BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Pope Francis, reacting to the disruption of a recent interfaith Kristallnacht memorial, told Latin American religious leaders visiting the Vatican that “aggression cannot be an act of faith.”
“Preaching intolerance is a form of militancy that must be overcome,” Francis told the delegation on Tuesday.
The pope made his remarks a week after fundamentalist Christians disrupted a Jewish-Christian ceremony at a Buenos Aires cathedral marking the 75th anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogrom.
“Pope Francis has already had a number of meetings with leaders of other faiths, but he never fails to surprise us with his sensitivity and the deep interest he shows for his interlocutors,” said Claudio Epelman, the executive director of the Latin American Jewish Congress.
Epelman, also the head of World Jewish Congress relations with the Vatican, was part of a six-person delegation from South America who was received for a private audience with the pontiff.
“With this meeting, the pope has once again shown his strong, personal commitment to building bridges between religions and to working together with all of us to secure peace,” Epelman said.