- Oct 31, 2020
Europe’s Catholic bishops are marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz with a statement denouncing anti-Semitism and the “manipulation” of the truth for political aims.
In 1922, Edith Stein read the autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila through the night. The spiritual account rocked her world, and led her to the peripheries of her own heart. And there, in the avoidance of religious truth and its call to love and mercy, Edith found peace and consolation — a peace that would sustain her all the way to Auschwitz.
Francis on Friday becomes the third pope to visit Auschwitz, and the first whose presence isn’t intimately linked to his own past — making clear that memory of the horrors that unfolded in the camp is now a corporate commitment of the Catholic Church.
George Weigel believes that in Krakow this July during World Youth Day, there will be two starring roles — Pope Francis, who’ll lead the celebration, and St. John Paul II, who founded it against considerable opposition and skepticism. “This isn’t ‘Hamlet’,” Weigel says, “it’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.”
Although Pope Francis has had plenty to say about the Holocaust over the years, when he visits Auschwitz in late July, he says “I would like to go to that place of horror without speeches, without crowds … and may the Lord give me the grace to cry.”
Pope Francis will visit in late July while in Poland for the Catholic Church’s World Youth Day festival.