Pope warns of rising anti-Semitism

Pontiff visits Cologne synagogue rebuilt after destruction by Nazis

COLOGNE (GERMANY): Pope Benedict XVI warned on Friday of rising anti-Semitism and hostility to foreigners, winning a standing ovation from Germany's oldest Jewish community as he made only the second visit by a Pope to a synagogue.

Speaking in a Cologne synagogue rebuilt after it was destroyed by the Nazis, the Pope said that ``today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility toward foreigners.''

He called for more vigilance and stressed the Roman Catholic Church's belief in the equality of all and respect for human life. ``In the 20th Century, in the darkest period of German and European history, an insane racist ideology, born of neo-paganism, gave rise to the attempt, planned and systematically carried out by the regime, to exterminate European Jewry,'' he said.

``The result has passed into history as the Shoah,'' he said, using the Hebrew term for the Holocaust. — AP

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