February 10th, 2005

Rapprochement between Spiegel and Lehmann

imes new roman" >Central Council President Paul Spiegel and Cardinal Karl Lehmann, Chairman of the Conference of German Bishops, met in Mainz in late February for talks in a climate of trust. The meeting was a response to comments by Pope John Paul II in his new book comparing the Nazis’ annihilation of their victims with the destruction of unborn life through abortion. The two representatives agreed that the murder of European Jews by the National Socialist regime was a singular event that should not be presented in relative terms. Moreover, the joint declaration states, “particularly sensitive language” should always be adopted when referring to or touching upon the Holocaust in political, public and ecclesiastical speeches. “There must be no relativizing,” maintained Spiegel, resolutely refuting the suggestion that the Central Council was hypersensitive about these questions. “We cannot pass over it in silence.”