Pope meets Jewish group, decries "depraved" antisemitism

Pope meets Jewish group, decries depraved antisemitism
Pope Francis waves as he leaves St. John Lateran Basilica after meeting Roman clergy, in Rome, Thursday, March 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is denouncing the “depraved hatred” behind a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in parts of the world and says interfaith dialogue can help counter it.

Francis made the comments during a Friday audience with a delegation of the American Jewish Committee.

He lamented that their meeting was taking place amid the spread of a “climate of wickedness and fury, in which an excessive and depraved hatred is taking root.” And he warned that for Christians, any form of anti-Semitism is “a rejection of one’s own origins, a complete contradiction.”

The audience occurred days after Francis responded to longstanding requests from Jewish groups to open the Vatican archives of its World War II-era pope, Pius XII, accused by some of having failed to speak out enough against the Holocaust.