The Pontiff visits the Shoah memorial in front of representatives of the Jewish community. The deportations began on March 26, 1942, then Slovak leader Jozef Tiso, ally of Hitler, was a Catholic priest
from our correspondent
BRATISLAVA – Here the name of God has been dishonored, because the worst blasphemy that can be done to him is to use it for his own purposesrather than to respect and love others. Here, faced with the history of the Jewish people, marked by this tragic and unspeakable affront, we are ashamed to admit it: how many times has the ineffable name of the Most High been used for unspeakable acts of inhumanity! How many oppressors have declared: “God with us”; but it was they who weren’t with God. Old town, Rybn square nmestie, Francis reaches the Shoah memorial and in front of the representatives of the Jewish community he says his shame for the profanation of God’s name and murmurs: Here I too feel the need to “take off my sandals”, because I am in a place blessed by the brotherhood of men in the name of ‘Very high.
Who, next to the cathedral of San Martino, there was the Neolog synagogue, built at the end of the nineteenth century and demolished by the communist regime in 1969, together with the ghetto, to make room for the bridge of the insurrection. The Moorish silhouette with the two octagonal towers engraved on a black wall, the Holocaust memorial which commemorates the Slovak Jews deported and killed in extermination camps. As in Hungary, in Slovakia the Nazis hit the bottom of their annihilation project: the Shoah Resource Center of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem estimates 105,000 victims. The deportations of Jews to the extermination camps began on March 26, 1942 and the then Slovak leader Jozef Tiso, an ally of Hitler, was a Catholic priest.
So, like Monday in Hungary, the Pope returns to speak of the anti-Semitism that still threatens Europe and he dwells on the madness of hatred and the fanaticism that uses the name of God, a recurring danger. Francis quotes Isaiah, the prophet’s question also resounds for us: “Sentinel, how long is the night missing?”, The night not yet over: This is the time for us the image of God that shines in man can no longer be obscured. Let’s help each other in this. Because even today there is no lack of vain and false idols that dishonor the name of the Most High. They are those of power and money that prevail over the dignity of man, of indifference that looks away, of manipulations that exploit religion, making it a matter of supremacy or reducing it to irrelevance. It’s still, they are forgetfulness of the past, ignorance that justifies everything, anger and hatred. We are united – I repeat – in condemning all violence, all forms of anti-Semitism, and in working to ensure that the image of God in the human creature is not profaned.
When the song of a psalm in Hebrew is raised, Francis listens with his head bowed and eyes closed, his hands joined. The tone of the solemn Pope: Dear brothers and sisters, your history is our history, your pains are our pains. For some of you, this Shoah Memorial is the only place where you can honor the memory of your loved ones. I am joining you too. On the Memorial inscribed in Hebrew “Zachor”: “Remember!” Memory cannot and must not give way to oblivion, for there will not be a lasting dawn of brotherhood without first sharing and dispelling the darkness of the night.
The world needs open doorsFrancis concludes, recalling the Commission for dialogue born between Jews and Catholics, it is good to continue, in truth and sincerity, in the fraternal path of purification of memory. Then he looks up: But this square, dear brothers and sisters, is also a place where the light of hope shines. Here every year you come to light the first light on the Chanukia candlestick. Thus, in the darkness, the message appears that it is not destruction and death that have the last word, but renewal and life. AND if the synagogue on this site was demolished, the community still exists. alive and open to dialogue. Here our stories meet again. Here together we affirm before God the will to continue on the path of rapprochement and friendship.
September 13, 2021 (change September 13, 2021 | 19:00)