A Repentance, Sort Of

The Vatican issues a historic statement on the Holocaust but falls short of some Jewish hopes

It was a long wait everyone had assumed would be worth it. Back in 1987, when Pope John Paul II first told a group of American rabbis he intended to commission a study on Catholicism, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, an aide warned it might take two years. That span became a decade, but Jewish hopes remained high. Who could doubt that this Pope, who had lived in Poland as it became a killing ground and had lost childhood playmates to the camps, understood the glories and agonies of the Jews? In 1986 he became the first Pontiff to visit a synagogue;...

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