DEFENSE: Vatican Holds Strong on Pope’s Remarks re: Holocaust

“The Vatican defended the pope Tuesday from a growing chorus of Israeli critics who accused the German-born Benedict XVI of failing to express enough remorse for the Holocaust — a controversy that threatened to eclipse a papal pilgrimage aimed at building bridges between faiths. The pope delivered messages of peace while visiting the holiest Muslim and Jewish sites in Jerusalem — the Dome of the Rock and the Western Wall. But his speech Monday at Israel’s national Holocaust memorial attracted the most attention in Israel, with the parliament speaker accusing Benedict of glossing over the Nazi genocide. Newspapers lambasted him for failing to apologize for what many in Israel see as Catholic indifference during World War II and the pope’s own wartime actions — he served in the Hitler Youth corps and Nazi army — have also cast a shadow.” [AP]