Pope John Paul II

Dialogika Resources

Address on the Fortieth Anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising

Vatican City

Dear Friends:

I extend a warm greeting to all the members of the delegation organized by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles. I am very pleased to welcome you to the Vatican today and in this way to further the continuing religious dialogue between Judaism and the Catholic Church. Such meetings as ours deepen bonds of friendship and trust and help us to appreciate more fully the richness of our common heritage as people who believe in the one Lord and God who has revealed himself to man.

As Christians and Jews, as children of Abraham, we are called to be a blessing for the world [cf. Gen. 12:2ff] especially by our witness in faith to God, the source of all life, and by our commitment to work together for the establishment of true peace and justice among all peoples and nations. Taking up the way of dialogue and mutual collaboration, we deepen bonds of friendship and trust among ourselves and offer to others a sign of hope for the future.

I am happy to know that your itinerary has included a visit to Poland to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Just recently, speaking of that horrible and tragic event of history, I said: "It was a desperate cry for the right of life, for liberty, and for the salvation of human dignity.... Paying homage to the memory of these innocent victims, we pray: May the Eternal God accept this sacrifice for the well-being and the salvation of the world."

May God bless you and your families with harmony and peace. May he bless you with the fullness of shalom.