Israelis Let Down by Pope's WWII Apology Dodge

Religious, political leaders say pontiff didn't go far enough
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2009 6:00 AM CDT
Pope Benedict XVI places a note at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site, in Jerusalem's Old City today.   (AP Photo Ronen Zvulun, Pool)
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(Newser) – Pope Benedict XVI yesterday disappointed Israelis hoping to hear a historic statement of regret for the Catholic church's conduct during the Holocaust, the Guardian reports. The pope, speaking at a remembrance service at Israel's official Holocaust memorial, spoke of the church's compassion for the victims and the need to remember them—but critics say he avoided mentioning specifics or expressing remorse.

"I came to the memorial not only to hear historical descriptions or about the established fact of the Holocaust," the speaker of Israel's Knesset told the Jerusalem Post. "I came as a Jew, hoping to hear an apology and a request for forgiveness from those who caused our tragedy, and among them, the Germans and the church. But, to my sadness, I did not hear any such thing."