Bartali and the sensitivity of Pope Francis

Letter from Wallenberg Foundation to the Jerusalem Post

The President of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation, Eduardo Eurnekian, and its Founder, Baruch Tenembaum, wrote a letter to the Jerusalem Post remembering the figure of Gino Bartali and the sensitivity of Pope Francis about the rescuers.
This is the text of the message:

Due credit

Sir, – We read with joy the news of Gino Bartali’s posthumous recognition as Righteous Among the Gentiles (“Italian sports hero posthumously honored as Righteous Gentile,” News, September 24).

Bartali epitomized the lofty values of the rescuers and the spirit of solidarity which was so typical of the Italian people.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation started promoting Bartali’s heroic figure many years ago, paying tribute to his brave heart and incorporating his legacy in our worldwide educational programs.

 A few weeks ago, on a visit to the Vatican, we met with Pope Francis, who in his “former life” as Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio joined our foundation as honorary member. Quite coincidentally, we told the pontiff our feelings towards the Italian rescuers in general and Gino Bartali in particular.

Pope Francis’s sensitivity to the rescuers is well known to us. As archbishop of Buenos Aires, Cardinal Bergoglio helped us enormously in promoting the Memorial Mural we installed at the Metropolitan Capital in a joint initiative with his predecessor, Cardinal Antonio Quarracino, who also asked to be buried next to it and to allow the Jews to visit this emblematic monument with their heads covered.

This Mural is in tribute to the victims of the Shoa and the terrorist attacks perpetrated against the Israeli embassy and the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires back in the 1990s.

The International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation
New York

30 September 2013

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