The Catholic Church and the Holocaust
Perspectives on the Vatican Statement,
We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah

With the Complete Text of
We Remember


Mark Silk. Welcome to this discussion of the Vatican’s recent statement on the Holocaust. The twentieth century has presented no more troubling issue regarding religion in public life than the Holocaust, or Shoah. The destruction of European Jewry has come to be seen—at least in this country—as the great paradigm of evil in our time. For Jews, it was the culmination of centuries of persecution in Europe by people who considered themselves Christians. In that respect, the rejection of anti-Jewish actions and theology by the Roman Catholic Church from the Second Vatican Council to the present day has been a singularly important religious development in the history of the West. In a world where there are a billion Catholics, it’s also just plain good news for the 15 million Jews.

For all that, the Church was, among other things, a political player during the Nazi period. For the Vatican to take it upon itself to reflect on how members of the Church, and the hierarchy itself, behaved during the Holocaust was, to say nothing else, no easy or simple task. If we just think of the controversy that broke out when the Smithsonian tried to include mention of Japanese deaths in its exhibit of the airplane that dropped the first atomic bomb, we can understand how heavily freighted are questions involving the morality of large entities such as nation states and religious institutions, especially for those who belong to them. At issue in the present case are complicated issues of theology, of history, of counterfactual judgments about what might or could or should have been, and indeed of present-day interfaith relations.

To help us sort all of this out we have a very distinguished group of panelists. Before I introduce them, let me say that each will give a short presentation, to be followed by discussion among themselves, and finally by questions from the floor. This is a very emotional subject, but the object here is to cast more light rather than to generate more heat.

Our first speaker will be Philip Cunningham, professor of theology at Notre Dame College in Manchester, New Hampshire, and co-director of the college’s Shalom Center for Understanding Between Christians and Jews. A leading writer and thinker on the subject of Jewish-Catholic relations, he was at the Vatican in late March to present a paper at the sixteenth meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee—a paper entitled "What Are We and How Should We Be Teaching About Jews and Judaism in Catholic Religion Textbooks?" Phil will talk about what he sees as the strengths and weaknesses of the Vatican statement.

He will be followed by Jerome Chanes, program director for the National Foundation for Jewish Culture, and formerly national affairs director for what was then called the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council. In the latter capacity he was involved at the outset in the process that led to the Vatican statement, and he will talk about its history and meaning from the Jewish side. Jerome, I should mention, is the author of numerous articles and editor of an important volume of essays on anti-Semitism in America.

After Jerome we will hear from Rabbi James Rudin, the national interreligious affairs director of the American Jewish Committee, an organization for which he has worked since 1968—which I think makes him one of the oldest and savviest hands around when it comes to interfaith relations. Along the way he has participated in no fewer than seven meetings with Pope John Paul II, and has taken part in conferences with the World Council of Churches in Geneva and with Eastern Orthodox leaders in Greece. He has also been involved in Polish-Jewish relations, Black-Jewish relations, and Arab-Jewish relations; he writes a regular weekly column for the Religion News Service; and is author of Israel for Christians: Understanding Modern Israel—to name just a handful of his manifold accomplishments. Jim will talk about the Vatican statement in its current interfaith context.

Finally, we will hear from Rev. Bryan Hehir, professor at the Harvard Divinity School, member of the Executive Committee of the Harvard Center for International Affairs, and counselor to Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore. From 1973 to 1992, Bryan served in Washington at the U.S. Catholic Conference and at Georgetown University. At the Conference he directed the Office of International Affairs and was secretary of the Department of Social Development and World Peace. He is a prolific writer on an incredibly wide variety of subjects, and is generally regarded as without peer among Catholic thinkers on policy issues today. I’m proud to say that nine years ago he received an honorary degree from Trinity College.

And so, without further delay—Phil.


Philip Cunningham: Good afternoon and thank you for the honor of being on this panel. What I would like to do is begin by making a few introductory comments. Then I’ll highlight some areas that seem to many folks, myself included, to be weaknesses in We Remember. Next I’ll mention several strengths that the document also has. I’ll end with some final conclusions.

Let me make three introductory observations that should help guide a reading of the text. First: Who is the intended audience? As indicated in its opening paragraphs, the document is addressed to the Catholic Church throughout the world. It also invites consideration by all Christians. Most especially, it asks our Jewish friends to hear these reflections of the Catholic Church "with open hearts."

Now, I want to point out that this is an extremely diverse readership, an extremely diverse intended audience. From a personal perspective, this strikes me in a particular way. My wife and I are the proud and happy parents of two Filipino children. The Philippines is the largest Catholic country in Asia. When Asian Filipino Catholics read We Remember, it might be their very first encounter with the Shoah and the Catholic Church’s role or lack thereof in it. So, many of the ideas and concepts in this document will be brand new to a readership that distant from the scene of the action.

On the other hand, the Jewish audience that is also invited to react to the document, especially those who were victimized by the Shoah, will naturally read the text with a whole different background and sensitivity to the issues involved. So my first point is that there are some interesting problems in writing for such a diverse audience.

Secondly, the document entitles itself a reflection on the Shoah. The use of the word "reflection" means that the document is not to be understood as the last word that the Vatican will have on the subject, but simply as a statement at this point in time that will no doubt be augmented and supplemented in the future. As Mark mentioned in the beginning, this text should also be read in the context of previous Vatican documents on Catholic-Jewish relations. These are Nostra Aetate, issued by the Second Vatican Council in 1965; the 1974 Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Document Nostra Aetate, No. 4, issued by the same Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews that composed We Remember, and the Commission’s 1985 Notes on the Correct Way to Present Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Teaching in the Roman Catholic Church. We Remember is thus the fourth Vatican document in an ongoing, evolving process and it would be a good idea to keep that in mind when reading it.

And lastly, an introductory comment about the Vatican itself: We who are somewhat distant, across an ocean from the Vatican, sometimes fall into the trap of thinking of it as a monolithic institution. In fact, like any large organization it is composed of various departments and offices each of which has its own agendas and goals. For someone like me, whose background is in Biblical criticism, it’s tempting to do some source critical analysis on the document and try to discern which hands were involved in its different sections. So remember when reading it that it is, in a sense, a committee document.

Having made these introductory points, let me highlight the area of weakness in the text. My first item concerns ecclesiology, or the theology of Church. The word "Church" is used in the document in a way that is not the way most people use that word. I am making a theological comment here. When the document uses the word "Church," it is thinking not simply of the human beings acting in history that are part of the Catholic community. It is thinking of the Mystical Body of Christ and its relationship to the divine through a covenant in Christ. With that theological perspective, you find in the text a distinction between the Church acting in history and the Church as the holy, mystical Bride of Christ. Consequently, when someone who is using the word Church in a more conventional way reads a sentence such as, "We regret the failures of sons and daughters of the Church," it sounds like there is a distancing going on here, or an attempt to remove the Church from responsibility. I think that the weakness of this rather technical use of the word "Church" is that it easily allows for confusion. The document could have explained its usage and perhaps avoided some misunderstanding.

I might add that, according to Cardinal Cassidy, the president of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews that produced this document, the phrase "sons and daughters of the Church" should not be misinterpreted to mean simply the laity. "Sons and daughters" was intended by him to mean everyone in the Church, from "the pope on down to the youngest babe newly baptized." This might not be self-evident in a first reading, and combined with a misapprehension in the use of the word "Church," it has given rise to considerable misconceptions.

Continuing on the subject of ecclesiology or Church, I would also point out that the document impinges on certain issues about how the Church’s official teaching authority functioned with regard to the Christian teaching of contempt for Jews over the centuries. There is an inner debate going on within Roman Catholicism about the workings of what is called "the ordinary magisterium." And so, for reasons that don’t directly have to do with Jewish-Catholic relations, there were theological and ecclesiological forces at work in how this document treated the habitual negative Christian teaching about Jews.

A second area of weakness concerns the Shoah and Christian activity during it. Again, it sometimes sounds as if the active participation of Christians in the Shoah is not recognized by the document. The text is not forthright in this regard, particularly in one sentence. In response to the question of whether Christians rendered to Jews all the help they could have, the document replies, "Many did, but others did not." This is a singularly weak and ill-conceived formulation. In reality, some did and most did not. Again, this rather ambiguous, murky expression only contributes to the impression of some that there is a tap dance going on.

Regarding the origins of Nazism, the document makes a rather rigid distinction between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism. Anti-Judaism is antipathy to Jews and Jewish tradition for religious reasons. Anti-Semitism, on the other hand, includes racist ideologies which are foreign to Christian teaching. Now there is a legitimate way in which there certainly is a distinction between the two. However, if you are on the receiving end of antipathy or hostile action, in some ways its originating causes just don’t really matter. Moreover, the document seems to overlook the fact that anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism cannot be treated as polar, dichotomous opposites. They seldom occur in isolation from each other and always reinforce one another. Numerous examples of this could be made in terms of Nazi graphic propaganda, for example.

The document’s treatment of Pope Pius XII occurs mostly in lengthy footnote 16. The weakness of the treatment there is that it is unbalanced and doesn’t acknowledge at all the possibility that there could be legitimate debate about the pope’s decisions during his papacy. To my mind, a statement to the effect that "in the midst of the crisis it was difficult for Catholic leaders to determine which course of action would be most effective," would have been a helpful and inarguable admission.

