August 2005

Argentine Cardinal included in Hebrew calendar

For the first time, the IRWF remembered a Catholic Cardinal as per the Hebrew Calendar on 3 of v 5765 (August 2005).

Every year, the IRWF remembers the birth of the Argentine ex-Primate Cardinal Antonio Quarracino at his tomb in the Chapel ”Virgen de Luján” at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral, next to the mural commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, the Embassy of Israel and AMIA.

Inter-religious petition

The IRWF continues its campaign for the collection of 100,000 signatures in order to know the destiny of the Swedish diplomat who made of solidarity and civic courage his own flag by saving thousands of Jewish people from Nazism.

This campaign is addressed to good-willed men and women from all religions, races and nationalities in order to endorse a petition to be presented to the Russian Government and to the United Nations claiming for a solution to the disappearance of Raoul Wallemberg in the hands of the Soviet Army in 1945, being this event one of the most controversial cases of all human history.

Pope to fight against anti-Semitism

Pope Benedict XVI (born in Germany) set up a precedent at being the first Pope to visit a synagogue in the country where European Holocaust had been planned and implemented. During his recent visit to Cologne’s Synagogue in Germany, the Pope committed himself to spread a condemning message against anti-Semitism during his papacy. The Pope said: ”the Catholic Church confirms its support to tolerance, respect, peace and friendship among the different cultures, people and religions”. Abraham Lerer, Jewish representative and President of Cologne’s Jewish Community, invited Pope Benedict XVI to continue with the opening of the Vatican Archives corresponding to Holocaust times in order to allow a better understanding of the role played by the Catholic Church during those obscure years in the History of Humanity.

Inter-religious argentine movie exhibited in New York.

The movie ”Legacy: I never left my village” sponsored by the RWIF and directed by Vivian Imar and Marcelo Trotta has been exhibited at the Coliseum cinema of the city of New York on August 23rd. The movie, based on an idea of IRWF’s founder, Baruj Tenembaum, is the result of more than 10 years of work. During this time, both directors gathered material and interviewed the protagonists in their own environment without recurring to re-enactments or actors. It is a story focused on a little known chapter of the Argentine life in the ”pampas”, where many Jewish immigrants had established when escaping from the European persecutions at the beginning of the 20th century.

One of the most remarkable aspects of the movie is its message of love and human understanding, the solidarity among Jewish ”gauchos” and the Argentine Catholics who welcomed them with their widely open arms and hearts.

Catholics, Jewish and Muslims’ support to inter-religious dialogue

On August 9th, the Catholic, Jewish and Muslim communities subscribed a joint declaration ratifying their total identification to the peace cause, and their rejection to terrorism and any other act of fundamentalism. Buenos Aires’ Archbishop, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, the President of the Islamic Center, Mr Omar Helal Massud, the President of the Argentinean Jewish Mutual Association (AMIA), Mr Luis Grynwald and the Vicepresident of the Argentinean Jewish Associations (DAIA), Mr León Cohen Bello, attended this ceremony.

Brother Roger’s Funeral (inter-religious activist)

On August 23rd, thousands of pilgrims gathered to pay posthumous homage to Brother Roger Schutz, founder of the Christian Ecumenical Community in Taize, France. Brother Roger, 90 years old, was assassinated by a mentally unbalanced woman when he was celebrating Mass in the Reconciliation Church. Apart from his inter-religious activity Brother Roger had protected Jewish chased by Nazism during World War II.

Translation: Cristina Mendez