Why we can never forget: Cardinal's statement for Holocaust Memorial Day
posted on 26 January 2006
The Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has sent the following message to the organisers of Holocaust Memorial Day 2006
History’s greatest evil remains barely graspable by the human mind. But I glimpsed something of it at a visit once to Auschwitz, where a room contained suitcases stamped with the initials of those who were taken to the gas chamber. Their suitcases, and their names, were stripped from them: the Jews and others whom the Nazis scapegoated had to be de-humanised in order to be slaughtered. The warning is clear: wherever dehumanisation takes hold, terrible evil is sure to follow.
That is why the message of the Shoah remains one of the defence of the God-given intrinsic dignity of all human beings, of which the right to life is the primordial. This is a right which comes with birth; it is not a concession of the state or the law. It cannot be given and taken away. It is the indelible mark of God in us, and its denial is a sacrilege.
The Catholic Church solemnly teaches that Jesus was a descendant of David; that Mary and the Apostles belonged to the Jewish people; that the Church is nourished by its roots in Judaism; and that the Jews are our ‘elder brothers and sisters’ in faith. The Catholic people of the world stand with Jews against anti-semitism and holocaust denial, and in defence of the God-given dignity of all human beings. We are one human family: today’s commemoration is especially that of the Jewish people, but it is also that of the victims of genocide everywhere and throughout history. We can never forget