WJC welcomes the Pope’s visit to Auschwitz

July 31, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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Jewish Congress  President Ronald S. Lauder has hailed Pope Francis’ visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau as “a strong signal” against hatred and called the Catholic Church leader “one of the closest allies Jews have today in the fight against anti-Semitism and bigotry.”

Ronald S. Lauder with Pope Francis I when he was Cardinal Bergoglio

Ronald S. Lauder with Pope Francis I when he was Cardinal Bergoglio

Lauder said ahead of Pope Francis’ visit to the former Nazi German death camp this Friday: “The World Jewish Congress welcomes Pope Francis’ historic visit to Auschwitz. Although there are no grave markers, this is the world’s largest Jewish graveyard.

“It is also one of the most horrific places on the planet, and we find it appropriate that Pope Francis does not wish to make a speech during his visit, but to hold a silent prayer service together with over 1,000 survivors and representatives from around the world, as tribute to the 1.1 million men, women and children murdered at the camp.

Holocaust survivor Angela Orosz-Richt  born in Auschwitz has photographed two other survivors looking at the Pope while he is paying his respects to the murdered at Birkenau

Holocaust survivor Angela Orosz-Richt born in Auschwitz has photographed two other survivors looking at the Pope while he is paying his respects to the murdered at Birkenau

“Auschwitz is an eternal reminder of what can happen when hatred is allowed to fester, when the world remains silent in the face of evil and looks the other way as unspeakable crimes are being committed nearby,” declared the WJC president.

“Pope Francis is one of the closest allies Jews have today in the fight against anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred. He is a true friend of the Jewish people, a man who reaches out to others and embraces them. Never over the past 2,000 years have Catholic-Jewish relations been better.

“We thank him for going to Auschwitz. His visit there sends an important signal to the world that this dark chapter must never be forgotten and that the truth about what happened seven decades ago must not be obfuscated,” he said.

Referring to the murder of French priest, Jacques Hamel, earlier this week, as well as other terrorist acts that have taken place around the world, Lauder added: “This brutal attack in a house of worship, against an elderly priest, has come as a shock to all of us, and at a time when our societies are shaken by evil acts of terror, we must stand as one.

“We must speak out and not be silent. We must defend each other, and we must look after one another: one religious community after the other, one country after the other. The scourge of terrorism, fanaticism and intolerance won’t be defeated unless we are united in our resolve to defeat it, across religious and cultural divides.”

 

Comments

2 Responses to “WJC welcomes the Pope’s visit to Auschwitz”
  1. Eleonora Mostert says:

    All words no action, such a hollow statement. As for fanaticism… it comes from the Muslims, intolerance… comes from the Muslims,hatred… comes from the Muslims, evil… comes from the Muslims, brutal attacks… come from the Muslims, bigotry… comes from the Muslims. Yet the world blames the Jews and holds them responsible. The worlds is not united against terrorism… the worlds Media makes excuses for those who commit them. Mr. Francis you’re words are empty vessels reaching empty hearts and empty minds. PS You are not the Father that Position has been taken before time began.

  2. Lynne Newington says:

    I wonder how far the friendship stretches when the subject of the canonisation of Pius raises it’s head once more.
    It will come, as sure as day meets night.

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