ADL Congratulates New Pope Francis

Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:45pm EDT

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NEW YORK,  March 13, 2013  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Anti-Defamation League
(ADL) today welcomed the election of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of  Argentina  as
the next Pope Francis.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:

We congratulate the new Pope and wish him well in his important new
responsibility.  We believe that the election of Francis I is a significant
moment in the history of the Church.  We look forward to working with him to
continue to foster Catholic-Jewish relations as we have with his predecessors. 
There is much in his record that reassures us about the future.

Under his leadership in  Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio made important
strides in maintaining positive Catholic-Jewish relations following the
transformational papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI - pontiffs
who launched historic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish
people.

Cardinal Bergoglio maintained a close relationship with the Jewish community in
Argentina.  He has celebrated various Jewish holidays with the Argentinian
Jewish community, including  Chanukah  where he lit a candle on the menorah,
attended a  Buenos Aires  synagogue for Slichot, a pre-Rosh Hashana  service,
the  Jewish New Year, as well as a commemoration of Kristallnacht, the wave of
violent Nazi attacks against Jews before World War II.

In 2010, during a commemoration of the 1994 bombing, Cardinal Bergoglio called
it "a house of solidarity" and added "God bless them and help them accomplish
their work," which showed his dedication and support in standing up against
extremism.

In 2010, he together with Argentinian Rabbi  Abraham Skorka, published the book
"On Heaven and Earth" addressing issues of interfaith dialogue.  The new Pope's
sensitivity to the Jews emerges from this work in his comments on the Church's
approach to the Jewish people since Vatican II, the Holocaust and the
Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization
fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred,
prejudice and bigotry.

SOURCE  Anti-Defamation League


Todd Gutnick, +1-212-885-7755, or David Robbins, +1-212-885-7715,
adlmedia@adl.org

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