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Pope Francis greets participants attending an International Conference on Anti-Semitism Pope Francis greets participants attending an International Conference on Anti-Semitism  (Vatican Media)

Pope: Indifference a virus that is contagious in our time

Pope Francis stresses the importance of responsiblity, remembrance and education in the fight against anti-semitism.

In his speech to participants attending the Rome International Conference on the Responsibility of States, Institutions and Individuals in the Fight against Anti-Semitism in the OSCE Area, the Pope got right to the heart of his address by emphasizing three words, responsibility, indifference and memory.

Regarding responsibility, Pope Francis said, “we are responsible when we are able to respond. It is not merely a question of analyzing the causes of violence and refuting their perverse reasoning, but of being actively prepared to respond to them.”

Indifference

He went on to say, “the enemy against which we fight is not only hatred in all of its forms, but even more fundamentally, indifference; for it is indifference that paralyzes and impedes us from doing what is right even when we know that it is right.”

I do not grow tired of repeating, he said “that indifference is a virus that is dangerously contagious in our time, a time when we are ever more connected with others, but are increasingly less attentive to others.”

Memory

Recalling the recent commemoration of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Pontiff underlined that “in order to recover our humanity, to recover our human understanding of reality and to overcome so many deplorable forms of apathy towards our neighbour, we need this memory,…”

Formation

Memory, he added was “the key to accessing the future, and it is our responsibility to hand it on in a dignified way to young generations.”

Concluding his address, the Pope stressed that in order to foster a culture of responsibility, memory and of closeness, what was needed was good formation.

“We need urgently, he said to educate young generations to become actively involved in the struggle against hatred and discrimination, but also in the overcoming of conflicting positions in the past, and never to grow tired of seeking the other.”

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29 January 2018, 12:45