Meeting with Slovak Jews, Pope Francis speaks of Holocaust “shame”

Leader of Catholic Church met representatives of the Slovak Jewish Community and condemned antisemitism at the Holocaust memorial in Slovak capital, Bratislava.

Pope Francis on Monday voiced “shame” over the massacre of more than 100,000 Slovak Jews in the Holocaust, condemning World War II’s “frenzy of hatred” and lingering antisemitism.

“Here, in this place, the name of God was dishonored,” the pope said, speaking in front of a Holocaust memorial on Rybne Square, where a synagogue was torn down during Communist times.

“Let us unite in condemning all violence and every form of antisemitism,” he added.
The head of the umbrella organization Slovak Federation of Jewish Communities Richard Duda, said at the encounter that Francis’ visit was “historic,” and a “turning point” in relations, and that dialogue was the only way to achieve peaceful coexistence.

“We hope that the sincerity and availability for an open dialogue will allow us to one day put a final point even on the dark sides of the complicity which, during the terrible World War 80 years ago, marked relations between the people of this land,” he said.

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