"The violence of man toward man is in contradiction with every religion worthy of this name, and in particular with the great monotheistic religions."
Pope Francis said that "life is sacred, a gift from God. The fifth commandment of the Decalogue says 'Do not kill'. God is the God of life, and always seeks to promote and defend it; and we, created in his image and likeness, are required to do the same."
"Every human being, as a creature of God, is our brother, independent of his origin or religious practice," he said, recalling that God "extends his merciful hand to all, independent of their faith and their origin," and "cares for those who need him the most: the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the defenseless."
"We must pray to him insistently so that he helps us to practice in Europe, in the Holy Land, in the Middle East, in Africa, and in every other part of the world the logic of peace, reconciliation, forgiveness, and life."
He recalled with sorrow the Jewish experience of the Shoah, in which 6 million persons "were victims if the most inhuman barbarities, perpetuated in the name of an ideology that wanted to substitute God with man."
Pope Francis remembered in a particular way the thousands of Roman Jews who were deported to Auschwitz in October, 1943, saying, "their sufferings, their anguish, their tears, must never be forgotten."
"And the past must serve as a lesson for us in the present and into the future. The Shoah teaches us to always have the highest vigilance, in order to be able to intervene forcefully in defense of human dignity and peace."
He concluded, addressing the assembly as elder brothers, in thanksgiving for the advances in Jewish-Catholic relations in the past 50 years: "We pray together to the Lord, so that he directs our path toward a good, better future."
"God has a project of salvation for us, as he tells the prophet Jeremiah: 'I know the plans I have for you; plans of peace and not destruction, so that you enjoy a future full of hope'. May the Lord bless us and protect us. May he make his shine on us and may he give us his grace. Shalom alechem!"