Pope Francis denounced the rise of anti-semitism around the world, calling the persecution of Jews “neither human nor Christian.”
The Holy Father’s off-the-cuff comments came during his Wednesday General Audience to the Faithful in Saint Peter’s Square, as part of his catechesis on the Biblical account of the expulsion of the Jewish people from Rome by Emperor Claudius in the first century.
He recalled the historical persecution of Jewish people and how we erroneously believed it to be a thing of the past:
“The Jewish people have suffered so much throughout history. They have been banished, persecuted. In the last century, we saw so many, so many brutalities inflicted on the Jewish people, and we were all convinced that this was over.”
The Holy Father denounced rising anti-semitism as “neither human nor Christian,” saying “today, the habit of persecuting Jews is beginning to resurface here and there.”
“The Jews are our brothers! And they should not be persecuted. Do you understand?”
According to the Anti-Defamation League, over 1 billion people harbor anti-semitic attitudes worldwide, the highest percentage at 74% of people in the Middle East and North Africa.
You can read Pope Francis’ full address here.