Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Am Johal: Pope Visits Krakow and Auschwitz

Pope Visits Krakow and Auschwitz


By Am Johal

Krakow - Pope Benedict XVI made his way to a grey and rainy Krakow where a crowd of 900,000 had gathered to greet him. Some had travelled all night and others slept in cars to get a sight of the pontiff. At six in the morning, thousands were already making their way from the streets of Krakow to the local park.

The bars had stopped serving liquor on Friday and were not going to start again until after midnight on Sunday. The food vendors were serving up coffee, kielbasa, buns and perogies as the rain poured down.

There were flags and music and the event had all the features of a massive rock concert or a nationalist rally - line-ups at the port-o-potties, outdoor food vendors, lit candles and sing-a-longs.

The Catholic Church is revered in Poland where it was seen by many as being instrumental in bringing down the previous Communist regime.

Later in the day, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Nazi death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. They were not scheduled as part of his trip but were arranged on the Pope's insistence. In his youth, the Pope had unwillingly been a member of the Hitler Youth in Germany.

The BBC quoted him as saying, "In a place like this, words fail. In the end, there can only be a dread silence - a silence which is itself a heartfelt cry to God: Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this?"

"Our silence becomes in turn a plea for forgiveness and reconciliation, a plea to the living God never to let this happen again."

He lit a candle in memory of those who died at Auschwitz and met with 32 survivors. Another 500 survivors attended the ceremony at Birkenau. The Pope also visited a cell which had held Catholic Priest Maximilian Kolbe who had offered to take the place of a prisoner during the Second World War.

More than a million Jews, Poles, Roma, gays and Russians were killed there.

He had warmed the hearts of the people on his trip by speaking Polish and announcing that he was hoping to speed up the sainthood of Pope John Paul II. He also made remarks about the dangers of increasing secularization in the world.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 


Ian Powell: Are we happy living in Handy's Age of Unreason?

On 19 June the Sunday Star Times published my column on the relationship between the Labour government’s stewardship of Aotearoa New Zealand’s health system and the outcome of the next general election expected to be around September-October 2023: Is the health system an electoral sword of Damocles for Labour... More>>


The First Attack On The Independents: Albanese Hobbles The Crossbench
It did not take long for the new Australian Labor government to flex its muscle foolishly in response to the large crossbench of independents and small party members of Parliament. Despite promising a new age of transparency and accountability after the election of May 21, one of the first notable acts of the Albanese government was to attack the very people who gave voice to that movement. Dangerously, old party rule, however slim, is again found boneheaded and wanting... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Predictable Monstrosities: Priti Patel Approves Assange’s Extradition
The only shock about the UK Home Secretary’s decision regarding Julian Assange was that it did not come sooner. In April, Chief Magistrate Senior District Judge Paul Goldspring expressed the view that he was “duty-bound” to send the case to Priti Patel to decide on whether to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States to face 18 charges, 17 grafted from the US Espionage Act of 1917... More>>


Dunne Speaks: Roe V. Wade Blindsides National

Momentum is everything in politics, but it is very fragile. There are times when unexpected actions can produce big shifts and changes in the political landscape. In 2017, for example, the Labour Party appeared headed for another hefty defeat in that year’s election until the abrupt decision of its then leader to step aside just weeks before the election. That decision changed the political landscape and set in train the events which led to Labour being anointed by New Zealand First to form a coalition government just a few weeks later... More>>

Digitl: Infrastructure Commission wants digital strategy
Earlier this month Te Waihanga, New Zealand’s infrastructure commission, tabled its first Infrastructure Strategy: Rautaki Hanganga o Aotearoa. Te Waihanga describes its document as a road map for a thriving New Zealand... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Leaking For Roe V Wade
The US Supreme Court Chief Justice was furious. For the first time in history, the raw judicial process of one of the most powerful, and opaque arms of government, had been exposed via media – at least in preliminary form. It resembled, in no negligible way, the publication by WikiLeaks of various drafts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership... More>>