New York, NY, May 24, 2004 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today praised Pope John Paul II for once again speaking out against anti-Semitism.
"We welcome Pope John Paul II's words decrying anti-Semitism," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "As he did in 1986 when he made his historic visit to Rome's central synagogue, the first ever by a Pontiff, his words read aloud were heard not only by the Jews of Rome, but by Jews and hopefully all people, everywhere."
In a message read on May 23 by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general of Rome, at a commemorative service for the synagogue's 100th anniversary, Pope John Paul II said, despite the fact that the Church rejected "clearly and definitively anti-Semitism in all its expressions…it is not enough to deplore and condemn hostility against the Jewish people; … it is also necessary to foster friendship, esteem and fraternal relations…"
Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, saved from the Nazis by his Polish Catholic nanny, said the Pope's words, "could not have come at a more important time, as anti-Semitism has re-emerged in Europe. This Pontiff has set the standard for Jewish-Catholic relations, a standard we hope will be heard far and wide and reach down into the parishes and pews.