| 5 March 2024, Tuesday |

Jewish groups criticize Pope on ‘terrorism’ remark, seek clarification

Pope Francis has come under fire from Jewish organizations, who see his remarks as charging Israel and Hamas with “terrorism” and have called for clarifications.

Following separate meetings with Palestinian family members living in Gaza and Jewish families of hostages detained by Hamas, Francis delivered the remarks on Wednesday.

He discussed the talks with his general audience in St. Peter’s Square later that day and expressed that he felt the suffering of both parties.

“This is what wars do. But here we have gone beyond wars. This is not war. This is terrorism,” he said.

He asked for prayers so that both sides would “not go ahead with passions, which, in the end, kill everyone”.

In a toughly worded statement on Thursday, the Council of the Assembly of Italian Rabbis (ARI) accused the pope of “publicly accusing both sides of terrorism”.

It went on to accuse unnamed “Church leaders” of not condemning the Hamas attack and of “putting the aggressor and the attacked on the same plane in the name of a supposed impartiality”.

  • Reuters