Pope Francis: 'A Christian can not be an anti-Semite'

Pope: let's pledge to ban anti-Semitism from humanity

Pope: let's pledge to ban anti-Semitism from humanity

"We are called to commit ourselves to ensure anti-Semitism is banned from the human community", Francis said during a meeting with rabbis from the World Congress of Mountain Jews.

A Christian can not be an anti-semite Pope Francis told a group of Jewish leaders in the Vatican as he condemned the rising global tide of hostility toward Jews.

Francis said the Holocaust, in which the Nazis murdered six million Jews around Europe during World War Two, must continue to be commemorated to keep its memory alive.

The pope made his remarks during an audience November 5 with a group of rabbis attending the World Congress of Mountain Jews.

Mountain Jews - who are believed to be descendants of Persian Jews - settled centuries ago in the Caucasus region, maintaining their own unique language and various customs.

Pope Francis recently visited Lithuania where he prayed at the memorial to the victims of the ghetto in the capital, Vilnius. But he referred to the upcoming 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht, when German Nazis attacked Jews and their property, and the recent 75th anniversary of the roundup and deportation of Jews in Rome, when the city was under Nazi occupation. The attacks, he said, represented an intent to uproot "from the hearts of individuals and a people that which is absolutely inviolable: the presence of the Creator".

The attempt to replace the God of goodness with the idolatry of power and the ideology of hatred ended in the folly of exterminating human beings.

The Pope went on to note that there are still anti-Semitic attitudes in society today. "As I have often repeated, a Christian can not be an anti-Semite, we share the same roots", Francis said, stressing the importance of inter-faith dialogue. "It would be a contradiction of faith and life", he said. "In these times, we are called to promote and to expand inter religious dialogue for the sake of humanity", Francis said.