Pope John Paul II: In His Own Words

Introduction
On Israel
On the Holocaust
On Judaism
Shared Spiritual Patrimony
Recalling the Common Heritage of Jews and Christians
Anti-Semitism is Unjustified and Reprehensible
Abhorrence for Genocide Against Jews
"A Special Relationship" with Heirs of Patriarchs and Prophets of Israel
Importance of Dialogue Based on Sincere Esteem
Jews as "Elder Brothers"
Sincere Sorrow for the Suffering of the Jews
Spiritual Unity with Jews
Address to Jewish Community
Opposing Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia
To German Bishops: Commitment to Protecting Jews
The Need to Triumph Over the Antagonisms of the Past
The Right of Jews to Return to the Land of Their Ancestors
Jews and Christians Must Be a Blessing to One Another


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On Judaism
Opposing Anti-Semitism and Xenophobia

During the general audience on October 28, the Holy Father spoke out against recent expressions of anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The Pope spoke in Italian as follows:

I would now like to express a word of fraternal solidarity to the members of the Jewish people. Today, in fact, is the anniversary of the promulgation of Vatican II's Declaration Nostra Aetate on the Church's relations with non-Christian religions, and in a special way with the descendants of "Abraham's stock." In addition, last week marked the close of the solemn festivities for the beginning of the year according to the Jewish calendar with the celebration of Simhath Torah, the Exultation for the [divine] Law."

I mention these facts as I bear in my heart the sadness over reports of attacks and profanations which for some time have been offending the memory of the victims of the Shoah in the very places which witnessed the suffering of millions of innocent people. As the Council teaches, and as I myself repeated in the Synagogue of Rome, the Church "deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews"
[Nostra Aetate, n. 4].

More generally, in the face of the recurrent episodes of xenophobia, racial tension and extreme, fanatical nationalism, I feel it is my duty to emphasize that every form of racism is a sin against God and humanity, since every human person bears the stamp of the divine image.

October 28, 1992



Next: To German Bishops: Commitment to Protecting Jews


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