ROME — Pope Francis recalled the extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews in calling Wednesday for the upcoming Holocaust Day of Remembrance to reaffirm that warfare can by no means be justified and solely advantages weapons makers.
On the finish of his weekly normal viewers, Francis referred to Saturday’s commemoration, which has turn out to be fraught this 12 months given Israel’s navy marketing campaign in Gaza and an increase in antisemitism in Europe and all over the world.
“The remembrance and condemnation of that horrific extermination of hundreds of thousands of Jews and of different faiths, which occurred within the first half of the final century, assist us all to not overlook that the logic of hatred and violence can by no means be justified, as a result of they deny our very humanity,” Francis mentioned.
Italy’s Jewish neighborhood has denounced an increase in antisemitic sentiment, together with what leaders name the improper use of phrases like “genocide,” following the Oct. 7 Hamas assaults in southern Israel and Israel’s navy response in Gaza.
On Tuesday, the top of the Jewish neighborhood Naomi Di Segni introduced that marathons round Italy which have historically marked previous Holocaust Remembrance Days had been cancelled this 12 months due to safety considerations.
She additionally complained about unnamed Catholic leaders who had “minimized the popularity of what occurred on Oct. 7 as a terrorist act in comparison with the suitable of Israel to defend itself.” She didn’t identify names, however some Jewish leaders have complained about Francis’ preliminary feedback, wherein he didn’t establish Hamas by identify and complained usually that “we’ve gone past warfare … that is terrorism.”
Francis has subsequently all the time referred to struggling in each Israel and Gaza, and particularly condemned the Oct. 7 assault.
Francis mentioned this 12 months’s commemoration falls amid not solely the warfare in Gaza but additionally in “tormented Ukraine” and known as for prayers for the victims and for political leaders to “cherish human life by placing an finish to wars.”
“Allow us to not overlook: Battle is all the time a defeat, all the time,” he mentioned. “The one ‘winner’ is the arms producers.”