The Pope's Apology and the Grounds of Forgiveness


Publication Date: July 2009

Publisher: National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership

Author(s): Steve Greenberg

Research Area: Culture and religion

Keywords: Jewish-Christian Relations; Antisemitism; Holocaust

Type: Brief


The author discusses Pope John Paul II's apology to the Jewish community, made at Yad Vashem, the The Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority. He analyzes how the Jewish community found the apology incomplete due to the Pope's avoidance of blaming the Christian church for its antisemitism. With references to the Talmud, there is a further analysis on the nature of atonement, and how the church may attain full forgiveness in the future.