Pope denounces violence inspired by religion
Published 18/01/2016 | 02:30
Pope Francis denounced all religiously inspired violence during a visit to Rome's main synagogue.
He was joining the oldest Jewish community in the diaspora in a sign of interfaith friendship at a time of Islamic extremist attacks around the globe.
During a visit marked by tight security and historic continuity, Pope Francis also rejected all forms of anti-Semitism and called for "maximum vigilance" and early intervention to prevent another Holocaust.
The Pope joined a standing ovation when Holocaust survivors, some wearing striped scarves reminiscent of their camp uniforms, were singled out for applause at the start of the ceremony.
He drew an ovation of his own when he paused in his remarks to acknowledge the survivors in the synagogue's front row.
The visit comes amid a spate of Islamic extremist attacks in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and elsewhere - violence which Pope Francis has repeatedly condemned as anathema to religion, particularly given that Christians and religious minorities have often been the target.
"Violence of man against man is in contradiction to every religion that merits the name, in particular the three monotheistic religions," the Pope said, referring to Christianity, Judaism and Islam.