In a statement entitled We Must Remember the Shoah, Cardinal William H. Keeler said the US bishops stand in solidarity with the Universal Church in condemning "revisionist history" that seeks to minimize the horror of the Holocaust.
The Cardinal cited a December 12 statement issued by the Holy See alluding to the teaching of Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI: "The Shoah (the Holocaust) was an enormous tragedy, before which one cannot remain indifferent…the memory of those terrible facts must remain a warning for consciences with the aim of eliminating conflicts, respecting the legitimate rights of all peoples and calling for peace in truth and justice."
"Here in the United States, we have a wide range of resources to use in fostering Holocaust education not only in Catholic schools but in private and public schools as well," Cardinal Keeler said. He noted that in preparing those resources, the US Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs cited two major reasons why studying the significance of the holocaust should be central to the curriculum of Catholic education:
"First, the Holocaust was not a random act of mass murder but ‘a war against the Jews as the People of God, the First Witness to God's revelation and the eternal bearers of that witness through all the centuries,'" the Cardinal stated. "Second, future generations need to be ever vigilant so that ‘the spoiled seeds of anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism (will) never again be allowed to take root in the human heart'."
Cardinal Keeler issued the statement against the background of a December 11-12 conference in Iran at which speakers sought to diminish the scope of the holocaust.
Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, is Episcopal Moderator for Catholic-Jewish Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
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