My last comment about a weakness concerns the document’s discussion of the Shoah in relation to other similar events. There is a paragraph in section four stating that the Church condemns many genocides that have taken place. I think this is most appropriate and should be welcomed. The atrocities mentioned include the Armenian genocide and the killing fields in Cambodia. However, at the end there is the phrase, "nor can we forget the drama of the Middle East, the elements of which are well-known." These elements were not articulated, and one wonders why the Middle East is mentioned in a group of genocidal activities. Mention of the Middle East is understandable, but the context here seems strange.

Now I’ll move to what I consider to be the more numerous areas of strength in the document. First, the text is quite emphatic and unambiguous in recognizing the Shoah as a historical reality that was directed against Jews solely because they were Jews––not for political reasons, not for opposition to the government––but because of their Jewishness. This is repeated several times. This means that any historical revisionists who try to deny or minimize the Shoah now have to reckon with the teaching authority of the Catholic Church. I think this point should not be overlooked.

Second, the document reiterates what earlier documents and papal speeches have stated; namely, that there is an intrinsic relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people and tradition. It is precisely because of that close kinship (the pope, for instance, is quoted as referring to the Jews as "elder brothers") that the Catholic Church must pay great heed to the affliction of the Jewish community during the Shoah.

Third, the document calls for Christian self-examination, for Christian repentance and for teshuva. Our Jewish friends will recognize this as a very powerful word from the Hebrew tradition. It doesn’t simply mean an apology or some sort of admission of guilt. It is a total returning, a transformation of oneself. For Cardinal Cassidy, who I think first used this word in 1990 in Poland, the use of teshuva in a Catholic context means that the Church is being called to transform itself in its entirety. This is an enormous undertaking that will take time. But that this commitment to transformation is a strength of the We Remember should be reiterated in no uncertain terms.

Fourth, the document calls for further research and reflection in a variety of academic disciplines and for ongoing interreligious dialogue. It also calls for a "moral and religious memory," particularly among Christians, about the Shoah and what gave rise to it. In other words, it is starting a process for the universal Church, not concluding one.

Fifth, the document rejects wrong interpretations of the New Testament that could lead to feelings of animosity toward Jews or negative attitudes toward Judaism. This, incidentally, reinforces a statement made by the Pontifical Biblical Commission in a document of a few years ago that absolutely forbids Catholics to interpret the New Testament in any way than can create antipathy toward Jews. The Catholic Church believes that such interpretations of the Bible are erroneous. That this is reiterated here in the context of a reflection on the Shoah is significant.

Sixth, there is a strength in the fact that the We Remember raised the question of the relationship of the Christian teaching of contempt for Jews over the centuries to the occurrence of the Shoah. It was raised in a number of different forms and a number of different times in the document. Critics, perhaps correctly, have faulted the document for not attempting to answer the question very well. But the very fact that these questions have been raised in the context of inviting Catholic and other Christians to probe seriously their consciences in terms of the Shoah is very important. It means to me as a Catholic theologian that I cannot do my work, if it in any way impinges on the Shoah and on the Catholic and Jewish relationship, if I do not reckon with the history of the Christian teaching of contempt. I understand this as a sort of mandate for Catholic theologians. Even though the document doesn’t answer its own questions, it asks the right ones.

The seventh and final strength that I wish to mention is the document’s forceful and unambiguous condemnation of anti-Semitism. It is recognized as a sin that is completely contrary to the Church and to the essence of Christianity. This denunciation is repeated several times in the document.

In conclusion, I find that although We Remember has serious weaknesses for which it can be legitimately criticized, these are outweighed by the document’s important strengths. As with its predecessors, Nostra Aetate and the Vatican Guidelines and Notes, this text has also been greeted initially with expressions of disappointment and criticism. However, the earlier documents have shown that their real significance only becomes manifest over time. Time has shown that their impact on the Catholic Church and on Catholic-Jewish relations has been enormous despite their flaws. Therefore, my conclusion is that the strengths of We Remember will transcend its weaknesses and that its effect on Catholic-Jewish relations in the long-term will therefore be a tremendously positive and important one.

Jerome Chanes: Good afternoon. There are many definitions of interreligious relationships. My favorite––and probably the best––is: An interreligious relationships is an unnatural act engaged in by partially consenting adults––following an opening prayer.

This one-liner tells us a lot about the state of Catholic-Jewish relations over the past three-plus decades as Jews and Christians continue to negotiate the terrain illumined by Nostra Aetate, the Vatican document that defined for Catholics their relationship with Jews; and particularly as we try to probe why Jews did not react with orgasmic fervor to the recently issued We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah.

It is commonplace in 1998 to characterize Christian-Jewish relations, in the words of Jim Rudin, as "one of the 20th century's few and great success stories." And Rudin is right; the effort to build constructive relations between Jews and Christians––originally an effort, let me recall for us, which got under way in order to counter anti-Semitism in the Christian community––has been extraordinary.

Catholic-Jewish relations plays out in five fundamental areas: anti-Semitism; the Holocaust; Israel; "Mission," often the most sensitive area, always the most difficult for Jews to understand; and, highly important for Americans, public-policy issues.

"We Remember: Reflections on the Shoah"– implicates at least two of these areas – anti-Semitism and Holocaust––and is therefore unusually sensitive, for both Christians and Jews alike. (By the way, there is no unanimity amongst Jews about the use of the word "Shoah" to describe, characterize, or name the destruction of European Jewry under Hitlerism. This relatively recent locution replaced a word that had been the accepted name. Many Jews have preferred the simpler, more stark locution "Hurban"–– "Destruction"––the destruction of European Jewry, the Hurban Europa, rather than the somewhat artificial "Shoah" or the theologically laden "Holocaust.")

I think that we need to look at the Vatican document from two historical perspectives: Catholic and Jewish. I will not be presumptuous, in the presence of my mentor Bryan Hehir, to develop an historical analysis of Catholic thought; but I will take the liberty of laying out a bit of recent papal history.

From the Catholic perspective: The thesis – and I thank Father John Pawlikowski for suggesting some of this analysis – is that the lack of a human-rights perspective curtailed the Catholic institutional response to Nazism. Going back a couple of centuries, even Catholic liberals who claimed a Christian basis for liberal principles were castigated by the Church as attempting to overthrow the prevailing social order. We look at this unfortunate tradition along a time-line, examining the records of four popes. From Pope Gregory XVI’s 1832 encyclical Mirari Vos against the "evils" of "shameless lovers of liberty"; through his successor Pius IX––who was probably more sympathetic to human rights, but who reacted strongly to mid-nineteenth-century challenges to Vatican sovereignty by voicing his opposition to liberalism in his 1864 "Syllabus of Errors" – through the next pope, Leo XIII, who, with his accession in 1878 brought a breath of moderation to the Vatican. We all know of the first social-justice encyclical, Rerum Novarum, issued by Leo in response to the challenge of unionization of the working class, the encyclical defended the dignity of the working class. What we forget is that Rerum Novarum was framed in a classic Thomist context that was not friendly to liberal or human-rights ideals.

Jump to the 1930s, and to anxiety amongst Catholic leaders (and Protestants as well) over Weimar’s liberal model––in part associated with Jews––and to Pope Pius XI. Pius XI (encyclical Quadregesimo Anno––1931) proposed an organic notion of society rooted heavily in a medieval Catholic social vision that was not exactly friendly to liberalism and social justice.

My point is that the two popes of the era of the destruction of European Jewry, Pius XI and Pius XII, worked within the framework of a century-long crusade against liberal ideals. They may not have been lovers of fascism––Pius XI was the author of Mit Brennende Sorge, denouncing Nazism––but fascism (and even Nazism) became a preferred option (preferred over communism) from their, Catholic, perspective for defending Catholic institutional interests in what was perceived a perilous political world. Within such a framework, the human rights of Jews, and even of largely Catholic victims such as Gypsies and Poles, had little priority. This all set the stage, in my view, for how and why the Vatican crafted We Remember.

Now a context from a Jewish perspective. I would suggest three propositions as context for our discussion of Catholic-Jewish relations. First, there has been more progress in Catholic-Jewish relations in the past 35 years than in the previous 2,000. Whatever the "tsoris," the problems, we need to take the long view. Second, related to the first, begins with a question: if one views Vatican II and Nostra Aetate as the turning point for Catholic-Jewish relations––deicide was repudiated, Catholic-Jewish relations were newly defined––if things became so much better, why do many perceive them as worse? Proposition two: we need to take the very long view. Again, a time line: the first 20 years after Vatican II, years of euphoria, of commonality, if not always true dialogue. The next 10 years, years of tension, of the conflict of agendas, largely over Israel and the Middle East. We are now in a period of the maturing of the relationship, in which we need to take a look at some of the fault-lines in the relationship.

Third proposition, not relevant to today’s discussion, but nonetheless noteworthy: it is important to make a crucial distinction between Vatican-Jewish relations, which have been troubled; and American Catholic-Jewish relations, which are cordial, and productive, and need to be protected, even as there are points of conflict.

In the context of these propositions, how do we evaluate Catholic-Jewish relations in 1998? What is the context for the Vatican document?

