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Pope Francis: to attendees of anti-Semitism conference, “the enemy to fight is not just hatred, it is paralysing indifference”

“The enemy to fight is not just hatred, in all its forms, but, even deeper within, it is indifference; because it is indifference that paralyses and prevents one doing what is right, even when one knows it is right”. This is the warning that opened the speech that Pope Francis made in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace this morning to the attendees of the international conference on the responsibility of States, Institutions and Individuals for the fight against anti-Semitism and crimes associated with anti-Semitic hatred, which is being held at the Ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, in Rome today. The conference is organised in partnership with OSCE, UCEI (the Italian Union of Jewish Communities) and the Jewish Contemporary Documentation Centre Foundation.
“I never get tired of repeating – the Pope said – that indifference is a virus that is dangerously catching in our age, an age in which we are more and more connected with others, yet less and less caring of others. Yet, the global context should help us understand that no one is an island and nobody will have a peaceful future without a worthy future for everyone”. The Pope mentioned the Cain and Abel episode that “helps us understand that indifference is a treacherous evil that is always crouching at man’s door”. Cain’s indifference to Abel’s death produces desperation and silence. And the Pope commented: “I remember this deafening silence that I felt when I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau: an upsetting silence, that can only be filled with tears, prayers and begging for forgiveness”.

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