Pope condemns Holocaust denial, reaffirms solidarity with Jews
VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI renewed his “full and unquestionable solidarity” with the world’s Jews and condemned all ignorance, denial and downplaying of the brutal slaughter of millions of Jewish people during the Holocaust.
The pope’s comments Jan. 28 came a day after the Chief Rabbinate of Israel postponed indefinitely a March meeting with the Vatican in protest over the pope lifting the excommunication of a traditionalist bishop who has minimized the severity and extent of the Holocaust.
Speaking the day after International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Pope Benedict said he hoped “the memory of the Holocaust will persuade humanity to reflect on the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man.” The Jews were “innocent victims of a blind racist and religious hatred,” he said at the end of his general audience in the Paul VI hall.
The pope recalled his many visits to Auschwitz, calling it “one of the concentration camps in which millions of Jews were brutally slaughtered” by the Nazis. “May the Holocaust be a warning to everyone against forgetting, denying or minimizing” what happened to millions of Jews “because violence waged against just one human being is violence against everyone,” he said.