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Day of ‘Reckoning’

An exploration of the connection between the Roman Catholic Church and the Holocaust is well-researched but disappointing.

URL: http://www.jewishjournal.com/arts/article/day_of_reckoning_20030117

"A Moral Reckoning: The Role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust and Its Unfulfilled Duty of Repair" by Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. (Knopf, 2002). $25 After provoking a furious debate over the role of ordinary Germans in the Holocaust with his book, "Hitler's Willing Executioners" (Vintage, 1995) Daniel Goldhagen tackles an even more explosive subject, the role of the Catholic Church in the Holocaust, in his new book, "A Moral Reckoning." The power of the book is neither in the answers it gives nor the evidence it marshals, but in the questions it poses. None is more central than the one that frames the book: "What must a religion of love and goodness do to confront its history of hatred and harm, to make amends with its victims and to right itself so that it is no longer the source of a hatred and harm that, whatever its past, it would no longer endorse?" Goldhagen approaches the question in three parts: Clarifying the Conduct, Judging the Culpability and Repairing the Harm.

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