B’nai B’rith International strongly condemns the group of religious extremists who disrupted a B’nai B’rith-sponsored Kristallnacht ceremony in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral on Nov. 13.
As Buenos Aires Archbishop Mario Poli attempted to start the interreligious ceremony, a small group consisting of anti-Semites and followers of the radical Society of St. Pius X began to pray loudly, with some reportedly exclaiming that those who killed Jesus are staining the church. B’nai B’rith praises the Archbishop for his response, quickly dismissing the vile demonstrators who left shortly after their disruption began.
“Beloved Jewish brothers, please feel at home here. This church is also your home. Let us make peace in this meeting as Pope Francis desires,” the JTA reported Poli as saying, echoing the Pope’s words about the Jews as “our older brothers.”
“This incident is a prime example of why we can never allow the passing of time to undermine the memory of what occurred during the Night of Broken Glass,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “Even though those who harbor hatred toward Jews are in the minority, we must remain vigilant against them.”
B’nai B’rith Argentina has organized Kristallnacht commemoration ceremonies in cooperation with the Ecumenical Commission of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires since 1994. In nearly 20 years, there have been no disruptions until now.
“In this horrifying incident, especially for the Holocaust survivors in attendance, it is comforting to know how quickly the protest was repudiated by Archbishop Poli. It shows the bond between the Jewish and Catholic communities has strengthened and that there is no tolerance for hateful rhetoric,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said.