BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Fundamentalist Christians disrupted a Jewish-Christian ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht at a Buenos Aires cathedral.
When the archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Poli, tried to start the ceremony’s liturgy of commemoration at the Metropolitan Cathedral on Tuesday, the fundamentalists prayed loudly and distributed brochures against “the presence of fake gods at our main Cathedral.” After a standoff that lasted several minutes, police officials arrived at the cathedral.
The demonstrators left at the request of Father Fernando Gianetti, who made the request in the name of Poli, successor to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who now is Pope Francis. They were identified as a mix of anti-Semitic youth and ultra-conservative followers of the Society of St. Pius X, a breakaway Catholic group.
Julio Schlosser, president of DAIA, Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella, told JTA of the incident that “Nazi hordes spread poison on the victims of the Holocaust.”
After the insurgents left, Poli again began the ceremony, which was organized by the Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee and B’nai B’rith Argentina.
“Beloved Jewish brothers, please feel at home here,” he said amid applause. “This church is also your home. Let us make peace in this meeting as Pope Francis desires.”
The ceremony liturgy was based on a document written by Rabbi Leon Klenicki and Catholic theologian Eugene Fischer titled “From Death to Hope.”