Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Vatican Urges Repentance for Sins of Omission

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Vatican Urges Repentance for Sins of Omission

Article excerpt

In a landmark document that was 11 years in the making, the Vatican expressed deep regret for the errors and failures of Catholics who did not do enough to resist the mass killings of Jews during World War II or to help the persecuted Jews. The document, which was released March 16 and is called "We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah," also acknowledged that centuries of anti-Jewish attitudes within the church may have contributed to this lack of resistance to the Nazi genocide.

"For Christians, this heavy burden of conscience of their brothers and sisters during the Second World War must be a call to penitence," said the document issued by the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. "This is an act of repentance since, as members of the church, we are linked to the sins as well as the merits of all her children."

In a letter accompanying the release of the document, Pope John Paul II called the Jewish Holocaust, or Shoah, an "unspeakable iniquity" and an "indelible stain on the history of the century." He placed the document in the context of his efforts to encourage Christians to examine their responsibility for "evils of our time" in anticipation of the Jubilee Year 2000. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.