ROME (Jul. 10)
The Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano today published a frontpage editorial attack on the Israeli Mapai newspaper Hapoel Hatzair for an article holding the Catholic Church partly responsible in the death of thousands of Jews during the Nazi regime.
The semi-official Vatican paper recalled a long series of statements by prominent Jewish leaders praising the Catholic Church for the aid it gave persecuted Jews. The editorial also “deplored” that the Jews in Israel and elsewhere were unaware of the persecution of Catholics in Communist countries. It concluded with a statement that Christian principles had guided the Catholic people and the Church in aiding persecuted Jews.
The Hapoel Hatzair article had stated that Hitlerian anti-Semitism had found a response among many Christians because “for centuries the Catholic clergy had educated Christians in a hatred against Jews. “The labor newspaper also chided the Pope for failing to make early condemnations of the Nazi mass murder of Jews, stating that had he done so thousands of Jewish lives might have been saved.