First, with respect to the Vatican, we need to look at the pattern of ambivalence that has characterized its relationship with the Jews, a balance-sheet with two columns. On the positive side:

  • The April 13, 1986 visit of the Pope to the Great Synagogue of Rome, with the Pope’s forthright condemnation of anti-Semitism – in the Pope’s words, "By anyone." (Having said this, the formulation used by the Pope in his address, which was picked up by the international press––"You are our elder brothers"––should have raised questions among those attuned to the nuanced language of conversionism.)
  • The 1989 papal document on racism, The Church and Racism, specifically repudiating anti-Semitism.
  • The 1990 Prague declaration on anti-Semitism, not possible without Vatican sanction.
  • Vatican intervention in the Auschwitz convent matter. It was highly unusual that the Vatican would intervene in the affairs of any bishop. (The Auschwitz convent matter, I would add parenthetically, was, from the perspective of the Jewish community, a situation in which the Jewish community snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. It was classic case of "We have met the enemy and they are us.")
  • The 1990 papal call to all churches in Christendom to address issues raised in Nostra Aetate, specifically the repudiation of anti-Semitism.
  • The 1990 Polish bishops' pastoral letter on anti-Semitism, again, not possible without papal sign-off.

And so on . . . All "good."

At the same time, a series of events––"flash-points"––along a time line. These events, most taking place in the 1980s and early 1990s, were very different one from the next, but they painted a collective picture that was a bit murky to many Jews:

  • 1982: papal meeting with Arafat. A collective Jewish "Oi."
  • 1987: the papal meeting with Kurt Waldheim. At the least, gratuitous; at worst, an outrage.
  • 1988: papal defense of the conduct of Austrian and German churches during the Nazi period. Double "Oi."
  • 1989: papal homilies expressing supersessionism.
  • 1991: serious questions were raised about formulations in the draft of the new catechism for the Church
  • 1991: questions about a papal encyclical on missionary activity
  • There was during these years the continued reluctance of the Holy See to normalize relations with the State of Israel. We can speculate as to the reasons for this reluctance. The Vatican itself asserted that there was "no theological bar" to normalization – an attempt to quiet Jews who viewed this area as a remnant of christological anti-Semitism – but that normalization was being held up pending resolution of borders and boundaries. On the face of it, entirely legitimate. But my own view is that the Vatican was traumatized by the slaughter of 100,000 Maronites in Lebanon; the Church was legitimately concerned with the fate of Christians in Arab lands. Whatever the reasons, there was no outbreak of joy in the Jewish community when the Vatican finally did what it should have done 10 years earlier, when normalization would have been the courageous, the right thing to do.

(Without going into details in any of these events, one might speculate that what was happening was that both the voices of change and the voices of reaction–– represented mainly by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger––were whispering into the Pope’s ear. Cardinal Ratzinger is a particularly influential man. Ratzinger, who represents some unusually reactionary thinking in the Vatican, is the President of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith––we knew this Congregation rather well under its old name, the Inquisition––and he had the ear of the Pope, and the Pope reportedly had his ear.)

Finally, of course, the matter at hand. Perhaps least noticed at the time, albeit serious: the announcement in 1986 that the Church would prepare a document on anti-Semitism, the Church, and the destruction of European Jewry. At the time the document was entitled "The Shoah, the Historical Background of Ant-Semitism, and its Contemporary Manifestations." Jewish groups generally received news of this document with joy.

But not everyone. I was one of those who raised in writing, at the time, serious questions about the forthcoming Vatican document. Again, what could be so bad? Here is the Vatican finally ready to own up to its actions, non-actions, and responsibilities––in writing. In an article in the American Jewish Year Book, I noted that there were questions precisely because the Church is a document-driven church. Do we want, I asked, precisely this Vatican administration––one whose track-record was one of ambivalence about Jews and Judaism––to write the definitive Church document on the relationship between the Catholic Church and anti-Semitism? I and a few others had problems with that proposition.

Parenthetically: All of this in marked contrast to American Catholic-Jewish relations, in which the Jewish and Catholic communities make common cause over a range of public-policy issues. To cite two examples: in state houses and legislatures around the country, Jewish community relations councils and federations coalesce with local bishops and ministeria to advocate for social-service reimbursement programs; and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops played an early and important role in vigorous advocacy of Vatican recognition of Israel.

Where are we?

There is a new and younger generation of Vatican officials addressing issues related to Jews for whom the Holocaust is not a direct personal experience. This is inevitable, and therefore the question needs to be posed: will this mean a change in previously shared suppositions?

With respect to the Vatican document: this is an internal document written first and foremost for Christian believers. It is an effort to address the doubts within the Catholic community, to provide some sort of answer for those who cannot understand how the Church could have stood by in silence whilst six million Jews––and many others – were being slaughtered in the heart of Christian Europe. The Church answers them––Christians, and not Jews––by shifting the blame onto the shoulders of some Christians of their time, who should have raised their voices and opposed the Nazis even though their leader, Pope Pius XII, said very little. This is a harsh indictment, coming from the Church itself, and we need to look at this soberly in the context laid out earlier in these remarks.

The Vatican document is an answer therefore to Christians. The answer to Jews is yet forthcoming.

Where do we go? I will deftly but firmly pass the buck on that to my colleagues, Jim Rudin and Bryan Hehir.

Rabbi James Rudin: I thank Mark Silk for the opportunity to participate in this conference.

I was involved in the origin of the Vatican document which was an outgrowth of the meeting with the pope in the summer of 1987 in July, just prior to his meeting with American Jewish leaders in Miami. There was a great deal of consternation whether the pope was in fact going to be welcomed by the Jewish community and whether he should even come to Miami. It was at that time in 1987, that a commitment was made by Vatican authorities that a document on the Shoah would be issued. As a priest told me in Rome, Europeans and especially Catholic Church leaders increasingly use the word, "Shoah," rather than Holocaust. I think they are right. Holocaust can be easily expropriated and used for a host of other things, other places, and other events. The Hebrew word, "Shoah" can never be expropriated. It can only mean. One thing in modern usage and for the rest of humanity. So I believe we should follow the Vatican’s lead. "Shoah" is the proper expression.

I strongly believe that after 1945 the word "Holocaust" must always be spelled with a capital "H" and without any plural ending. Unfortunately, today the term "Holocaust" is being misused and abused when it is employed to describe every terrible event currently taking place. Such continued abuse of the word means that it may ultimately lose its distinctive meaning. For that reason, I commend the Vatican for using "Shoah" which now and forever can only refer to the destruction of 6,000,000 Jews between 1933 and 1945.

The Vatican document is a permanent refutation of those who deny the reality of the Shoah as well as those who minimize its horrors. A century from now when all the survivors and all of us will be gathered to the God of our fathers and mothers, there will still remain the powerful words of Pope John Paul II, the Pope from Poland, that introduce the 1998 Vatican document: "…the sufferings of the Jewish people during he Second World War. The crime which has become known as the Shoah remains an indelible stain on the history of the century…" And in another context, John Paul II has declared: "This is the century of the Shoah."

Now let me try to point where we may be going in future relations between Catholics and Jews.

One area is highly problematic. The Vatican document asks, "did Christians give every possible assistance to those being persecuted and in particular to the persecuted Jews? Many did, but others did not." That little phrase, "many did, but others did not," gives readers the feeling that it was 50-50. 50 percent of Catholics did help Jews during those terrible years from 1933-45 and perhaps 50 percent didn’t.

The reality was not a 50-50 breakdown. Not at all. There needs to be an enormous discussion on the behavior of individual Christians, not merely Catholics, and of Christian institutions and Christian bodies, during the 12 years of Nazi German rule.

Another area of intensive discussion in inter-religious relations that will go on well into the 21st century is the difference between anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism, a centerpiece of the Vatican document. It makes the distinction, which I find not acceptable, that somehow the Church was anti-Judaism, that is against the Jewish religion, Jewish religious tradition, but that anti-Semitism, and I certainly would agree, is a modern, non-Christian, invention of the 19th century.

I don’t think we can make such a clean distinction between anti-Semitism, which I define as hatred of Jews and Judaism, and anti-Judaism. But the Vatican document really stands or falls on this critical point because it seemingly walks away from anti-Semitism while acknowledging the existence of ancient anti-Judaism within the Roman Catholic Church.

One of the most overlooked issues is found on page seven of the Vatican document. I really wonder why it was included. It speaks about the dawn of Christianity, the crucifixion of Jesus, when there were disputes between the early Church and the Jewish leaders and people who in "their devotion to the law, on occasion violently opposed the preachers of the Gospel and the first Christians." That statement is really open to many interpretations and I’m not sure why it belongs in the document on the Shoah. The words, "violently" opposed, and "devotion to the law," skirt close to the kind of dichotomy that during the last 33 years we have tried to eliminate—Christianity is love, Judaism is law; one is static, one is dynamic. And this is the difference between Christianity and Judaism.

And this sentence which most people overlook, because it doesn’t relate to World War II, is an area that is going to generate intense discussion: what was the parting of the ways between the Nazarenes (the early Christians) and the Jewish community?

Another problematic area: why the Vatican document is loaded up with other friction areas including Armenians, and a host of other areas of massacres and slaughters, and why the elliptical and ellusive phrase, "nor can we forget the drama of the Middle East, the elements of which are well known." I think all of us know what the Vatican is talking about, but does it really belong here, in this document? But, sadly, since it’s in there, there is going to be an enormous amount of discussion on its inclusion.

There will in the future also be some discussion about the Bishops’ statements which are very strong, particularly those of the European conferences of bishops—France, Germany, and others, not to mention the American bishops’ statements as well. But the European bishops reflect a much stronger and more powerful recognition of the problems and the reality of the Church’s role in the Shoah. However, the Vatican document itself is written in a lawyer-like way, apparently to protect the Church from indictments. That’s a harsh thing to say, but I found the introductory letter from the Pope much stronger, albeit much briefer, than the labored document itself. We must be involved in the key question about the relationship between this document and the European bishops’ statements.

