September 11, 1987
Meeting with Jewish Leadership
Words of Gratitude
"It is also fitting to recall the strong, unequivocal efforts of the Popes against anti-semitism and Nazism at the height of the persecution against the Jews. Back in 1938, Pius XI declared that 'anti-semitism cannot be admitted' (September 6, 1938), and he declared the total opposition between Christianity and Nazism by stating that the Nazi cross is an 'enemy of the Cross of Christ' (Christmas Allocution, 1938). And I am convinced that history will reveal ever more clearly and convincingly how deeply Pius XII felt the tragedy of the Jewish people, and how hard and effectively he worked to assist them during the Second World War. Speaking in the name of humanity and Christian principles, the Bishops' Conference of the United States denounced the atrocities with a clear statement: 'Since the murderous assault on Poland, utterly devoid of every semblance of humanity, there has been a premeditated and systematic extermination of the people of this nation. The same satanic technique is being applied to many other peoples. We feel a deep sense of revulsion against the cruel indignities heaped upon the Jews in conquered countries and upon defenseless peoples not of our faith' (November 14, 1942)."
-John Paul II to the Church in America: A Complete Collection of the Pope's Addresses to Catholics in the United States 1978-1988 by The Cambridge Center for the Study of Faith and Culture, pp.114-115.
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