Pope Denounces Holocaust 'Indifference' Amid Polish Bill Uproar

Pope speaks of his 2016 visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau where 'the roar of the deafening silence' left room for only tears, prayer and requests for forgiveness

Pope Francis delivers his speech as he attends a meeting with Ukrainian Greek Catholic community during his visit to the Basilica of Santa Sofia in Rome, Italy, January 28, 2018.
Reuters/Remo Casilli

Pope Francis says countries have a responsibility to fight anti-Semitism and the "virus of indifference" threatening to erase the memory of the Holocaust.

Francis' comments to an international conference Monday comes as the largely Roman Catholic Poland considers legislation that would outlaw blaming Poles for the crimes of the Holocaust. The proposed legislation has sparked an outcry in Israel.

Francis didn't mention the dispute but he spoke of his 2016 visit to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp in German-occupied Poland, saying he remembered "the roar of the deafening silence" that left room for only tears, prayer and requests for forgiveness.

He called for Christians and Jews to build a "common memory" of the Holocaust, saying "it is our responsibility to hand it on in a dignified way to young generations."