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Pope at Auschwitz, 29 July 2016 / © PHOTO.VA - OSSERVATORE ROMANO

‘The Unspeakable Suffering of the Victims of the Holocaust Continues to Cry Out to Humanity,’ Says Pope

On Holocaust Remembrance Day in Panama, Francis Says Never Forget the Victims

“Let us not forget the victims of the Holocaust. Their unspeakable suffering continues to cry out to humanity: We are all brothers and sisters!

Pope Francis expressed this on the occasion of International Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, on his @Pontifex account, while he is in Panama for the WYD2019. Today is Francis’ final day of his Apostolic Visit to the Central American country to celebrate World Youth Day 2019, Jan. 22-27, 2019, marking his 26th Apostolic Trip abroad and 40th country visited.

The Pope mentioned this anniversary also after his Sunday Angelus today, January 27, 2019, in Panama, during his visit to the Casa Hogar Buen Samaritano, saying in Spanish: “Dear brothers and sisters, today we celebrate the International Day of Remembrance in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.”

“We need to keep the past memory and past tragedies alive, and learn from the black pages of history, never to make the same mistakes again. Let us continue to engage tirelessly to cultivate justice, increase harmony, support integration, be instruments of peace and builders of a better world. ”

“Reminding the victims of the Holocaust is important so that this human tragedy is not repeated,” Pope Francis had already pointed out before a delegation of the European Jewish Congress visiting the Vatican on January 27, 2017.

A question to which the Pope returned that day also in his daily tweet: “Today, I wish to remember all the victims of the Holocaust. May their sufferings, their tears never be forgotten.

Father Norbert Hofmann, secretary of the Commission for Relations with Judaism, within the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, said on VaticanNews, that this day is “important for Jewish people, but also for Christians, because remembering the victims of the Holocaust is important in order for  this human tragedy not to be repeated.”

The representative of the Holy See in Vienna, Archbishop Janusz Urbanczyk , recalled the day before, January 26, 2017, before the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), that “the ultimate sacrifice of suffering, the fear and tears of the countless victims of blind hatred who have suffered deportation, imprisonment and death in these perverted and inhuman places must never be forgotten. ”

He pleaded for a “transfusion of memory” adding: “The Holy See attaches great importance and actively works in the field of education, especially in schools, to counter both anti-Semitism in general and the denial of the Holocaust in particular “.

On January 27, 2016, he said at the 1086th  meeting of the OSCE Permanent Council that “anti-Semitism has no place in the Catholic Church.” He stressed that “the position of the Catholic Church on anti-Semitism, was reaffirmed on different occasions by the Popes.”

In 1998, the Vatican published a document on the importance of the memory of the Shoah in 1998: “We remember. A reflection on the Holocaust.”

Popes John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis all went to Auschwitz, to the Holocaust memorial of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem and to the Great Synagogue of Rome.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is held every year on January 27th, the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp in 1945 by Soviet troops: 7,000 detainees were there then, abandoned, while some 60,000 others were evacuated from January 17-21, 1945.

On this occasion, commemorations and events are organized around the world.

During his Angelus address, the Pope also made appeals for Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil and the Philippines.

Anita Bourdin contributed to this article

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in four languages). She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, EWTN and Salt & Light. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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