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May 15 2009 £1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
‘May their suffering never be denied’
Pope Benedict XVI observes a moment of silence in the Hall of Remembrance at Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem. The Pope said the suffering of Jews under the Nazis must ‘never be denied, belittled or forgotten’
BY ANNA ARCO
POPE BENEDICT XVI vigorously condemned Holocaust denial during his visit to Israel’s main Holocaust memorial on Tuesday.
Honouring the victims of the Shoah at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Pope Benedict said: “May the names of these victims never perish! May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten! And may all people of goodwill remain vigilant in rooting out from the heart of man anything that could lead to tragedies such as this!”
After re-kindling the eternal flame in
the Yad Vashem Hall of Remembrance, laying a wreath and meeting Holocaust survivors, the Pope addressed the assembled guests, remembering the victims of the Holocaust. His speech drew heavily on the Old Testament.
Drawing a parallel between the memorial’s name, which comes from the book of the Prophet Isaiah – yad means “memorial” and shem means “name” – the Pope focused on the names of those who were killed in the Nazi genocide.
He said: “I have come to stand in silence before this monument, erected to honour the memory of the millions of
Jews killed in the horrific tragedy of the Shoah. They lost their lives, but they will never lose their names: these are indelibly etched in the hearts of their loved ones, their surviving fellow prisoners, and all those determined never to allow such an atrocity to disgrace mankind again. Most of all, their names are forever fixed in the memory of Almighty God.”
For many, the Pope’s visit to the Holocaust memorial was the watershed moment of his trip to Israel, an opportunity to make good January’s controversy over the lifting of the excommunications of four Lefebvrist
bishops. In an interview with Swedish television, aired days before the excommunications were lifted, Bishop Richard Williamson, one of the four, questioned whether six million Jews were killed in Nazi death camps. The subsequent media storm set back Jewish-Catholic relations and put the visit to the Holy Land in jeopardy, but the Pope’s public condemnation of Holocaust denial and meetings with Jewish leaders helped ease the tensions.
The names of the six death camps and some of the concentration camps are inscribed on the floor of the Hall of Remembrance and the eternal flame burns
in front of a crypt which contains the ashes of some of the Holocaust’s victims.
During the speech Pope Benedict said the Catholic Church had “deep compassion” for the victims and “draws close to all those who today are subjected to persecution on account of race, colour, condition of life or religion – their sufferings are hers, and hers is their hope for justice”. He said the Church was committed to ensuring that the “hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again”.
Towards the end of his talk he returned to the theme of the names and
faces of the Holocaust victims which he had seen reflected in Yad Vashem’s memorial pool. He said: “Gazing upon the faces reflected in the pool that lies in stillness within this memorial, one cannot help but recall how each of them bears a name. I can only imagine the joyful expectation of their parents as they anxiously awaited the birth of their children. What name shall we give this child? What is to become of him or her? Who could have imagined that they
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The Pope in the Holy Land: Page 4-6 Leading article: Page 13
Christians say television adverts will lead to sharp rise in abortions
BY ED WEST
MOST Christians believe that abortion advertisements on television will “dramatically increase” the number of abortions in Britain, according to a new survey.
The result came as it emerged that most pregnancies among girls under 18 in England and Wales ended in abortion last year.
The survey by polling agency ComRes suggested that 65 per cent of Christians believed that Britain’s abor
tion rate would dramatically increase as a result of the adverts. Among Catholics that number was 75 per cent.
Most Christians – 69 per cent – also disagreed with the suggestion that the adverts would encourage viewers to be more responsible in deciding whether to have an abortion. Catholics were more likely to disagree with this claim (78 per cent), with 38 per cent of them disagreeing strongly, compared to only 16 per cent of Anglicans. But Christians were divided on
whether to ban condom adverts on television and radio, with 44 per cent agreeing on a ban and 50 per cent opposed. Catholics were most likely to want a ban – by 60 to 33 per cent.
Christians overall opposed a review of advertising codes, which would make it easier to broadcast sex-related advertisements – more than 70 per cent wanted restrictions kept.
Meanwhile, the pro-life group LIFE has asked the faithful to petition the Advertising Standards Authority
against the proposal to allow abortion agencies to advertise on television and radio. A copy of the petition is available at www.lifecharity.org.uk.
ComRes surveyed 512 British Christians on Cpanel between April 22 and May 1. Fieldwork was conducted online. Data was weighted by denomination and churchmanship according to the 2005 Church census. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and follows its rules. Full tables at www.comres.co.uk.
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Priest’s hunger strike wins back faithful
‘Priest to the stars’ to publish new memoir
BY NICK PISA IN ROME
AN ITALIAN priest who went on a 72-hour hunger strike to get more people to church has been rewarded with a full congregation for the first time in years.
Fr Eros Mario Pellizzari, 47, took the drastic action in order to get dwindling parishioners – especially youngsters – to attend his Masses and draw attention to their lack of
spirituality. During the fast in his church at the village of Campigo, near Venice, Fr Pellizzari prayed for his flock to return to the church.
He said: “It was an extreme gesture but also a message of affection and an appeal to the parishioners of the parish to return to Mass. I was really appealing to the young people of Campigo.
“I am delighted that it worked and for the first time in years the church was full with every seat taken – now the hard work is to make sure the parishioners come back every Sunday.”
BY ED WEST
FR MICHAEL SEED is to publish a candid memoir of his life working for Cardinal Basil Hume.
Saints and Sinners will come out in July and will cover over 20 years of his time as the ecumenical adviser to Cardinal Hume.
Fr Seed said: “It’s mainly to do with the late cardinal. It’s a combination of funny stories, and covers my life from 27 to 52.
“It won’t be a betrayal of
confidence. People shouldn’t be worrying. It’s innocuous, perhaps even boring. There is nothing that will offend anybody, and it is entirely complimentary.
“There are some wonderful stories about Lord Long
ford that are hilarious
but deeply affec
“There is no question of revelation as a priest. I want to send a mes
sage to my detrac
tors, of whom I understand I have none.”
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