I am well aware of the argument that I heard in Rome last March that this document is addressed to the global Church, for the one billion Catholics, many of whom live in areas without a Jewish community or without any involvement in the European massacre of the Jews. But it seems to me that it’s precisely because the document was written for a global Church, it should have been stronger. To make the case once and for all, eternally and universally, at all times and all places, whether it’s in Kenya or Papua New Guinea, Amsterdam or Berlin, Rome or Hartford or anywhere else that because it’s the global Church, therefore it should say it as clearly and as sharply as possible, with all the strength that comes from speaking to one billion members of the Roman Catholic family.

Another area of concern is quite obvious. I regret that the document mentions Pope Pius XII in such a defensive way. A defense of Pius XII, which is appropriate for the Vatican to make, should not have been in this document. There are arenas and other places to make that case, but not here. Unfortunately, the document prominently mentions Pius XII and then uses congratulatory statements from four Jews. It is a peculiar way to defend the Pope.

Because this document is so rooted to history and depends so much on history and historical analysis and historical documents, because it is so rooted to history, it begs for other historians who have other documents, other views and other footnotes to enter into the Catholic-Jewish encounter. Once history is employed, everybody can use history and everybody does. I am certain that in future Catholic-Jewish dialogue, the question of Pius XII will now be a major topic simply because the question is so prominent in this document. Had the authors of this document not talked about the defense of Pius XII in such explicit terms, I think it could have been handled in a different way.

Finally, because it depends so much on history and on readings of documents, this document opens the door for a full review of all the records of the period, from 1933, which is from Pius XI, through 1949-1950, after World War II. While 11 volumes have already been issued by the Vatican numbering about 5,100 pages––not all the documents of this period have been made public––I have urged and what others have been urging, both from the Catholic and Jewish side, is for teams of competent scholars to have full access to the relevant documents of that critical period. Until and unless that happens, because the Vatican document uses and makes references to certain things that happened at certain times, there will always be an enormous question in the Catholic-Jewish dialogue vis-a-vis what really happened. A partial release of documents, even when it was done in good faith, is simply not going to suffice.

Now these are perhaps some harsh realities but the Catholic-Jewish dialogue can certainly "take it." It is a mature relationship. Since 1965 when Nostra Aetate was promulgated, we have had 33 years of extraordinary advances in Catholic-Jewish relations. Precisely because those relations are so strong, precisely because we are now in a mature relationship, it is now possible to address difficult, painful, and often haunting issues. I am hopeful that this Vatican document will have, as I have said in another context, a shelf life. I hope it will not be put on the shelf, never to be used very much. Rather I hope it will be take on a life of its own and be the impetus for further conversation, further dialogue, and further study.

Let me conclude by reciting the document’s four "Rs." The document has positive material about historical remembrance. It has very positive statements about repentanceteshuva. It has a good statement about resolve, about the need to move forward, to never forget. In fact the phrase, "never again," is in this document as well. The fourth "R," responsibility—a sense of responsibility, an appropriate responsibility of the Roman Catholic Church is what is problematic in the entire reflection statement. It is precisely in the area of responsibility that work must continue among those who are engaged in Catholic-Jewish relations. I close with a quote from a poet who was neither Catholic nor Jewish, Robert Browning. He wrote "Rabbi Ben Ezra." I need to amend his first line because this is the future of Catholic-Jewish relations. Browning wrote: "Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be." I’ll change just one letter and say with regrets to Browning, "Grow old along with me, the rest is yet to be." Thank you very much.

Rev. Bryan Hehir: Thank you very much. I’m appreciative to come to Trinity. Mark Silk was kind enough to indicate that Trinity invited me back some years ago for an honorary degree. What I told them at that time was that was not my first visit to Trinity. My highest ambition was to be the quarterback on the Trinity football team when I graduated from high school. But when my athletic director brought me down and the coach got a look at me, I was about the same size as I am now, he thought it was a bad investment. So I didn’t get into Trinity my first time around. So I’m glad to come back in this context.

However coming back in this context, I was conscious of the fact that I was invited to give two different talks this week and both of them gave me pause. A week ago at Harvard, we had a major event at the Kennedy School of Government in which they put on a panel and there were four of us on the panel and the topic was the state of the world and they gave each of us six minutes. Now that gave me some pause because I have a number of things I’d like to say about the state of the world but I wasn’t quite sure that six minutes was going to do it. So that was the first invitation. The second one was from Mark Silk to come to this event. When Mark called me and said that we’re doing an event on the Vatican document, We Remember, and Christian-Jewish relations and we want you to come, it was the exact opposite of having too much to say about the state of the world. I said, "Mark, I am no expert in this area. I know everyone else on this panel and I’m just not in their league." He assured me they invited me because I didn’t know anything about the topic—that I was perfect for the panel. So I began to get a sense of what the expectation was of me in this panel. But what he did ask me to do was precisely not to speak from long and deep experience in Jewish-Catholic dialogue or in the involvement of this text, but about the life of the Catholic Church more broadly as a public agency and that I have had a fair amount of contact with. So I will now, having exhausted my first minute, spend five minutes on this question.

Essentially what I want to do is say something about the context from which a document like this appears and not at all to deal with the content, which my colleagues can do from both the Catholic and Jewish side with much more competency that I.

Therefore, I will say four things. First a word about interpreting Catholicism. Secondly, locating the document in the context of my remarks about interpreting Catholicism. Thirdly, a word about John Paul II. Fourthly, the future. And I promise you, five minutes.

Interpreting Catholicism. In my view, if you try to understand the Catholic Church the most important thing to do is to do a three-dimensional analysis no matter what you are trying to understand. Think about Catholicism as ideas, institutions, and a community. And it is in the interaction of those three things. If you take the teaching out of context and don’t look at the institutional engagement of the Church as an actor in events, you miss something. If you look at the institution and don’t compare with the ideas, you miss something. And thirdly, the life of the community is the third point of reference.

Now I think that works for any number of issues, at least I would propose that I could demonstrate that on any number of issues. But this document fits at the intersection of ideas and institutions. That is to say, it is about Catholic teaching on the question of Catholic-Jewish relations and it is about the Church as an historical agent and what its record has been or has not been. So it is right at the intersection of two different things.

[I suspect that explains] some of the reasons why there were things in this document that appear like they just shouldn’t fit. It is not necessarily the case that they should be in there, but you don’t grasp them if you deal with them at the level of ideas. For example the reference to Pius XII and the reference to the Middle East. That arises out of the institutional character of Catholicism more than the teaching. So, for example, I don’t think you can account for it in terms of whether they logically should fit. I can understand the argument that neither of them should be there, though I’ll come back to that point.

So ideas, institution, and a community. Locate the document at the intersection of ideas and institution.

Secondly, what do you say about the document. It is both a teaching document, if you will, and it is an examination of a very sensitive and complicated historical question. On the teaching nature of the document, it is the journey, as my colleagues have indicated, from Vatican II to now, that is the relevant way of understanding the teaching. I would highlight that when you look at this document through the lens of Vatican II, at the time of the Second Vatican Council, two issues that were of the highest concern of the Church in the United States and both of which had a similar character, were the question of religious liberty and Catholic-Jewish relations. They grew out of our experience here. Both of them were very difficult issues at Vatican II and they were difficult precisely because of what the American Jesuit, John Courtney Murray, who wrote the document of religious liberty, called the "development of doctrine" question—how the Church gets from A to B. How it gets from what it has said on A to saying something different on B, whether it was on religious liberty and liberalism, or whether it was on the question of Catholic-Jewish relations. Murray made the point that often times the Church knows what it ought to say and can’t generate the ideas to say it, because it doesn’t know how to close the gap with the past. I think there is something that works on both of these questions here. That is to say, that things never get said as clearly as you want in any one document, because they are trying to solve the problem of how do we get from A to B. Gregory XVI, when asked what he thought of religious liberty in the 1830s, said it was "deliramenta," that is to say, "utter madness." How was the Vatican Council going to say it was the right of every human being? That’s a long journey in a century. So I think it is that both of these questions are development of doctrine questions and often times you know what you want to say and still don’t say it clearly enough because of the question of the journey of how we maintain some kind of logical connection.

Now, in the question of Catholic-Jewish relations, it wasn’t a matter of logical connection, it was the need to go in a very different direction. That was much stronger than the religious liberty question. I think while there was a different direction at Vatican II, every document is tortuous and this document is one of them. It’s part of this journey.

Thirdly, this document is not simply about theology. It is about history. I was reminded of what Einstein said once. They asked Einstein during the nuclear age, "Why can we build bombs, but we can’t disarm?" Einstein said, "It’s simple. Politics are more difficult than physics." Well for the Church, very often history is more difficult than theology. Even when you get it said, reading the historical record often involves a fair amount of hesitation. In fact, on religious liberty, the Council said something new and never went back to review the history. John Courtney Murray who wrote the document, said there were phrases in the document that made it sound like we were in favor of this for a long time. Murray said essentially, "Don’t believe it." So there is a way in which straightening out the historical record is harder than getting the theology straight.

