Pope Francis has denounced the “inhuman, un-Christian” rebirth of anti-Semitism, weighing in on an issue that has convulsed Italy in recent weeks.
Speaking at his general audience Wednesday, Francis denounced anti-Semitism, saying it is raging after the world thought the “brutalities” of the Holocaust were over.
He said: “Here and there, there is a new rebirth of persecuting Jews. Brothers and sisters, this isn’t human or Christian. Jews are our brothers. And they must not be persecuted. Understand?”
In Italy, controversy flared recently when Liliana Segre, an 89-year-old Auschwitz survivor and senator-for-life, called for the creation of a parliamentary committee to combat hate, racism and anti-Semitism after revelations that she is subject to some 200 social media attacks each day.
Parliament approved her motion — but without votes from Italy’s right-wing parties.
Due to the threats, Milan prefect Renato Saccone convened a meeting last Wednesday with security officials, during which the Carabinieri paramilitary police security detail was ordered, according to Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
Segre was 13 when she was sent to Auschwitz, where her father and paternal grandparents were killed. She has spent the last several decades recounting her experiences during the Holocaust to young people.
The vote earlier this month, along with a round of racist chants in a soccer stadium, has focused attention on a growing boldness in anti-Semitic and racist attitudes in Italy, and the role of politicians in sanctioning them.