European chief rabbis meet pope at Vatican

A delegation of chief rabbis from Europe met with Pope Francis at the Vatican to discuss rising anti-Semitism.

After meeting on April 20 with 10 Orthodox rabbis representing the Conference of European Rabbis, the pope met privately with the chief rabbi of France, Haim Korsia, who is a prominent promoter of interfaith ties.

This was the first time a Conference of European Rabbis delegation was received at the Vatican, Korsia’s office reported.

Noting the meeting came 50 years after the Nostra Aetate — the declaration on the relation of the Catholic Church with non-Christian religions — Conference of European Rabbis President Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said the event was “vitally important and gives us a chance to further strengthen the relationship between the two communities.”

The rise in recent years in anti-Semitic violence and hate speech featured prominently in the talk, added Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow.

Interfaith work, he said, “is particularly relevant in the wake of recent attacks on the Jewish communities of Europe and the Catholic communities in Africa and the Middle East.” — jta