Thirdly, John Paul II. My view is that this document clearly ought to be seen as a step in a process, and a step that my guess is––because I don’t know things as well as my colleagues, I can be simpler––my guess is this document will in fact be surpassed and will not be a major, major text in the long run. That there will be other things said. My guess is that there will be other things said by the pope. Now here I am into pure prediction and as Dan Quayle said, "Prediction is always risky, especially when it is about the future." There is a question here, but my guess is that as you come to the year 2000, there will be a statement from the pope. I have no empirical evidence to assess that, but my argument rests on the following: That the critique of the document is both from the outside and from the inside in the Church. There are already voices saying this is not enough inside the Church. Appropriately, the inside voices include episcopal conferences––that’s always a generating force. Thirdly, I think it is important to look at the history of this pope. I think his personal history stamps a lot of what he does. I think within an organization like the Catholic Church, no committee can say what he can say. Every committee has to fight its way through. He doesn’t have to fight his through anything if he wants to say something. My sense is that he reads the history of Poland and the history of Europe in this time and he has set the Church on this process of the millenium as the time to sort of clear the record. My own guess is that he will address this question. If he does, the statement will be clearer than it is by a statement from a committee.

That brings me to the final point, about the future of the discussion. I think the text will be surpassed but I don’t think the text is negligible and that’s why my friends have commented on how we must grapple with it. My sense is that the grappling will take place at three levels: theology, history, and public policy. The theological question that comes out of this document is this question about the Church as people and the Church as somehow transcendent of people. This distinction about the Church is not something that simply arises on this issue. It runs through lots of issues. It’s a hard nut to crack in Catholicism. It therefore should be seen again within a larger context than just this document. They didn’t invent that distinction in order to deal with that question. Getting at that question is a larger theological issue.

Secondly, the history. As Jim Rudin said, there will be a fulsome historical debate. The question of Pius XII. I think it will be easier to change the theology than to change commentary on the life of a pope. Quite frankly, while I expect much stronger statements and statements that go beyond this document, I think it will be a long road before you’ll get an official statement in the Catholic Church that would be critical of the pope. That’s my judgment on it.

Thirdly, I think the discussion of these issues will not simply be about theology or history but will open out into a whole range of discussions that cut across Catholic-Jewish relations. That’s why I talk about public policy––the Church as a public actor. The question of the Middle East. I can understand why some people ask why it should be here. It doesn’t make sense. It only makes sense in this larger sense of this institution. The Jewish community is going to be involved in further discussion of the Middle East. I think there was just an awareness that this is not a unidimensional, one issue topic. Therefore I am not at all surprised that it’s there. Thank you.



Silk: Thank you all. We now have an opportunity for the panelists to talk among themselves. Let me exercise the chair’s prerogative for one second and pose a quick question. It is this. How will we know that this document is used for the instruction of Catholics generally, as opposed to being a document which, as we were talking about prior to the panel, was written in English and does not seem to have been translated yet into many languages. That it was essentially the Vatican speaking to the Jewish community?

Cunningham: I think there are several ways of answering the question. One way to gauge We Remember’s influence that leaps to my mind (because it’s one of my fields) is in terms of religious education. I might add education as a fourth category to Bryan Hehir’s list of history, theology, and public policy, by the way. What is taught in Catholic religion textbooks about the Shoah would be one way of gauging the influence and impact of this document. I am again thinking of the earlier Vatican documents as I say this. Textbook studies demonstrate with absolute clarity that Nostra Aetate, the Guidelines, and the Notes have had a very significant impact on what is presented in Catholic religion textbooks, with a delay of maybe five or six years before things filter through in new textbook editions and so forth. So I would anticipate that what is taught about the Shoah will show the importance of this document. Of course, this expectation would also be affected by any additional statements that the pope might make, as was mentioned earlier.

Rudin: My own world, as you probably figured, is not just rabbinics but history, and I am struck, and a little uneasy, when we make easy comparisons or analogies between Nostra Aetate and this document. Nostra Aetate of course was many years in the making, at least three years of intense debate, and was voted on finally by the world’s bishops. This is a different kind of document on a different subject. One of the reasons why we are looking at it to see how it will be used in Catholic education and Catholic seminaries, colleges, universities, parochial schools, is precisely again the history of it. It was 11 years in the making. Had this not been promised and announced in 1987 and then released in 1998, had it not had the signature of the pope himself on it, had there not been this letter to Cardinal Cassidy who has been a remarkably strong and vigorous advocate of positive Catholic-Jewish relations, had these "great expectations" not been built up, I think the document would have been received in a very, very different way. But after 11 years, with the pope’s signature there, all of us who work in Catholic-Jewish relations, Catholics and Jews, will want to know how will it be used. I come back to my phrase, that Mark is asking, "What’s the shelf life going to be?" and shelf life is "Will it be used?’ I do want to say that this is not the final word. Even since this document was released on March 16th of this year, on Good Friday, on April 10th the pope at his service was very clear and had a much stronger statement read at the Vatican on Good Friday which went far beyond this in terms of culpability of the Jews, the passion of Jesus, the teaching of contempt, and all the rest. So this is a work in progress and I would hope that my Jewish brothers and sisters would see this as a step and although it is printed and signed and all of that, it is a work in progress, this whole process.

Chanes: The question of course is a multi-leveled and multi-layered one, and in just one area, the world of Catholic education, which itself is a very broad rubric, I would be interested in seeing how this document is explored in Catholic seminaries. And indeed we know that the world of education of the priesthood is different in many different countries; Jim Rudin has worked productively in seminaries in Poland. It would be important to see how the document is explored in Catholic seminaries.

Hehir: Again these folks know a good deal more about it than I do. As an outsider to this deep discussion on these questions I have a sense that if you look at Nostra Aetate and then the Guidelines and the Notes, there was more attention to getting them translated into textbooks of Catholic thought than several other documents of the Council. I work on the Church’s social policy and there was no such systematic review of textbooks as there were on Nostra Aetate and the Guidelines. So there is a lobby, if you will, both within the Church and the Catholic-Jewish discussion that will press this question. On a comparative basis there is no question that there has been more attention to these issues in the translation into textbooks than there was on a variety of other things out of Vatican II.

Rudin: Mark, if I might. I want to slightly disagree with Jerome. I don’t do this very often. I think we should be grateful that this document was, in fact, issued when Karol Wojtyla was and is the pope. His record of achievement since 1978 is extraordinary. I’m saying this to my Jewish sisters and brothers who may not know it. You remember when he was elected pope in October, 1978, there was a great deal, as there always is, "Gee, he’s coming from Poland. He’s not an Italian. He must be an anti-Semite." Just the opposite. Exactly the opposite. I would submit to you, it’s because he was born in Poland in 1920. Precisely because he was 19 years old when the Germans came to his little village. Precisely because he saw the Shoah, on the ground. Not as a diplomat, not even as a priest. And certainly not as an academic of any kind. He saw it with his own eyes. Read his book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope. Read the chapter on Judaism. He says about 25 percent of his classmates, he went to a state school, were Jews. So he saw it on the ground, he experienced it. And his record, whether starting in 1979 when he knelt at the memorial to the Jews killed at Auschwitz, on his first trip to Poland as pope, all the way through the things that Jerome Chanes has talked about—the synagogue visit, relations with the state of Israel—this is part of this long pattern of his achievements, with some great opposition I would think. Therefore I think it’s fully upon him, it was incumbent on him, and I think it happened during his papacy, his pontificate, that this document come out. To use a cliché, we will not see his like again. Not because the next pope won’t be a magnificent, spiritual leader and a moral compass. It’s just chronology. The next pope will not have been born in Poland in 1920. That’s for sure. And that means a whole different approach and again, the younger generation that Jerome was talking about will in fact move into those leadership positions and it will just be a different situation. So I’m grateful that this pope from Poland was and has been pope since 1978 in the area of Catholic-Jewish relations.

Chanes: It is not entirely clear to me that Jim and I disagree on this. I would prefer, however, not to go into the polarized questions—is he an anti-Semite, or is he not? Clearly he is not. There’s no question about that. My analysis of Vatican-Jewish relations is based on the record, and I would therefore suggest a more nuanced approach than Karol Wojtyla’s relationship to Jews. Hence, the words I used—"ambiguous" and "ambivalent." I would suggest that the record, whatever positive things there are to say about Pope John Paul II––and there are many wonderful things, there’s no question about it––is both ambiguous and ambivalent.

Cunningham: I just might follow up on that by making a theological comment. Part of the issue that’s involved here, which perhaps everybody in the audience may not be familiar with, is that Nostra Aetate really altered, in a 180-degree way, anything that had ever been taught before by Christian leaders and officials about Jews, specifically in two areas. One is the alleged Jewish responsibility for the death of Jesus that Nostra Aetate rejected. Secondly, it acknowledged at least implicitly, and Pope John Paul II has subsequently made this quite explicit on numerous occasions, that Jews remain in a covenantal relationship with God. That had been denied throughout Christian history.

I cannot overemphasize to you the huge theological repercussions that these changes have for every area of Catholic life; for instance, in terms of Christology––how one understands Christ; ecclesiology––how one understands the Church; and soteriology––how one understands salvation. These are all things that are still being worked out. You don’t alter something that fundamental, that has been enduring for over 1800 years, and see its transformation all the way through very rapidly.

