March 13, 2013
The Simon Wiesenthal Center congratulates Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio on the election by his fellow Cardinals as the new Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, spiritual leader to 1.2 billion Catholics.
"We have every reason to be confident Pope Francis I will be a staunch defender of the historic Nostra Aetate, the declaration on the relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council, which forever changed the relationship of the Catholic Church and the Jewish people," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC Dean and Founder.
B'nai B'rith Photo: Kristallnacht commenoration at the Cathedral of Buenos Aires attended by Cardinal Bergoglio, 2012.
"This is not only an important occasion for the people of Latin America but for Jews as well. We have learned from our office in Buenos Aires that as Cardinal Bergoglio he was outspoken in the attack against the Jewish Community Center by agents of Iran in 1994. Additionally, he attended services on Rosh Hashanah in the B'nei Tikva synagogue in 2007 and again in the Emanu-El Synagogue on Chanukah in 2012. This past November he presided over a Kristallnachtc ommemoration his own cathedral in Buenos Aires," Hier concluded.
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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).