By Jordan Zaitchik
B’nai Brith Canada
“I think it is not only false, it’s stupid.”
That’s what the Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said when asked about his feelings on the boycotts and sanctions movement against Israel in an interview with Arutz Sheva. The Cardinal is generally perceived to be second in the Catholic Church’s hierarchy to Pope Francis.
The strong sentiments were given while the Archbishop was attending a convention of the Conference of European Rabbis in Vienna on May 31. The Archbishop additionally commented on the Catholic Church’s relationship with the Jewish community, calling them “friends” and “neighbours”.
The Archbishop’s words echo those of Pope Francis. In October of 2015, Pope Francis met with the World Jewish Congress delegation in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, which is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. During that meeting, Pope Francis told the delegation that “to attack Jews is antisemitism, but an outright attack on the State of Israel is also antisemitism. There may be political disagreements between governments and on political issues, but the State of Israel has every right to exist in safety and prosperity.”