So with this background, I would suggest that some of the Pope’s speeches directed inside the Church to the Catholic faithful, rather than to Jews or interfaith groups, sometimes use the Bible in a way that smacks of older supersessionist ideas. For example, in a general audience during last Advent, he spoke about the Hebrew prophets gradually revealing the Messiah as the suffering servant––an exegetically shaky conclusion that encourages people to restrict the richness of Israel’s scriptures to their potential Christological uses. I would perhaps presumptuously suggest that one of the reasons for this is that, in his own mind and in the minds of all Catholics, it takes time to work through all of the implications of the radical changes in Catholic attitudes toward Judaism that Nostra Aetate and its successor documents represent. So what is perceived as ambivalence might simply be insufficient time for all these ramifications to penetrate through all aspects of Catholic theology and practice.

Chanes: If I can comment specifically on that point. My sense is that that is entirely right. None of us sits in the Vatican. Phil is pointing us in the right direction. The issue is not the pope. It is not Karol Wojtyla. It is what has been going on in the Vatican since Nostra Aetate. Clearly there are forces of reaction whispering in the pope’s ear and forces of change and of progress, whispering in his ear. The results are issues and responses that might appear to the outside world, including the Jewish community, as a pattern of ambivalence.

Question: What is the difference between a national conference of bishops, as the French and the Polish bishops have done, addressing this question and the Vatican addressing this question.

Hehir: I think there are several different characteristics. The obvious one, is that there is a different level of authority in the life of Catholic Church so the voice means something different. Conferences of bishops speak for the Catholics in a nation, whereas the Vatican obviously speaks for the life of the whole Church. Although, here again, my own sense is, and I would really invite criticism from my colleagues on this if I am just wrong, this is a commissioned document, if I understand it correctly. The pope wrote a letter covering it. That’s why my bet is you will have a papal statement on this. Secondly, when you get a papal statement there will be much less restraint on what the pope says than what a commission says. When you are a commission in the oldest bureaucracy in the world, you are aware of your limits. And this commission would have been aware of its limits. So my sense is that I can’t imagine that he’s going to let the year 2000 come and not address the question. And if he addresses it, I think it will be more fulsome. Thirdly, when the Vatican addresses an issue, I guess this is my point, you will find a lot of things in the document where you would say, "If I wrote this with a straight line on the one question it was supposed to address, ‘this’ and ‘this’ and ‘this’ wouldn’t be in it." In an institution like the Vatican, as part of the institution of the Catholic Church, I don’t know any document that gets written that way––a straight line without any intervening factors that they are always thinking about. So once again, it’s much different from a national conference of bishops addressing it. It takes into consideration a whole set of other factors. Whether one agrees with the text or not, one can’t interpret it if you take too linear view of what its task is.

Rudin: I would agree with Fr. Hehir. First, Phil and I already heard in Rome that although this text is not going to be revised, there is going to be more. Already, as I pointed out, even on Good Friday there has been more. There will be some more coming. The other point is when you go home, if you have the document in front of you, read the pope’s letter, which I think is a single-author piece of work. That one person wrote that and we know who the person is, he signed his name to it. It’s very powerful, very clear, and the word "responsibility" appears in the pope’s letter. As I indicated, I think the statement itself, which went through all the commissions and different people, has a good beginning, a very problematic middle—the World War II period––and a very good ending. So you’ll see the difference. I think it is a clear difference in authorship and although it is printed in all the same typeface, the letter is much stronger than the document.

Question: The authority of the magisterium seems to be falling on deafer and deafer ears. Many of the statements the Church makes are either ignored or bypassed. Why do you think, if you do, that this document will have any more effect on, for example, American Catholics than the Church’s teaching on contraception or the Catholic Bishops’ statement on peace or the Bishops’ statement on economic justice?

Hehir: The first part of your question is much easier than your second part. The magisterium speaks on many issues. One of the things that theologians and others talk about today is what is called the doctrine of receptivity; that is, not only what is said but how it is received. The contraception question was received in a Church that was already deeply divided at the level of practice and had become divided at the level of theory. So a statement was issued within the context in which it would have to have been an extraordinary feat to close the ranks at the level of practice and theory. I personally don’t think there is any kind of disagreement of that nature at all around this question in the Catholic Church. I’m not saying every Catholic would read this document and agree with it but there is no comparison to what the state of the internal life was when that document was issued.

Now when you turn to the other two documents, the documents on peace and on the economy, their impact again is clearly not all that I had hoped for, that’s for sure. But to be very honest I’m not terribly surprised. I think these documents work at different levels. I think that at the time the peace document was issued, it served as a catalyst for a wider debate in the United States about an issue that needed to be debated. So I never judge the document by whether everybody lined up with everything that was said in 183 paragraphs. I really look at how the Church fits into a wider policy of public discourse. And that was useful I think.

I think it is useful in this sense to talk about this document in that way. I frankly see this as much less as a doctrinal teaching document. Those things have been said at Vatican II. Where this fits into play, what this is about is about questions of not only specific Jewish-Catholic relationship where it repeated things that had been said doctrinally before. The historical discussion is part of the history of the 20th century. So that’s where this fits in, as part of this. I work in international politics all the time and one of the things that strikes me is––I think Jim Rudin’s point is well taken––that to use the term, "Shoah" highlights the uniqueness of the question of the Holocaust and the Jewish history in World War II. That’s important.

There is another way to read this, in this sense, that this was also a genocide, that it wasn’t simply the Shoah but a genocide. The sobering fact when you think about genocide and keeping the memory of things alive is that in the 10 years since the end of World War II, there have been two genocides in world politics. Two genocides. I think it is important to keep this unique and therefore the language of the Shoah, but what is also striking is that all of us in this room are old enough to have grown up on, "Never again." It seems to me that statement took on a larger significance. It was rooted in the experience of the Shoah, but it was also an affirmation that the world would never again let genocide happen. The fact of the matter is that we’ve had two genocides in 10 years. So keeping alive the memory of what this is about in its specifically religious terms is obviously uniquely important. It is also important in the wider history of the 20th century, and the fact of what we faced in the last decade of this century and that contribution of where this document fits in that wider discussion I think also needs to be kept in mind.

Question: Can there be feedback from the community?

Hehir: My sense is that there has already been feedback and therefore it’s an indication that there will continue to be feedback. I found a number of statements interesting. Once again, the comparison with the national bishops’ statements. When you introduce that kind of comparison inside the life of the Church, that opens the way for the next step. Somebody says, "This could have been better. This could have been sharper. We know it could have been because it was stated better somewhere else." That opens the way.

I found Cardinal O’Connor’s statement interesting. He said, "We proceeded by inches." This is a kind of commentary that inches are not enough to get us to the end of the century. Feedback. A resident of West Hartford, Richard McBrien, one of the most widely read theologians in the Catholic Church, came out immediately with a document highlighting what he felt were the limitations of the document. That’s how the feedback happens. It also happens more generally, in a variety of circles in the life of the Church. My sense is, taking the temperature of the reaction already, the general reaction, both from the inside and the outside was: Better that this exists than it didn’t exist. Is it enough? No. You put those two things together. There will be more to come.

Question: Are there promising signs on the ecumenical horizon among Orthodox, Protestant, or evangelical denominations, regarding this issue and this document?

Rudin: It’s a good question. I just want to say one word about Fr. McBrien. I didn’t know he was from Hartford. I was on the Jim Lehrer show with him. He used an image I’ll throw out since we’re in Hartford. It’s his image remember, not mine. He said precisely because the bar has been placed higher by the episcopal conferences, by the bishops’ conferences, particularly in Europe, he felt that this statement didn’t get up "above the bar." Some of you may have seen that program. It was a very striking image to me. He said that if it had come out 10 years ago, and I think some others have said, it would have been received with much more applause because the bar was much lower. But, Fr. McBrien said, it’s much higher.

Now, on the Council of Churches and ecumenism. I’m sure that in Connecticut you move with great speed and all deliberate speed on these things, but my own sense is that it is only about six weeks since it’s come out. It has to be printed and published. This is not begging the question. It’s a little premature to see how it is going to be reacting. I know that at the American Jewish Committee we will be using this document, with other documents, as a basis to begin that process that I spoke about during my formal remarks. So I think its going to happen. I also think it obviously will have some influence on the Protestant community. Given ecumenical relations, what the Vatican says, is heard by everybody.

Some other Protestant churches have alluded to, written about, discussed the Shoah in different ways. Billy Graham has talked about it. Those collections are there. The importance of this document is clearly where it came from, who signed it, who issued it and who it is directed to––the one billion Roman Catholics in the world, particularly when it was made clear that this is to the global Church. There are other Protestant documents, but Protestants speak in different ways.

If I could put a parenthesis in and Protestants and Catholics will correct me. It seems to me that often Protestant churches will say "The Church has sinned, on say, black-white relations, on racism. The Church has sinned." I have often found that Catholic documents will say, "Catholics have sinned. Catholics have committed acts of racism." But not the Church. I think the reason, if I am right, and Phil Cunningham expressed it very well, there is a mystical body of Christ. But when I read Protestant documents it’s always, "The Church has…on black-white relations, on slavery, on a host of other issues." Maybe I’m wrong, but that’s been my reading of the two branches of Christianity, Protestantism and Catholicism.







To my Venerable Brother

On numerous occasions during my Pontificate I have recalled with a sense of deep sorrow the sufferings of the Jewish people during the Second World War. The crime which has become known as the Shoah remains an indelible stain on the history of the century that is coming to a close.

