Gaza conflict casts shadow over Vatican Holocaust conference

The conflict in Gaza cast a shadow on Monday over a major conference on the Vatican and the Holocaust, with one participant calling the carnage the worst slaughter of civilian Jews in one day since then.

The conference was organised after the opening in 2020 of Vatican archives of the pontificate of Pius XII, which led to the discovery of a letter showing that he knew details about the Nazi attempt to exterminate Jews in the Holocaust as early as 1942.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican secretary of state, changed his prepared opening comments to mention the “terrible and despicable attack” against “Israeli brothers and sisters”.

Parolin said: “Unfortunately, violence, terrorism, barbarism and extremism undermine the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis.”

Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome, said: “My thoughts are more there than here.”

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