Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pope Visits Memorial to Nazi Victims in Rome; Rips "Violence Perpetrated by Man Upon Man"

Pope Benedict XVI today (March 27, 2011) prayed at the memorial to victims of a 1944 massacre that was one of the worst atrocities by German occupiers in Italy during World War II, and denounced what he called the "abominable" legacy of violence unleashed during the war.

The visit won Jewish praise that Benedict had taken yet another step to heal centuries of painful Vatican-Jewish relations, according to the Associated Press website.

The German-born pontiff -- who served in Hitler's army during World War II -- visited the Ardeatine Caves on the outskirts of Rome to mark the anniversary of the killings of 335 civilians in Rome to avenge an attack by resistance fighters that killed 33 members of a Nazi military police unit.

"What happened on March 24, 1944 is a very grave offense to God, because it is violence perpetrated by man upon man," the pope said in a speech at the simple memorial fashioned out of the walls of the caves.

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