In this meticulously researched, unflinching, and reasoned study, National Book Award finalist David I. Kertzer presents shocking revelations about the role played by the Vatican in the development of modern anti-Semitism. Working in long-sealed Vatican archives, Kertzer unearths startling evidence to undermine the Church’s argument that it played no direct role in the spread of modern anti-Semitism. In doing so, he challenges the Vatican’s recent official statement on the subject, We Remember. Kertzer tells an unsettling story that has stirred up controversy around the world and sheds a much-needed light on the past.
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|Title of Religion eBook: The Popes Against the Jews|
|Release Date: 12-18-2007|
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|Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group|
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The Popes Against the Jews
Edward Cardinal Cassidy, Australian head of the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, called in reporters to announce the long-awaited results of his investigation. It was March 16, 1998eleven years after Pope John Paul II had asked the Commission to determine what responsibility, if any, the Church bore for the slaughter of millions of European Jews during World War II. For the Church, a more explosive subject could hardly be imagined. It had been thirty-five years since Rolf Hochhuth's play The Deputy had first raised the charge of papal complicity in the Holocaust, triggering Catholic outrage worldwide. Yet the suggestion that the Vatican bore any responsibility for what had happened to the Jews continued to grate on Catholic sensibilities. And so nervousness mixed with curiosity as the report was finally released to a public sharply divided between those worried that it might criticize the Church, and those who feared it would not.
Heightening the drama and underlining the significance of the event, the Pope himself wrote an introduction to the report. John Paul II hailed the Commission document"We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah"as an important part of Church preparations for the upcoming millennial celebrations. To properly observe the jubilee, the Pope wrote, the Church's sons and daughters must purify their hearts by examining the responsibility they bore for sins committed in the past. He voiced the hope that by providing an accurate account of past evils, the Commission report would help ensure that such horrors as the Holocaust would never be repeated. The report's pream...