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Monday, August 22, 2005

In Synagogue Pope Calls Jews and Christians to Work Together to Defend Life and Family

COLOGNE — On Friday, Pope Benedict XVI made an historic visit to Cologne's Synagogue. After greetings form the congregation and Rabbi Netanel Teitelbaum, and the reading of the well known Psalm 23 (The Lord is my shepherd . . . ) Pope Benedict spoke to the assembled guests, his message broadcast around the world by an eager media.
In his address, the Pope condemned in vivid language the atrocities committed against the Jews during the holocaust. "In the twentieth century, in the darkest period of German and European history, an insane racist ideology, born of neo-paganism, gave rise to the attempt, planned and systematically carried out by the regime, to exterminate European Jewry," said Pope Benedict.
"The victims of this unspeakable and previously unimaginable crime amounted to seven thousand named individuals in Cologne alone; the real figure was surely much higher. The holiness of God was no longer recognized, and consequently contempt was shown for the sacredness of human life."
He concluded his remarks calling on Jewish believers to join Christians in defending life and family.
"Our rich common heritage and our fraternal and more trusting relations call upon us to join in giving an ever more harmonious witness and to work together on the practical level for the defence and promotion of human rights and the sacredness of human life, for family values, for social justice and for peace in the world," he said.

(This update courtesy of

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