Pope Francis shared this Saturday, February 3, a letter sent to the "Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel," in which he rejects any form of anti-Semitism and condemns all manifestations of hatred towards this people and Judaism.
"The path that the Church has walked with you, the ancient people of the covenant, rejects any form of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism, unequivocally condemning manifestations of hatred towards Jews and Judaism as a sin against God," states the letter dated February 2.
Furthermore, the Holy Father highlighted that Catholics "are very concerned about the terrible increase in attacks against Jews around the world."
"We had hoped that 'never again' would be a refrain heard by the new generations, yet now we see that the path ahead requires ever closer collaboration to eradicate these phenomena," he stated.
This publication comes a day after the Holy Father received in a private audience the ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, Raphael Yaakov Schutz. The latter gifted him a postcard drawn by the Israeli cartoonist Zeev Engelmayer to express the pain and anguish felt by the Israeli people.
At the beginning of his letter, Francis acknowledged that the world is going through "a moment of great travail" due to the increase in "wars and divisions." Specifically, he referred to the war between the jihadist group Hamas and Israel in the Holy Land, which, from October 7 to date, has left more than 27,000 dead.
"My heart is torn at the sight of what is happening in the Holy Land, by the power of so much division and so much hatred," he remarked on this matter.
Pope Francis also regrets that this conflict has generated divisive attitudes and "positions in public opinion worldwide, sometimes taking the form of anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism."
Later, the Pontiff assured that his heart is close to "all the peoples" who inhabit the Holy Land, including Israelis and Palestinians.
"I pray that the desire for peace may prevail in all. I want you to know that you are close to my heart and to the heart of the Church," he added.
Subsequently, Pope Francis again addressed Jewish friends and organizations to send them a fraternal embrace.
"Together with you, we mourn the dead, the wounded, the traumatized, begging God the Father to intervene and put an end to the war and hatred, to these incessant cycles that endanger the entire world. In a special way, we pray for the return of the hostages, rejoicing because of those who have already returned home, and praying that all others will soon join them," he continued.
At another point, he emphasized that we must never "lose hope for a possible peace" and that efforts must be made to promote it without "defeatism" and looking to God.
Finally, he urged Jews and Catholics to commit to a path of "friendship, solidarity, and cooperation, in seeking ways to repair a destroyed world."
"We still have a lot to do together to ensure that the world we leave to those who come after us is a better one, but I am sure that we will be able to continue to work together towards this goal," he concluded.
Diego Fernando López Marina is a Peruvian social communicator and journalist with seven years of professional experience. In 2016 he joined ACI Prensa as an editor. He is currently part of the agency's team of editors. He has been a recipient of the 2017 Egan Award from Catholic Relief Services in Washington D.C. and winner of the Cardinal Juan Landázuri Ricketts National Journalism Award from the Peruvian Episcopal Conference in 2019. He was one of the special envoys of ACI Prensa for the coverage of the World Youth Day held in Panama.