Today I went big, and ripped off the Pope:
Pope’s meeting with representatives of the Jewish Community
Reichstag Building, Berlin
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am truly glad to be taking part in this meeting with you here in
Berlin. I warmly thank President Dr Dieter Graumann for his kind and
thoughtful words. They make it very clear to me how much trust has grown
between the Jewish people and the Catholic Church, who hold in common a
not insignificant part of their essential traditions, as you
emphasized. At the same time it is clear to us all that a loving
relationship of mutual understanding between Israel and the Church, each
respecting the essence of the other, still has further to grow and
needs to be built into the heart of our proclamation of the faith.
On my visit to the Synagogue in Cologne six years ago, Rabbi
Teitelbaum spoke of remembrance as one of the supporting pillars that
are needed if a future of peace is to be built. And today I find myself
in a central place of remembrance, the appalling remembrance that it was
from here that the Shoah, the annihilation of our Jewish fellow
citizens in Europe, was planned and organized. Before the Nazi terror,
there were about half a million Jews living in Germany, and they formed a
stable component of German society. After the Second World War, Germany
was considered the “Land of the Shoah” where, for a Jew, it had become
virtually impossible to live. Initially there were hardly any efforts to
re-establish the old Jewish communities, even though Jewish individuals
and families were constantly arriving from the East. Many of them
wanted to emigrate and build a new life, especially in the United States
In this place, remembrance must also be made of the Kristallnacht
that took place from 9 to 10 November 1938. Only a few could see the
full extent of this act of contempt for humanity, like the Berlin
Cathedral Provost, Bernhard Lichtenberg, who cried out from the pulpit
of Saint Hedwig’s Cathedral: “Outside, the Temple is burning – that too
is the house of God”. The Nazi reign of terror was based on a racist
myth, part of which was the rejection of the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, the God of Jesus Christ and of all who believe in him. The
supposedly “almighty” Adolf Hitler was a pagan idol, who wanted to take
the place of the biblical God, the Creator and Father of all men.
Refusal to heed this one God always makes people heedless of human
dignity as well. What man is capable of when he rejects God, and what
the face of a people can look like when it denies this God, the terrible
images from the concentration camps at the end of the war showed.
In the light of this remembrance, it is to be acknowledged with
thankfulness that a new development has been seen in recent decades,
which makes it possible to speak of a real blossoming of Jewish life in
Germany. It should be stressed that the Jewish community during this
time has made particularly laudable efforts to integrate the Eastern
I would also like to express my gratitude for the deepening dialogue
between the Catholic Church and Judaism. The Church feels a great
closeness to the Jewish people...
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/full-text-of-popes-address-to-seminarians-in-freiburg/#ixzz1Z6mJyZD9
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