Pope on Shoah: Never again

 — Jan. 28, 200928 janv. 2009

Pope on Shoah: Never again may violence humiliate the dignity of man!

[Vatican Radio • January 28, 2009 &#8226 excerpted] In his weekly audience Pope Benedict categorically condemned all attempts to deny the Holocaust and explained the reasons for the lifting of the excommunication of four bishops from the fraternity of St. Pius X.

Speaking in Italian following his catechesis on St. Paul, Pope Benedict immediately addressed an issue that has been dominating international media this week: The Holy See’s decision to lift the excommunication of four bishops from the Fraternity of St. Pius X.

“In the homily I pronounced at the outset of my Pontificate” began the Pope”, “I affirmed that the call to unity is the “explicit” duty of a Pastor”. Moreover, he added, it is the a qualifying aspect of the ministry of St. Peter’s Successor. Pope Benedict said that he arrived at his decision to lift the excommunication of the four prelates, because they had made known to him on repeated occasions “the suffering caused them by their situation”. “I decided to carry out this act out of paternal mercy” he said, adding that he hopes his gesture will lead to their commitment “to realise full communion with the Church, by their fidelity to and full recognition of the Magisterium and authority of the Pope and the Second Vatican Council”.

Pope Benedict’s thoughts then turned to the Shoah, the memorial of which was celebrated this week. He said “the memories and images of my many visits to Auschwitz come back to me in these days, a death camp in which blind racial and religious hatred led to the ferocious extermination of millions of Jews and other innocent victims”.

Then Pope Benedict firmly said “While I renew my affection for and complete solidarity with our Brothers of the First Alliance, I urge that the memory of the Shoah lead humanity to reflect on the unforeseeable power of evil when it conquers the Human Heart. May the Shoah be a warning to all against oblivion, against denial or revisionism, because violence committed against any one single human being is violence against all humanity. No man is an island, a well known poet once wrote. The Shoah teaches both the new and older generations, that only the demanding journey of listening and dialogue, of love and forgiveness can lead the world’s peoples, cultures and religions towards the desired goal of brotherhood and peace in truth. Never again may violence humiliate the dignity of man!”.

Listen to this Vatican Radio news report in Real Audio

Pope says no one can deny Holocaust, expresses solidarity with Jews

[Luigi Sandri • Rome • ENI • January 28, 2009] Pope Benedict XVI says he has “full and unquestionable solidarity” with Jewish people and he has warned against any form of Holocaust denial. The Pope’s statement comes after outrage at his recent reinstatement of an excommunicated bishop, who has said the genocide of Jews in gas chambers never took place.

The German-born pontiff was speaking at his weekly audience on 28 January following an international outcry about British-born Richard Williamson, who was among four bishops who had been excommunicated for opposing reforms in the Roman Catholic Church 20 years earlier.

“While I renew with affection the expression of my full and unquestionable solidarity with our [Jewish] brothers, I hope the memory of the Shoah [Hebrew for Holocaust] will induce humanity to reflect on the unpredictable power of hate when it conquers the heart of man.”

In an interview conducted in November and broadcast by Swedish television a week ago, Williamson had said: “I believe there were no gas chambers” and he had said that that no more than 300 000 Jews perished under the Nazis. “The historical evidence is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy by Adolf Hitler,” Williamson had said.

The Pope said that the traditionalist movement to which the four bishops belonged would need to be loyal to the papacy and the teachings of the 1962 to 1965 Second Vatican Council, which the four had rejected along with others known as Lefebvrists after their leader, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre of France.

At the end of his general audience, Benedict said: “I remember my visit to Auschwitz, one of the concentration camps in which took place the vicious extermination of millions of Jews, innocent victims of blind racial and religious hate.” He added, “Nobody can deny the Shoah.”

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, commented: “The words of the Pope on Shoah should be more than sufficient to answer to the expectations of those who express doubts on the positions of the pope and of the Catholic Church on this matter”.

Williamson, who is aged 68, was among four bishops excommunicated because Lefebvre, founder of the Society of Pius X that opposed the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, had consecrated them as bishops.

“The statements of Monsignor Williamson do not reflect in any way the position of our society,” Bernard Fellay, who now heads the Society of Pius X, wrote in a letter to the Pope that was distributed to journalists at the Vatican.

Jewish leaders had said the reinstatement of Williamson threatened decades of interfaith dialogue and that it could jeopardise a planned trip to the Holy Land by Pope Benedict later this year.

Posted: Jan. 28, 2009 • Permanent link: ecumenism.net/?p=547
Categories: NewsIn this article: Catholic
Transmis : 28 janv. 2009 • Lien permanente : ecumenism.net/?p=547
Catégorie : NewsDans cet article : Catholic

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