Pope Francis on Friday lamented the “outbreak of anti-Semitic attacks in various countries,” which for Christians constitute “a rejection of their own origins.”
“A source of great concern to me is the spread, in many places, of a climate of wickedness and fury, in which an excessive and depraved hatred is taking root,” the pope said at the Vatican.
“Jews and Christians, moreover, share a rich spiritual heritage, which allows us to do much good together,” the pontiff told a visiting delegation from the American Jewish Committee.
“At a time when the West is exposed to a depersonalizing secularism, it falls to believers to seek out each other and to cooperate in making divine love more visible for humanity,” the pope said.
Francis paid homage to the Nostra Aetate (In our time) declaration of the Second Vatican Council which in 1965 officialized Roman Catholic respect for other religions including Judaism, after centuries of anti-Semitism.
Francis announced on Monday that the Vatican will open the secret archives of the wartime pontiff Pius XII in March next year, which could shed light on why the Catholic Church failed to intervene more against the Holocaust.
Researchers have long sought to examine the World War II-era archives for what they consider the lack of strong action by Pius XII (1939-1958) against the German Nazis over the massacre of Jews, an attitude denounced as a form of passive complicity.