Pope under fire for Yad Vashem speech

In this article it says that the Holy See has a lot to ask forgiveness for.

I don’t think I have heard Catholic Church blamed for the Holocaust before.


These people are ridiculous. They care nothing about historical fact and accuracy and instead choose to nurture the permanent emotional chip on their shoulder based on nothing but falsehoods. One holocaust survivor bashed to pope when he said the “millions of Jews” instead of “six million Jews”. Give me a break.

I posted this because I have never heard it said that the Holy See was responsible for the Holocaust, not to bash the Jewish people.

Maybe the apologetic prayer can go somethig like this:

"Dear Lord,

Although the Catholic Church saved an enormous amount of Jews during World War II and even though Pope Pius VII did more than any other world leader to save Jews from persecution, maybe we could have tried a little harder."

The Pope is probably well aware that he could issue an “apology” and declare that the Church will never canonize Pius XII, and it still would not be enough. Regardless of the fact that there’s nothing to apologize for outside of the actions of perhaps some individual clergymen who were sympathetic to the Nazis, the Pope obviously does not want to completely alienate the Jewish people. So, his only option is to express regret for what occured, ask forgiveness for any indirect role the Church may have had, and move on. Israel is never going to receive from the Church any admittance of guilt for the Holocaust, because it’s simply preposterous, and dare I say it, the will of Satan to hang - once again - baseless and false charges on the body of Christ.

Probably all faith groups, at one time or another in history, have been both persecuted and persecutor. Usually it’s a matter of which group has been in power or was favored by those in power. Catholics were certainly persecuted at various times in history, especially in the beginning days of the Church. All faith groups, not just the Catholic Church, need to acknowledge their sins of the past and pledge to work together in peace.

You’d hope for better from the Jerusalem Post…:shrug:

And there lies the problem:

You cannot criticize something Israel or an Israeli does without being accused of being anti-Semitic.

Obviously not all Jews feel this way, but a lot of them think Pope Pius XII sat idly by or even aided Hitler in persecution of the Jews during WWII, despite loads of evidence to the contrary. For some of them, nothing any Pope does will ever be enough to atone for the crimes the Catholic Church committed against Jews in the past.

I think even if Benedict read out Mit Brennender Sorge (Pius XII’s encyclical condemning Nazi policy - which I understand was written in German unlike other encyclicals so that the Nazis would get the message direct from the horse’s mouth) word for word, people would still be demanding that poor old Pius not be canonised.

Pius XII ought to be canonized tomorrow. Seriously. It is ridiculous how the canonization of a holy man can be delayed because of some lobbyists with a revisionist view of history.

Fortunately, nothing that these ant-Catholic lobbies do or say can affect where Pius XII actually is…

“We’re talking about the pope, who is also a representative of the Holy See, which has a lot to ask forgiveness from our people for,” Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said during an interview on Israel Radio on Tuesday.

The speaker has a warped sense of history. I wish he would be more specific.

I guess paying tribute to the Jews who perished and pledging to work tirelessly to prevent such hatred from recurring in the hearts of mankind again is not enough. The Pope can’t apologize for something the Holy See didn’t do…

Apparently the Jerusalem Post is under the impression that the Pope works for them.

Really, though, this isn’t any different from the ignorant newspaper editorials all over the world that are always calling upon the Pope to “modernize” his views and open up the Church to popular movements.

But as the Pope himself will tell you, it’s his job to defend the Church, not apply his opinions or yield to popular pressure. And anyone who thinks that Benedict XVI, of all people, will crater to this kind of pressure must never have read anything he’s written–or realize what it meant for him to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Pope has gone to Israel seeking to promote good will all around, especially with the Jewish people. The Pope has extended his hand and the hand of Catholics in friendship and peace, and for those Jews who don’t want the Catholics as friends, well then they are free to turn to their Arab Muslim neighbors.
It should be noted that there are many wonderful Jews in the world today. We have the example of the Jewish professor Liviu Librescu who gave his life in an act of heroism during the Virginia Tech massacre in which he held off the gunman so that his students could escape. He did not ask whether or not his students were Jews or Christians or Muslims, but he tried to save everyone.

So a whole new apology - meeeting the specifications of the Israeli political and media establishment - will be needed from each new pope, till the end of time?

It’s as ridiculous and asking for Israel to apologize for the death of Jesus.:rolleyes:

A) The old Holy Father, the Servant of God John Paul II, ALREADY apologized for the role of SOME Catholics played in the Holocaust. How many popes have to do so? Every one from now until the Savior comes in His Glory?

B) There was nothing wrong with the Holy Father’s speech. It addressed the Holocaust just as it should have been, whether at Vad Yashem or elsewhere. It was replete with sorrow over the Shoah and it was delivered by a good and gentle man. The reaction is ABSOLUTE RUBBISH!

This whole thing is so infuriating that I wish he hadn’t gone. I feel like I would if someone picked on my grandfather: I’d want to punch them!


Wow it sounds like everyone in the Holy Land wants a Catholic apology…let me ask why is it the Catholic church always has to apologize:shrug: I’ve yet to hear any directed towards us.

No. Once was sufficient. A bridge can never be built from just one bank. Fortunately the are many Jewish people of good will that have moved beyond the crimes of previous generations and accepted the present reality that peace is being sought by the Catholic Church.

Not intended to insult Jewish people in general,
but people like the Knesset speaker and some of the Rabbis
who are foaming at the mouth at Pope Benedict, really gall me.
Many, many other ethnic groups have been targeted for Holocausts - exterminations -
throughout history. The Armenians were targeted by Turkey and millions were killed.
That’s just one example out of many.
But THESE particular Jewish individuals act as if
only THEIR people’s suffering is the only suffering that
counts in all of world history, and demand fanny-kissing from every
foreign religious or political leader who visits their country Israel,
including our Pope.
They aren’t the only people who have been targeted in the past for annihilation,
and contrary to their super-high opinions of themselves,
they AREN’T the ONLY people whose suffering counts.
I thought the Pope was very gracious at Yad Vashem.

Maybe I have the history wrong, but from what I understand the Israelis ought to salute and to thank profusely what the Catholic Church did during the Holocaust. It is my understanding that no other entity operating within the Third Reich saved as many Jews from the maw of doom than our Church did. We even turned the Sistine Chapel into a literal sanctuary and housed Jews there to keep them away from the Nazis. The Nazis extorted huge amounts of gold from the Vatican using threats against the Jews, and Rome gladly gave. In places within the Reich where the Church was strongest fewer Jews were taken. Before the war the Pope smuggled an anti-Hitler encyclical into Germany warning that the Nazis were bound to inflame the world in a war against all, and people laughed and called him crazy and way over the top.

You’re going to have to correct my misunderstandings on this and show me where the Catholic Church was culpable for the Holocaust.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.