Pope John Paul II: In His Own Words

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
To German Bishops: Commitment to Protecting Jews

On Friday November 14, the Holy Father received the first group of German Bishops on their visit Ad Limina Apostolorum. The bishops of the Berlin region are the pastors of the Church in the new federal states, the territory formerly included in the German Democratic Republic. This was their first visit since the "change," the word which Germans use to refer to the collapse of Communism and the unification of Germany, and the Holy Father took advantage of the occasion to look at their past and their present challenges, emphasizing especially the need for protecting Jews, and other minority groups, and working with others in overcoming past divisions.

Therefore, I make this urgent plea to you to be committed to the protection of your Jewish fellow citizens. The desecration of synagogues and the profanation of the memorials that have meant so much to Jews throughout their sorrowful history can never be condoned. The Fathers of the Second Vatican Council were aware of the special relationship between Christians and Jews, as they expressed it in their Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions: "Since Christians and Jews have such a common spiritual heritage, this sacred Council wishes to encourage and further mutual understanding and appreciation. This can be obtained, especially, by way of biblical and theological enquiry and through friendly discussions" (Nostra Aetate, n. 4). You should therefore make your contribution so that your Jewish fellow citizens do not become discouraged, and that they remain in your land, which is also their homeland, and continue to participate in its religious, cultural and scientific life....

November 14, 1992

Next: The Need to Triumph Over the Antagonisms of the Past

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