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
Jews and Christians Must Be a Blessing to One Another

On September 29, Pope John Paul II received a delegation from the Anti-Defamation League at his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo. Their visit immediately followed the presentation of credentials by the first Ambassador of Israel to the Vatican. David H. Strassler, ADL national chairman, addressed His Holiness, who then responded.

These convictions lie behind the following words which I wrote on the occasion of the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto: "As Christians and Jews, following the example of the faith of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing for the world [cf. Gen. 12:2]. This is the common task awaiting us. It is therefore necessary for us, Christians and Jews, to be first a blessing to one another. This will effectively occur if we are united in the face of evils which are still threatening: indifference and prejudice, as well as displays of anti-Semitism" [April 21, 1993].

Was it not the bond of friendship which in many cases during the terrible days of the past inspired the courage of Christians who helped their Jewish brothers and sisters, even at the cost of their own lives? Truly, nobody has greater love than the one who lays down his life for his friends [cf. John 15:13]. Friendship stands against exclusion and makes people stand together in the face of threat.

Let our friendship, strengthened by our respect for divine Providence, bring us ever closer, for the good of the whole world.

September 29, 1994

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2001 Anti-Defamation League