Pope recalls upcoming Holocaust Remembrance Day, appeals for end to war

By Deborah Castellano Lubov

“This Saturday, 27 January, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. May the remembrance and condemnation of that horrific extermination of millions of Jews and people of other faiths, which took place in the first half of the last century, help everyone not to forget that the logic of hatred and violence can never be justified, because it denies our very humanity.”

With these words at the end of his weekly General Audience in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall, Pope Francis looked ahead to the upcoming Day, which occurs each year on the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration and death camp.

“War itself is a denial of humanity,” the Pope said, as he appealed for efforts on behalf of peace.

“Let us not tire,” the Holy Father implored, “of praying for peace, for an end to conflicts, for a halt to weapons, and for relief for exhausted populations.”

“War itself is a denial of humanity. Let us not tire of praying for peace.”

Disturbed by bombings striking civilians

The Pope said his thoughts go in a special way to people in the Middle East, of Palestine and of Israel, and Ukraine.

He decried the “disturbing” news of “the bombings that hit places frequented by civilians,” which, he insisted, “sow death, destruction, and suffering.”

The only ones who “win” in this way, Pope Francis decried, are arms manufacturers.

Pope Francis concluded by saying, “I pray for the victims and their loved ones, and I implore everyone, especially those with political responsibility, to preserve human life by putting an end to wars.”

“Let us not forget: war is always a defeat, always.”