In addressing them, the pontiff stressed that religious freedom was a fundamental right to be protected against totalitarian attitudes. He also noted that a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite.
“Sadly, anti-Semitic attitudes are also present in our own times. As I have often repeated, a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite; we share the same roots. It would be a contradiction of faith and life. Rather, we are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from the human community,” Pope Francis said.
Francis also stressed the friendship between Jews and Catholics, based on a fraternity grounded in the history of salvation and it finds concrete expression in concern for one another.
He called to promote and to expand interreligious dialogue for the sake of humanity.
“In this regard, I readily think back with you to the moving interreligious encounter in Azerbaijan two years ago, where I remarked that the religions can be builders of harmony based on personal relations and on the good will of those responsible,” Pope Francis said.