As we prepare for the beginning of the Third Millennium of Christianity, the Church is aware that the joy of a Jubilee is above all the joy that is based on the forgiveness of sins and reconciliation with God and neighbour. Therefore she encourages her sons and daughters to purify their hearts, through repentance of past errors and infidelities. She calls them to place themselves humbly before the Lord and examine themselves on the responsibility which they too have for the evils of our time.

It is my fervent hope that the document: We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah, which the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews has prepared under your direction, will indeed help to heal the wounds of past misunderstandings and injustices. May it enable memory to play its necessary part in the process of shaping a future in which the unspeakable iniquity of the Shoah will never again be possible. May the Lord of history guide the efforts of Catholics and Jews and all men and women of good will as they work together for a world of true respect for the life and dignity of every human being, for all have been created in the image and likeness of God.

From the Vatican, 12 March 1998.







  1. The tragedy of the Shoah and the duty of remembrance
  2. The twentieth century is fast coming to a close and a new Millennium of the Christian era is about to dawn. The 2000th anniversary of the Birth of Jesus Christ calls all Christians, and indeed invites all men and women, to seek to discern in the passage of history the signs of divine Providence at work, as well as the ways in which the image of the Creator in man has been offended and disfigured.

    This reflection concerns one of the main areas in which Catholics can seriously take to heart the summons which Pope John Paul II has addressed to them in his Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente: "It is appropriate that, as the Second Millennium of Christianity draws to a close, the Church should become more fully conscious of the sinfulness of her children, recalling all those times in history when they departed from the spirit of Christ and his Gospel and, instead of offering to the world the witness of a life inspired by the values of faith, indulged in ways of thinking and acting which were truly forms of counter-witness and scandal".(1)

    This century has witnessed an unspeakable tragedy, which can never be forgotten: the attempt by the Nazi regime to exterminate the Jewish people, with the consequent killing of millions of Jews. Women and men, old and young, children and infants, for the sole reason of their Jewish origin, were persecuted and deported. Some were killed immediately, while others were degraded, illtreated, tortured and utterly robbed of their human dignity, and then murdered. Very few of those who entered the Camps survived, and those who did remained scarred for life. This was the Shoah. It is a major fact of the history of this century, a fact which still concerns us today.

    Before this horrible genocide, which the leaders of nations and Jewish communities themselves found hard to believe at the very moment when it was being mercilessly put into effect, no one can remain indifferent, least of all the Church, by reason of her very close bonds of spiritual kinship with the Jewish people and her remembrance of the injustices of the past. The Church's relationship to the Jewish people is unlike the one she shares with any other religion.(2) However, it is not only a question of recalling the past. The common future of Jews and Christians demands that we remember, for "there is no future without memory".(3) History itself is memoria futuri.

    In addressing this reflection to our brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church throughout the world, we ask all Christians to join us in meditating on the catastrophe which befell the Jewish people, and on the moral imperative to ensure that never again will selfishness and hatred grow to the point of sowing such suffering and death.(4) Most especially, we ask our Jewish friends, "whose terrible fate has become a symbol of the aberrations of which man is capable when he turns against God",(5) to hear us with open hearts.

  3. What we must remember
  4. While bearing their unique witness to the Holy One of Israel and to the Torah, the Jewish people have suffered much at different times and in many places. But the Shoah was certainly the worst suffering of all. The inhumanity with which the Jews were persecuted and massacred during this century is beyond the capacity of words to convey. All this was done to them for the sole reason that they were Jews.

    The very magnitude of the crime raises many questions. Historians, sociologists, political philosophers, psychologists and theologians are all trying to learn more about the reality of the Shoah and its causes. Much scholarly study still remains to be done. But such an event cannot be fully measured by the ordinary criteria of historical research alone. It calls for a "moral and religious memory" and, particularly among Christians, a very serious reflection on what gave rise to it.

    The fact that the Shoah took place in Europe, that is, in countries of long-standing Christian civilization, raises the question of the relation between the Nazi persecution and the attitudes down the centuries of Christians towards the Jews.

  5. Relations between Jews and Christians
  6. The history of relations between Jews and Christians is a tormented one. His Holiness Pope John Paul II has recognized this fact in his repeated appeals to Catholics to see where we stand with regard to our relations with the Jewish people.(6) In effect, the balance of these relations over two thousand years has been quite negative.(7)

    At the dawn of Christianity, after the crucifixion of Jesus, there arose disputes between the early Church and the Jewish leaders and people who, in their devotion to the Law, on occasion violently opposed the preachers of the Gospel and the first Christians. In the pagan Roman Empire, Jews were legally protected by the privileges granted by the Emperor and the authorities at first made no distinction between Jewish and Christian communities. Soon however, Christians incurred the persecution of the State. Later, when the Emperors themselves converted to Christianity, they at first continued to guarantee Jewish privileges. But Christian mobs who attacked pagan temples sometimes did the same to synagogues, not without being influenced by certain interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people as a whole. "In the Christian world—I do not say on the part of the Church as such—erroneous and unjust interpretations of the New Testament regarding the Jewish people and their alleged culpability have circulated for too long, engendering feelings of hostility towards this people".(8) Such interpretations of the New Testament have been totally and definitively rejected by the Second Vatican Council.(9)

    Despite the Christian preaching of love for all, even for one's enemies, the prevailing mentality down the centuries penalized minorities and those who were in any way "different". Sentiments of anti-Judaism in some Christian quarters, and the gap which existed between the Church and the Jewish people, led to a generalized discrimination, which ended at times in expulsions or attempts at forced conversions. In a large part of the "Christian" world, until the end of the 18th century, those who were not Christian did not always enjoy a fully guaranteed juridical status. Despite that fact, Jews throughout Christendom held on to their religious traditions and communal customs. They were therefore looked upon with a certain suspicion and mistrust. In times of crisis such as famine, war, pestilence or social tensions, the Jewish minority was sometimes taken as a scapegoat and became the victim of violence, looting, even massacres.

    By the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, Jews generally had achieved an equal standing with other citizens in most States and a certain number of them held influential positions in society. But in that same historical context, notably in the 19th century, a false and exacerbated nationalism took hold. In a climate of eventful social change, Jews were often accused of exercising an influence disproportionate to their numbers. Thus there began to spread in varying degrees throughout most of Europe an anti-Judaism that was essentially more sociological and political than religious.

    At the same time, theories began to appear which denied the unity of the human race, affirming an original diversity of races. In the 20th century, National Socialism in Germany used these ideas as a pseudo-scientific basis for a distinction between so called Nordic-Aryan races and supposedly inferior races. Furthermore, an extremist form of nationalism was heightened in Germany by the defeat of 1918 and the demanding conditions imposed by the victors, with the consequence that many saw in National Socialism a solution to their country's problems and cooperated politically with this movement.

    The Church in Germany replied by condemning racism. The condemnation first appeared in the preaching of some of the clergy, in the public teaching of the Catholic Bishops, and in the writings of lay Catholic journalists. Already in February and March 1931, Cardinal Bertram of Breslau, Cardinal Faulhaber and the Bishops of Bavaria, the Bishops of the Province of Cologne and those of the Province of Freiburg published pastoral letters condemning National Socialism, with its idolatry of race and of the State.(10) The well-known Advent sermons of Cardinal Faulhaber in 1933, the very year in which National Socialism came to power, at which not just Catholics but also Protestants and Jews were present, clearly expressed rejection of the Nazi anti-semitic propaganda.(11) In the wake of the Kristallnacht, Bernhard Lichtenberg, Provost of Berlin Cathedral, offered public prayers for the Jews. He was later to die at Dachau and has been declared Blessed.

    Pope Pius XI too condemned Nazi racism in a solemn way in his Encyclical Letter Mit brennender Sorge,(12) which was read in German churches on Passion Sunday 1937, a step which resulted in attacks and sanctions against members of the clergy. Addressing a group of Belgian pilgrims on 6 September 1938, Pius XI asserted: "Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Spiritually, we are all Semites".(13) Pius XII, in his very first Encyclical, Summi Pontificatus,(14) of 20 October 1939, warned against theories which denied the unity of the human race and against the deification of the State, all of which he saw as leading to a real "hour of darkness".(15)

  7. Nazi anti-Semitism and the Shoah
  8. Thus we cannot ignore the difference which exists between anti-Semitism, based on theories contrary to the constant teaching of the Church on the unity of the human race and on the equal dignity of all races and peoples, and the long-standing sentiments of mistrust and hostility that we call anti-Judaism, of which, unfortunately, Christians also have been guilty.

    The National Socialist ideology went even further, in the sense that it refused to acknowledge any transcendent reality as the source of life and the criterion of moral good. Consequently, a human group, and the State with which it was identified, arrogated to itself an absolute status and determined to remove the very existence of the Jewish people, a people called to witness to the one God and the Law of the Covenant. At the level of theological reflection we cannot ignore the fact that not a few in the Nazi Party not only showed aversion to the idea of divine Providence at work in human affairs, but gave proof of a definite hatred directed at God himself. Logically, such an attitude also led to a rejection of Christianity, and a desire to see the Church destroyed or at least subjected to the interests of the Nazi State.

    It was this extreme ideology which became the basis of the measures taken, first to drive the Jews from their homes and then to exterminate them. The Shoah was the work of a thoroughly modern neo-pagan regime. Its anti-Semitism had its roots outside of Christianity and, in pursuing its aims, it did not hesitate to oppose the Church and persecute her members also.

