ADL Congratulates New Pope Francis

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following ‎statement:‎
We congratulate the new Pope and wish him well in his important new ‎responsibility. We believe that the election of Francis I is a significant moment in ‎the history of the Church. We look forward to working with him to continue to ‎foster Catholic-Jewish relations as we have with his predecessors. There is much ‎in his record that reassures us about the future.‎
Under his leadership in Buenos Aires, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio made important ‎strides in maintaining positive Catholic-Jewish relations following the ‎transformational papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI – pontiffs ‎who launched historic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish ‎people.‎
Cardinal Bergoglio maintained a close relationship with the Jewish community in ‎Argentina. He has celebrated various Jewish holidays with the Argentinian Jewish ‎community, including Chanukah where he lit a candle on the menorah, attended a ‎Buenos Aires synagogue for Slichot, a pre-Rosh Hashana service, the Jewish New ‎Year, as well as a commemoration of Kristallnacht, the wave of violent Nazi ‎attacks against Jews before World War II.‎
In 2010, during a commemoration of the 1994 bombing, Cardinal Bergoglio called ‎it “a house of solidarity” and added “God bless them and help them accomplish ‎their work,” which showed his dedication and support in standing up against ‎extremism.‎
In 2010, he together with Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka, published the book ‎‎“On Heaven and Earth” addressing issues of interfaith dialogue. The new Pope’s ‎sensitivity to the Jews emerges from this work in his comments on the Church’s ‎approach to the Jewish people since Vatican II, the Holocaust and the Arab-Israeli ‎conflict.‎