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Pope meets with Jewish leader, sends New Year's greetings

CWN - September 03, 2013

Pope Francis sent his New Year’s greetings to the world’s Jews, as he met on September 3 with Ronald Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress.

The Pope said that he was praying for a good year, in light of “important decisions lying ahead.” He stressed the common heritage of Christians and Jews, saying that “a Christian cannot be an anti-Semite.”

The Pontiff and the Jewish leader agree on the need to curb against against religious minorities, mentioning in particular the Copts of Egypt. They also decried new policies against traditional religious practices, with the Pope specifically mentioning rules against kosher butchering of animals in Poland.

After the meeting Lauder remarked: “Never in the past 2,000 years have relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people been so good.” He praised Pope Francis and h is predecessors for their role in improving ties.

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