Pope Francis meets ADL delegation, condemns anti-Semitism

Ben Harris

(JTA) — Pope Francis, meeting a delegation from the Anti-Defamation League, denounced “widespread” anti-Semitism.

Francis met with the delegation Thursday at the Vatican, according to a report from Vatican Radio.

“Sadly, anti-Semitism, which I again denounce in all its forms as completely contrary to Christian principles and every vision worthy of the human person, is still widespread today,” Francis said, according to a transcript of his remarks released by the Vatican.

The pontiff also reiterated a statement released on the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the landmark declaration on Catholic-Jewish relations from 1965, that the church “feels particularly obliged to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies.”

In a series of tweets, ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt said the encounter was both meaningful and powerful.

“Blessed to have met w @pontifex who talked about fight ag #antisemitism which he called “completely contrary to Christian principles,” Greenblatt tweeted.

The pope recalled his visit last year to Auschwitz, saying, “There are no adequate words or thoughts in the face of such horrors of cruelty and sin; there is prayer, that God may have mercy and that such tragedies may never happen again.”