Pope Says Holocaust Remembrance Day Reminds World that War Can Never Be Justified

January 24, 2024

ROME (AP) — Pope Francis recalled the extermination of millions of Jews in calling Wednesday for the upcoming Holocaust Day of Remembrance to reaffirm that war can never be justified and only benefits weapons makers.

At the end of his weekly general audience, Francis referred to Saturday’s commemoration, which has become fraught this year given Israel’s military campaign in Gaza and a rise in antisemitism in Europe and around the world.

“The remembrance and condemnation of that horrific extermination of millions of Jews and of other faiths, which occurred in the first half of the last century, help us all not to forget that the logic of hatred and violence can never be justified, because they deny our very humanity,” Francis said.

Italy’s Jewish community has denounced a rise in antisemitic sentiment, including what leaders call the improper use of terms like “genocide,” following the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks in southern Israel and Israel’s military response in Gaza.

On Tuesday, the head of the Jewish community Naomi Di Segni announced that marathons around Italy that have traditionally marked past Holocaust Remembrance Days had been cancelled this year because of security concerns.

She also complained about unnamed Catholic leaders who had “minimized the recognition of what happened on Oct. 7 as a terrorist act compared to the right of Israel to defend itself.” She didn’t name names, but some Jewish leaders have complained about Francis’ initial comments, in which he didn’t identify Hamas by name and complained generally that “we’ve gone beyond war … this is terrorism.”

Francis has subsequently always referred to suffering in both Israel and Gaza, and specifically condemned the Oct. 7 attack.

Francis said this year’s commemoration falls amid not only the war in Gaza but also in “tormented Ukraine” and called for prayers for the victims and for political leaders to “cherish human life by putting an end to wars.”

“Let us not forget: War is always a defeat, always,” he said. “The only ‘winner’ is the arms manufacturers.”


LOS ANGELES – The Saint Sophia Philoptochos hosts its General Assembly, Sunday, March 17, 12 noon, in the Maria Maniatakos Pavilion of the Huffington Center at Saint Sophia Cathedral, 1324 S.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Truck Driver Pulled to Safety After Crash Leaves Vehicle Dangling over Bridge Across Ohio River

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The driver of a semi-truck was pulled to safety Friday by firefighters following a crash that left the vehicle dangling over a bridge across the Ohio River.

Donald Trump has won Missouri's Republican caucuses, one of three events Saturday that will award delegates for the GOP presidential nomination.

ANAHEIM, CA  – The Minoan Dancers of Marin County, California, participated in the 47th Annual Greek Orthodox Folk Dance & Choral Festival (FDF), held February 15-18 in Anaheim, CA.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iditarod, the annual sled dog race celebrating Alaska's official state sport, is set to get underway Saturday with a new focus on safety after five dogs died and eight were injured in collisions with snowmobiles while training on shared, multi-use trails.