New York, NY, October 12, 2005 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed gratitude to Pope Benedict XVI over the beatification of World War II-era German Bishop Clemens August von Galen – known as the “Lion of Muenster” – who courageously spoke out publicly against the Nazis’ murderous policies.
During an Oct. 9 Vatican ceremony, Pope Benedict hailed the “heroic courage” of von Galen, and described the churchman who condemned anti-Semitism as a model for those in public roles today. The pontiff later praised the bishop for “protecting the Jews” while addressing pilgrims in St. Peter's Square.
In a letter to Pope Benedict, Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director and Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, ADL Interfaith Affairs Director said:
“Cardinal von Galen’s life was an example of one who put doing right and good in the eyes of the Lord above political expediency. His brave battle against anti-Semitism and his protection of innocent lives should stand as a lesson for all time, not just to adherents of the Catholic Church, but all peoples and all faith communities.”