Pope Francis meeting relatives of AMIA victims

BUENOS AIRES (JTA) — Pope Francis is scheduled to meet today at the Vatican with a delegation of relatives of victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community building in Buenos Aires.

The meeting between the Argentinean pope and the relatives takes place two weeks before the anniversary of the attack that killed 85 people. Among those meeting the pope are relatives Sergio Burstein, Olga Degtiar and Graciela Furman y Rosa Barrerio. Daniel Komarovsky a member of the group called Relatives and Friends of the Victims, also is among them.

Anat Cohen at The Sheldon

This is not the first time Francis has met with Jewish leaders since becoming pope. He also met with  Argentinean rabbi Sergio Bergman and Julio Schlosser, the president of the Argentine Jewish political umbrella organization, the DAIA. Schlosser was the second Argentinean to be received by the pope, after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

In 2005, Francis — then Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit archbishop — was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case, which officially remains unsolved. Iran and Hezbollah are said to have been behind the attack. Bergoglio also was one of the signatories of a 2005 document called “85 victims, 85 signatures.”

In June 2010, he visited the rebuilt AMIA building to talk with Jewish leaders.