    But it may be asked whether the Nazi persecution of the Jews was not made easier by the anti-Jewish prejudices imbedded in some Christian minds and hearts. Did anti-Jewish sentiment among Christians make them less sensitive, or even indifferent, to the persecutions launched against the Jews by National Socialism when it reached power?

    Any response to this question must take into account that we are dealing with the history of people's attitudes and ways of thinking, subject to multiple influences. Moreover, many people were altogether unaware of the "final solution" that was being put into effect against a whole people; others were afraid for themselves and those near to them; some took advantage of the situation; and still others were moved by envy. A response would need to be given case by case. To do this, however, it is necessary to know what precisely motivated people in a particular situation.

    At first the leaders of the Third Reich sought to expel the Jews. Unfortunately, the governments of some Western countries of Christian tradition, including some in North and South America, were more than hesitant to open their borders to the persecuted Jews. Although they could not foresee how far the Nazi hierarchs would go in their criminal intentions, the leaders of those nations were aware of the hardships and dangers to which Jews living in the territories of the Third Reich were exposed. The closing of borders to Jewish emigration in those circumstances, whether due to anti-Jewish hostility or suspicion, political cowardice or shortsightedness, or national selfishness, lays a heavy burden of conscience on the authorities in question.

    In the lands where the Nazis undertook mass deportations, the brutality which surrounded these forced movements of helpless people should have led to suspect the worst. Did Christians give every possible assistance to those being persecuted, and in particular to the persecuted Jews?

    Many did, but others did not. Those who did help to save Jewish lives as much as was in their power, even to the point of placing their own lives in danger, must not be forgotten. During and after the war, Jewish communities and Jewish leaders expressed their thanks for all that had been done for them, including what Pope Pius XII did personally or through his representatives to save hundreds of thousands of Jewish lives.(16) Many Catholic bishops, priests, religious and laity have been honoured for this reason by the State of Israel.

    Nevertheless, as Pope John Paul II has recognized, alongside such courageous men and women, the spiritual resistance and concrete action of other Christians was not that which might have been expected from Christ's followers. We cannot know how many Christians in countries occupied or ruled by the Nazi powers or their allies were horrified at the disappearance of their Jewish neighbours and yet were not strong enough to raise their voices in protest. For Christians, this heavy burden of conscience of their brothers and sisters during the Second World War must be a call to penitence.(17)

    We deeply regret the errors and failures of those sons and daughters of the Church. We make our own what is said in the Second Vatican Council's Declaration Nostra Aetate, which unequivocally affirms: "The Church ... mindful of her common patrimony with the Jews, and motivated by the Gospel's spiritual love and by no political considerations, deplores the hatred, persecutions and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews at any time and from any source".(18)

    We recall and abide by what Pope John Paul II, addressing the leaders of the Jewish community in Strasbourg in 1988,stated: "I repeat again with you the strongest condemnation of anti-Semitism and racism, which are opposed to the principles of Christianity".(19) The Catholic Church therefore repudiates every persecution against a people or human group anywhere, at any time. She absolutely condemns all forms of genocide, as well as the racist ideologies which give rise to them. Looking back over this century, we are deeply saddened by the violence that has enveloped whole groups of peoples and nations. We recall in particular the massacre of the Armenians, the countless victims in Ukraine in the 1930s, the genocide of the Gypsies, which was also the result of racist ideas, and similar tragedies which have occurred in America, Africa and the Balkans. Nor do we forget the millions of victims of totalitarian ideology in the Soviet Union, in China, Cambodia and elsewhere. Nor can we forget the drama of the Middle East, the elements of which are well known. Even as we make this reflection, "many human beings are still their brothers' victims".(20)

  9. Looking together to a common future

Looking to the future of relations between Jews and Christians, in the first place we appeal to our Catholic brothers and sisters to renew the awareness of the Hebrew roots of their faith. We ask them to keep in mind that Jesus was a descendant of David; that the Virgin Mary and the Apostles belonged to the Jewish people; that the Church draws sustenance from the root of that good olive tree on to which have been grafted the wild olive branches of the Gentiles (cf. Rom 11:17-24); that the Jews are our dearly beloved brothers, indeed in a certain sense they are "our elder brothers".(21)

At the end of this Millennium the Catholic Church desires to express her deep sorrow for the failures of her sons and daughters in every age. This is an act of repentance (teshuva), since, as members of the Church, we are linked to the sins as well as the merits of all her children. The Church approaches with deep respect and great compassion the experience of extermination, the Shoah, suffered by the Jewish people during World War II. It is not a matter of mere words, but indeed of binding commitment. "We would risk causing the victims of the most atrocious deaths to die again if we do not have an ardent desire for justice, if we do not commit ourselves to ensure that evil does not prevail over good as it did for millions of the children of the Jewish people ... Humanity cannot permit all that to happen again".(22)

We pray that our sorrow for the tragedy which the Jewish people has suffered in our century will lead to a new relationship with the Jewish people. We wish to turn awareness of past sins into a firm resolve to build a new future in which there will be no more anti-Judaism among Christians or anti-Christian sentiment among Jews, but rather a shared mutual respect, as befits those who adore the one Creator and Lord and have a common father in faith, Abraham.

Finally, we invite all men and women of good will to reflect deeply on the significance of the Shoah. The victims from their graves, and the survivors through the vivid testimony of what they have suffered, have become a loud voice calling the attention of all of humanity. To remember this terrible experience is to become fully conscious of the salutary warning it entails: the spoiled seeds of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism must never again be allowed to take root in any human heart.


16 March 1998.

Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy



The Most Reverend Pierre Duprey



The Reverend Remi Hoeckman, O.P.



(1)Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 10 November 1994, 33: AAS 87 (1995), 25.

(2)Cf. Pope John Paul II, Speech at the Synagogue of Rome, 13 April 1986, 4: AAS 78 (1986), 1120.

(3)Pope John Paul II, Angelus Prayer, 11 June 1995: Insegnamenti 181, 1995, 1712.

(4)Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to Jewish Leaders in Budapest, 18 August 1991, 4: Insegnamenti 142, 1991, 349.

(5)Pope John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Centesimus Annus, 1 May 1991, 17: AAS 83 (1991), 814-815.

(6)Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to Delegates of Episcopal Conferences for Catholic-Jewish relations, 6 March 1982: Insegnamenti, 51, 1982, 743-747.

(7)Cf. Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, Notes on the correct way to present the Jews and Judaism in preaching and catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church, 24 June 1985, VI, 1: Ench. Vat. 9, 1656.

(8)Cf. Pope John Paul II, Speech to Symposium on the roots of anti-Judaism, 31 October 1997, 1: L'Osservatore Romano, 1 November 1997, p. 6.

(9)Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Nostra Aetate, 4.

(10)Cf. B. Statiewski (Ed.), Akten deutscher Bischöfe über die Lage der Kirche, 1933-1945, vol. I, 1933-1934 (Mainz 1968), Appendix.

(11)Cf. L. Volk, Der Bayerische Episkopat und der Nationalsozialismus 1930-1934 (Mainz 1966), pp. 170-174.

(12) The Encyclical is dated 14 March 1937: AAS 29 (1937), 145-167.

(13) La Documentation Catholique, 29 (1938), col. 1460.

(14) AAS 31 (1939), 413-453.

(15) Ibid., 449.

(16) The wisdom of Pope Pius XII's diplomacy was publicly acknowledged on a number of occasions by representative Jewish Organizations and personalities. For example, on 7 September 1945, Dr. Joseph Nathan, who represented the Italian Hebrew Commission, stated: "Above all, we acknowledge the Supreme Pontiff and the religious men and women who, executing the directives of the Holy Father, recognized the persecuted as their brothers and, with effort and abnegation, hastened to help us, disregarding the terrible dangers to which they were exposed" (L'Osservatore Romano, 8 September 1945, p. 2). On 21 September of that same year, Pius XII received in audience Dr. A. Leo Kubowitzki, Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress who came to present "to the Holy Father, in the name of the Union of Israelitic Communities, warmest thanks for the efforts of the Catholic Church on behalf of Jews throughout Europe during the War" (L'Osservatore Romano, 23 September 1945, p. 1). On Thursday, 29 November 1945, the Pope met about 80 representatives of Jewish refugees from various concentration camps in Germany, who expressed "their great honour at being able to thank the Holy Father personally for his generosity towards those persecuted during the Nazi-Fascist period" (L'Osservatore Romano, 30 November 1945, p. 1). In 1958, at the death of Pope Pius XII, Golda Meir sent an eloquent message: "We share in the grief of humanity. When fearful martyrdom came to our people, the voice of the Pope was raised for its victims. The life of our times was enriched by a voice speaking out about great moral truths above the tumult of daily conflict. We mourn a great servant of peace".

(17) Cf. Pope John Paul II, Address to the New Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See, 8 November 1990, 2: AAS 83 (1991), 587-588.

(18) Loc. cit., no. 4.

(19) Address to Jewish Leaders, Strasbourg, 9 October 1988, no. 8: Insegnamenti 113, 1988, 1134.

(20) Pope John Paul II, Address to the Diplomatic Corps, 15 January 1994, 9: AAS 86 (1994), 816.

(21) Pope John Paul II, Speech at the Synagogue of Rome, 13 April 1986, 4: AAS 78 (1986), 1120.

(22) Pope John Paul II, Address on the occasion of a commemoration of the Shoah, 7 April 1994, 3: Insegnamenti 171, 1994, 897 and 893.