December 28, 2010 — New York — AJC welcomed a letter from the Greek Orthodox Church leadership reaffirming the “longstanding dialogue” and “close cooperation” between the church and the Jewish community.
The letter to Rabbi David Rosen, AJC International Director of Interreligious Affairs, came in response to AJC’s condemnation of a high-level priest, Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus for his anti-Semitic remarks last week on national Greek TV.
“Such unfortunate comments have no place in our hearts and minds,” wrote Metropolitan Emmanuel of France on behalf of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “The language of hate and mistrust will find ways to be heard. This, however, should not become an obstacle in our sincere and fraternal cooperation.”
Rabbi Rosen expressed appreciation for the letter, and reiterated that “It is the responsibility of the church leadership to condemn and uproot anti-Semitism.”
The full text of the letter follows:
Rabbi David Rosen
International Director of Interreligious Affairs
of the American Jewish Committee
Dear Rabbi Rosen,
It is with great disappointment that I have received the news regarding the anti-Semitic comments of a Hierarch of the Church of Greece that have been recently made on a public forum. You are well aware of the respect and sincere cooperation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and of His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew himself. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to ensure you that such unfortunate comments have no place in our hearts and minds. The Ecumenical Patriarchate believes in our long-standing dialogue and strives to improve and strengthen our close cooperation with the Jewish community worldwide.
Incidents such as the aforementioned will unfortunately take place, and the language of hate and mistrust will find ways to be heard. This, however, should not become an obstacle in our sincere and fraternal cooperation.
Metropolitan Emmanuel of France