ROME (Feb. 9)
The Vatican will release a strong statement on racism Friday which acknowledges that opposition to Israel “sometimes serves as a cover for anti-Semitism.”
The 44-page document is titled “The Church Confronting Racism — For a More Fraternal Society.”
While it condemns racism in general as “blasphemy,” the statement specifically calls attention to recent manifestations of anti-Semitism linked to protests against the political policy of Israel.
One excerpt — made available in advance of publication — states that “in recent years, there have been numerous terrorist actions directed against people or symbols of Judaism.
“Anti-Zionism, which consists of opposition to the policies of the State of Israel, sometimes serves as a cover for the anti-Semitism which nurtures and provokes it.”
According to Orazio Petrosillo, a journalist who closely monitors the Vatican, the statement “constitutes a significant Vatican signal toward the Jewish state.”
It also is “a testimonial of solidarity for the Jewish victims of terrorist attacks, such as the attack on the Rome synagogue in 1982,” Petrosillo wrote in II Messaggero.
The Vatican statement also recalled that “never in history was there a form of racism more serious than Nazism, whose homicidal madness above all, and to an unheard of degree, struck the Jews, but also other peoples.”