Pope John Paul II: In His Own Words

On Israel
Cooperation with Israel
The Western Wall
The Right of Jews to a Homeland
On the Holocaust
On Judaism

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On Israel
The Right of Jews to a Homeland

Address to Jewish Leaders in Miami

Necessary for any sincere dialogue is the intention of each partner to allow others to define themselves "in the light of their own religious experience" [1974 Guidelines, Introduction]. In fidelity to this affirmation, Catholics recognize among the elements of the Jewish experience that Jews have a religious attachment to the land, which finds its roots in Biblical tradition.

After the tragic extermination of the Shoah, the Jews began a new period in their history. They have a right to a homeland, as does any civil nation, according to international law. "For the Jewish people who live in the State of Israel and who preserve in that land such precious testimonies to their history and their faith, we must ask for the desired security and the due tranquility that is the prerogative of every nation and condition of life and of progress for every society" [Apostolic Letter on Jerusalem Redemptionis Anno, April 20, 1984].

This land was sanctified by the One Godís revelation to men; it continues to bear the mark and does not cease to be a place of inspiration for those who can make a pilgrimage there.

(Speech welcoming Shmuel Hadas, the first ambassador of Israel to the Holy See, September 29, 1994)

September 11, 1987

Next: On the Holocaust

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