Pope Francis meeting relatives of AMIA victims


BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Pope Francis was to meet at the Vatican with a delegation of relatives of victims of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish community building in Buenos Aires.

Friday’s meeting between the Argentinian pope and the relatives takes place two weeks before the anniversary of the attack, which killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Among those meeting the pope are relatives Sergio Burstein, Olga Degtiar and Graciela Furman y Rosa Barrerio, as well as Daniel Komarovsky, a member of the group Relatives and Friends of the Victims.

Francis since becoming pope also met with  Argentinian rabbi Sergio Bergman, who also is a legislator, and Julio Schlosser, the president of the Argentinian Jewish political umbrella organization DAIA.

Schlosser was the second Argentinian to be received by the pope after President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

In 2005, Francis — then Jorge Bergoglio, a Jesuit archbishop — was the first public personality to sign a petition for justice in the AMIA bombing case, which officially remains unsolved.

Iran and Hezbollah are said to have been behind the attack. Bergoglio also was one of the signatories of a 2005 document called “85 victims, 85 signatures.”

In June 2010, he visited the rebuilt AMIA building to speak with Jewish leaders.

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