One may hope that the choice of Pope Francis, and the rejection of Maradiaga, will herald a realism in the Vatican about the jihad that threatens both Jews and Christians, and of which Israel is on the front lines. “Pope Francis I: Friend of Inclusiveness,” by Christine Williams at the Gatestone Institute, March 15:
The College of Cardinals has elected its new Pope, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio, — the the first non-European Pope in a thousand years; the first Jesuit; the first from the Americas and the first Pope Francis named after St. Francis of Assisi — one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic church and noted for being a champion of justice and for his love for the poor. Reports are also out that Pope Francis is a friend to Jews, a critical attribute, given the persistent anti-Semitic boycotts, divestment drives and sanctions [BDS] against Israel in many Christian denominations including the largest Protestant one in Canada: The United Church….
Pope Francis is said to have had good relations with Argentinian Jews: he was praised by Jewish community leaders for his response to the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Jewish Mutual Association that killed over 80 people. Further, in 2005, Bergoglio signed a joint statement against terrorism with Jose Adaszko of the Israel Mutual Association of Argentina, and Omar Helal Massud of the Islamic Center. The intent of the statement was to prevent the recurrence of anything like the 1994 bombing. World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder, who met Bergoglio in 2008, expressed optimism that he will continue the work of bridge-building between the Catholic Church and world Jewry.
Many Zionists and pro-Jewish supporters had held their breath as, according to a daunting report, entitled Will a Notorious Anti-Semite Become The Pope?, Cardinal Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras appeared on many media shortlists. This outspoken anti-Semite reportedly blamed the Jews for deflecting attention away from “Israeli injustices against the Palestinians” by arranging for the media to give undue attention to the Catholic sex abuse scandal.