WASHINGTON (February 9, 2001) -- A booklet providing guidance and resources for holocaust education as a resource for use on all levels of Catholic education has been issued by the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interrreligious Affairs (BCEIA) of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
It is entitled "Catholic Teaching on the Shoah: Implementing the Holy See's We Remember."
The reflections contained in the booklet are intended to help Catholic schools at all levels, including seminaries and universities, to implement the mandate of the Holy See's 1998 statement We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah.
The Shoah (Hebrew word for Holocaust) was Nazi Germany's systematic attempt to murder every Jewish woman, man and child in Europe. By 1945, two out of every three Jews had been killed--some six million people--along with millions of Gypsies, homosexuals, Poles, and other "subhumans."
The reflections in the booklet do not form a curriculum but are designed to help Catholic educators begin developing curricula and other educational programs on the Holocaust.
The development of the booklet began in 1999 when the BCEIA joined with the American Jewish Committee and the Archdiocese of Baltimore to cosponsor a dialogue of leading Catholic and Jewish educators. These teachers had all been involved in Holocaust education for many years. Early drafts were shown to an even wider group of educators, then discussed and reframed at meetings of the BCEIA before being formally adopted.
Among the goals for Shoah education cited in the booklet are: to provide Catholics with accurate knowledge and respect for Judaism; to encourage a positive appreciation of Jews and Judaism and the ongoing role of the Jewish people in God's plan of salvation; to promote the spirit of repentance and conversion called for by We Remember; and to help Catholics combat forms of Christian anti-Judaism by studying the causes and conditions for genocide--so as to prevent such atrocities from happening to Jews or any other group in the future.
The booklet contains an extensive bibliography on holocaust education, including many websites.
"Catholic Teaching on the Shoah: Implementing the Holy See's We Remember" is available from the USCC Office of Publishing and Promotion Services. The price is $2.95 per copy with bulk rates for 50 or more copies. Call 800-235-8722, or go to the OPPS site on the Conference website, www.nccbuscc.org.