Harry James Cargas, "Christian Preaching after the Holocaust: Only Good Things Can Follow," in Carol Rittner, Stephen D. Smith and Irena Steinfeldt, eds., The Holocaust and the Christian World: Reflections on the Past, Challenges for the Future, London: Kuperard for the Beth Shalom Holocaust Memorial Centre and the Yad Vashem International School for Holocaust Studies, 2000, pp. 207-209

Abstract by Jerry Darring


Our era is the time after the Holocaust, and yet the church is silent over "the greatest sin in our history" (207). We are in danger of being post-Holocaust accomplices. So what should be done? 1) We must acknowledge the Christian role in the monstrous tragedy, and there must be repentance -- change of mind, regret for transgressions, penance. 2) Sunday liturgical instructions must reflect that acknowledgement. 3) Liturgical calendars should include an annual service dedicated to remembering the Holocaust. 4) The Jewish roots of Christianity must be recognized, and Jesus must become a link, rather than a divisive figure, between Christians and Jews. 5) We must review such basics as the inspiration of Christian Scripture. As Gregory Baum wrote, "If the Church wants to clear itself of the anti-Jewish trends built into its teaching, a few marginal correctives will not do." 6) We should replace the terms "Old Testament" and "New Testament." 7) We should allow the voices of lay women and men to be heard in our liturgies. 8) Attempts to convert Jews must be discouraged.