Avisa DagenMagazinet melder at «Pave Benedikt XVI sier at all fornekting av Holocaust og forsøk på å bagatellisere jødeforfølgelsene er utålelig. I et møte med jødiske ledere torsdag sa han også at han tar avstand fra alle former for antisemittisme. Paven fremholdt at fornekting av Holocaust er spesielt alvorlig når det blir gjort av en prest.
Pavens uttalelser er de første til jødiske ledere etter at kontroversen om den katolske biskopen Richard Williamson brøt ut i januar. Biskopen fornekter holocaust og sier at det aldri fantes noen gasskamre.
Pave Benedikt varslet også at han planlegger å reise til Israel. Ifølge kilder i Vatikanet vil reisen trolig finne sted i mai.»
Denne meldinga ser ut til å være tatt direkte fra NTB, og sier ikke noe om hvorfor dette møtet kom i stand. Den katolske nyhetstjenesten Zenit skriver at den amerikanske *Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations» var i Italia i forbindelse med sitt årlige ledermøte i Israel. Jeg leser så i Jerusalem Post at møtet fra planlagt for lang tid siden, og at de jødiske lederne ikke ønska gjøre det pinlig for paven ved å nekte å møte ham.
I alle fall sa pave Benedikt i går til disse jødiske lederne fra USA (fra Zenit):
«What words can adequately convey that profoundly moving experience,» he asked. «As I walked through the entrance to that place of horror, the scene of such untold suffering, I meditated on the countless number of prisoners, so many of them Jews, who had trodden that same path into captivity at Auschwitz and in all the other prison camps.
«Those children of Abraham, grief-stricken and degraded, had little to sustain them beyond their faith in the God of their fathers, a faith that we Christians share with you, our brothers and sisters. How can we begin to grasp the enormity of what took place in those infamous prisons? The entire human race feels deep shame at the savage brutality shown to your people at that time.»
The Pope went on to note that he is preparing his visit to Israel, which is expected in the second week of May.
Then he reflected on the 2,000 year history of the relationship between Judaism and the Church, acknowledging that it «has passed through many different phases, some of them painful to recall.»
He affirmed that the Second Vatican Council declaration «Nostra Aetate» has guided the relationship since its redaction. «The Church is profoundly and irrevocably committed to reject all anti-Semitism and to continue to build good and lasting relations between our two communities,» the Bishop of Rome declared.
He added: «The hatred and contempt for men, women and children that was manifested in the Shoah was a crime against God and against humanity. This should be clear to everyone, especially to those standing in the tradition of the holy Scriptures, according to which every human being is created in the image and likeness of God.
«It is beyond question that any denial or minimization of this terrible crime is intolerable and altogether unacceptable.»
Benedict XVI concluded by urging that the memory of the Holocaust remain as a «warning to us for the future, and a summons to strive for reconciliation.»
«To remember is to do everything in our power to prevent any recurrence of such a catastrophe within the human family by building bridges of lasting friendship,» he said. «It is my fervent prayer that the memory of this appalling crime will strengthen our determination to heal the wounds that for too long have sullied relations between Christians and Jews. It is my heartfelt desire that the friendship we now enjoy will grow ever stronger, so that the Church’s irrevocable commitment to respectful and harmonious relations with the people of the Covenant will bear fruit in abundance.»