John Paul II Repeats Condemnation of Anti-Semitism

And Praises Those Who Took Risks to Save Jews

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ROME, MAY 24, 2004 ( In a message to the Synagogue of Rome, John Paul II reiterated his condemnation of anti-Semitism and paid homage to those who risked their lives to save Jews.

In the letter read by Cardinal Camillo Ruini at a centenary ceremony in the temple Sunday, the Pope said that «we are united in remembrance of all the victims of the Shoah,» the Holocaust.

«It is a duty to remember all those Christians who, under the impulse of natural goodness and uprightness of conscience, sustained by faith and evangelical teaching, reacted with courage, also in this city of Rome, to give concrete help to persecuted Jews, offering solidarity and assistance, at times risking their very lives,» the Holy Father said.

«Their blessed memory remains alive, together with the certainty that for them, just as for all the ‘righteous among the nations,’ the ‘tzaddiqim,’ a place has been prepared in the future world, in the resurrection of the dead,» the Pope said.

«Neither can one forget, together with official pronouncements, the often-hidden action of the Apostolic See, which went out to assist endangered Jews in many ways, as has been recognized, among others, by their authoritative representatives,» he said.

«The Church has not hesitated to deplore the faults of her sons and daughters of all ages, and with an act of repentance has asked forgiveness for their responsibilities which can in any way be related to the plagues of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism,» he added.

«During the Great Jubilee we invoked the mercy of God, in the sacred basilica in memory of Peter in Rome, and in Jerusalem, the city loved by all Jews, heart of that land which is holy for all of us,» the message stated, addressed to the chief rabbi of Rome.

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