HomeWorldVatican Holocaust conference overshadowed by Gaza conflict, Reuters reports.

Vatican Holocaust conference overshadowed by Gaza conflict, Reuters reports.

Gaza Conflict Casts Shadow over Vatican Holocaust Conference

Gaza Conflict Overshadows Vatican Holocaust Conference

The Vatican’s major conference on the Holocaust and its relationship with the Vatican faced a somber atmosphere as the conflict in Gaza unfolded. One participant described the violence as the most devastating attack on civilian Jews since the Holocaust.

Discoveries from Vatican Archives Inspire Conference

The conference was organized in response to the opening of the Vatican archives in 2020, which revealed a letter exposing Pope Pius XII’s knowledge of the Nazi’s genocidal plans against Jews in the Holocaust as early as 1942.

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Vatican Secretary of State Addresses Recent Violence

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, deviated from his prepared speech to condemn the “terrible and despicable attack” against “Israeli brothers and sisters.” He emphasized that violence, terrorism, and extremism undermine the aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis.

Israeli Representatives Absent from Conference

Two speakers from Israel’s Yad Vashem Holocaust Remembrance Center canceled their appearances at the three-day conference due to the ongoing conflict. However, Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt, known for her victory against Holocaust denier David Irving, attended the event.

Rabbi’s Thoughts on the Conflict

Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, expressed his concern for the situation in Gaza, stating that his thoughts were more focused on the conflict than the conference.

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Recorded Casualties and Ongoing Retaliatory Strikes

According to Professor Deborah E. Lipstadt, the recent attack in Gaza resulted in the highest number of Jews killed in a single day since the Holocaust. The death toll from the Hamas attack reached 800, while Israel’s retaliatory strikes have claimed over 500 lives since Saturday.

Supporters and Critics of Pope Pius XII

Supporters argue that Pope Pius XII worked behind the scenes to aid Jews and refrained from speaking out to protect Catholics in Nazi-occupied Europe. However, critics believe he lacked the courage to use the information he possessed, despite pleas from Allied powers fighting against Germany.

Collaboration between Vatican, Yad Vashem, and U.S. Institutions

The conference was jointly organized by the Vatican, Yad Vashem, the U.S. State Department, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and various Jewish groups. The aim was to address Jewish-Christian relations following the opening of the Vatican archives.

Ensuring a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Gaza is crucial, as it continues to overshadow important events like the Vatican Holocaust conference. The atrocities committed against civilians highlight the urgency for dialogue and understanding between different communities.

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