Confessions of Anti-Semitism

November 12, 1999

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On November 12, 1999, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that Milwaukee's Roman Catholic Archbishop, Rempert Weakland, admitted to centuries of Catholic prejudice against Jews in an interfaith Catholic-Jewish service at Congregation Shalom in Milwaukee on Sunday, November 7th. Weakland stated: "I acknowledge that we Catholics, by preaching a doctrine that the Jewish people were unfaithful, hypocritical, and God-killers, reduced the human dignity of our Jewish brothers and sisters, and created attitudes that made reprisals against them seem like acts of conformity to God's will...By doing so, I confess that we Catholics contributed to the attitudes that made the Holocaust possible...We Catholics must know that the baggage of two thousand years is not cast off in a decade." Rabbi Herman Schaalman, who is the rabbi emeritus of Emanuel Congregation in Chicago, attended the service and commented on the Archbishop's sermon: "It was a very courageous, moving statement." Weakland's position is consistent with recent documents published by Pope John Paul II and with the work of the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.