BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) — Fundamentalist Christians disrupted a joint Jewish-Christian ceremony commemorating Kristallnacht held at the Buenos Aires City´s Metropolitan Cathedral.
Tuesday night’s event was organized by the Inter-Religious Dialogue Committee and Bnai Brith Argentina.
When the Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Mario Poli, tried to start the ceremony’s liturgy of commemoration, the fundamentalist group interrupted the ceremony, praying in loud voices and distributing brochures against “the presence of fake gods at our main Cathedral.”
After a standoff that lasted several minutes, police officials arrived at the Cathedral. The demonstrators left at the request of Father Fernando Gianetti, who made the request in the name of Poli, successor to Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio, who now is Pope Francis.
Julio Schlosser, president of DAIA, Argentina’s Jewish political umbrella, told JTA of the incident that “Nazi hordes spread poison on the victims of the Holocaust.”
After the insurgents left, Poli again began the ceremony. “Beloved Jewish brothers, please feel at home here” he said amid applause. “This church is also your home. Let us make peace in this meeting as Pope Francis desires.”
The ceremony liturgy was based on a document written by Rabbi Leon Klenicki and Catholic theologian Eugene Fischer titled “From Death to Hope.”
The violent group was identified as a mix of anti-Semitic youth and also ultra-conservative followers of the Society of St. Pius X.