Archbishop of Paris pays tribute to Holocaust victims

Roman Catholic leader and pilgrims visit Yad Vashem; cleric highlights importance of remaining hopeful while remembering the tragedy.

paris archbishop 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
paris archbishop 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
Paris's top Roman Catholic leader and over 600 French pilgrims squeezed through the hallways at the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum on Wednesday as they paid tribute to the victims of the Nazi genocide. Almost 10 years after the Catholic Church in France officially apologized for its silence during the Holocaust, the Archbishop of Paris, Andre Vingt-Trois, placed an orange and green wreath at a large stone memorial for the 6 million Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. During meetings at the museum, he spoke about the importance of remaining hopeful while remembering the tragedy. "Without hope, the remembrance of crime is the despair of man," Vingt-Trois said. "Keeping the memory with hope, this is faith." Vingt-Trois' visit to Jerusalem sent an important message that Christians, Jews and Muslims all need to come together in remembering the genocide, Iris Rosenberg, a Yad Vashem spokeswoman said. Vingt-Trois' predecessor as Archbishop of Paris, Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, a Jewish convert to Catholicism, visited the Holy Land with Pope John-Paul II in 2000. During his visit, Vingt-Trois also spoke at Tel Aviv University. He will visit several religious sites, including Bethlehem, before returning to Paris.