, recalling that such acts are neither Christian nor human,” Cardinal Parolin said.

The symposium, titled “Never Again: Confronting the Global Rise of Anti-Semitism,” featured a number of well-known speakers — including Rabbi David Meyer, Lisa Palmieri-Billig, and Ambassador Callista Gingrich — and ended with the remarks of the Vatican Secretary of State.

Citing Pope Francis, Cardinal Parolin declared: “The Jews are our brothers! And they should not be persecuted,” adding that for a Christian “any form of anti-Semitism is a rejection of one’s own Christian origins and, thus, a complete contradiction.”

“Indeed, Jews are our brothers and sisters and we are proud of having them as such,” the cardinal stated. “We share a rich spiritual patrimony that must be always respected and appreciated. We are growing in mutual understanding, fraternity and shared commitments, and this is the way to move forward.”

While unequivocally condemning any form of anti-Semitism is fundamental, he said, other measures may be required as well.

“The re-emergence of hate against Jews, along with other forms of persecution against Christians and Muslims and members of other religions, needs to be analyzed at its roots,” he said. “After more than 75 years of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, how is it possible that some people are still hating and persecuting other human beings?”

One key tool for combatting anti-Semitism is interreligious dialogue, he said, whose aim is to “promote a commitment to peace, mutual respect, the protection of life, religious freedom, and the care of creation.”

Dialogue between the followers of different religions does not take place simply for the sake of diplomacy, consideration, or tolerance, he said, but contributes significantly “to building fraternity and defending justice in society.”

“It is my hope that the more Christians and Jews grow in fraternity, social friendship and dialogue, the less anti-Semitism will be possible,” he concluded.

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