Pope Benedict XVI stood silently yesterday before a large stone monument to Austrian Jews slaughtered in the Holocaust ... With Austria's chief rabbi, Paul Chaim Eisenberg, at his side, the pontiff meditated and then heard the rabbi's prayer. He bowed twice before shaking hands with several elderly representatives of the Jewish community.
Speaking earlier to reporters accompanying him on the papal flight from Rome, Pope Benedict said he wanted to show "our sadness, our repentance" for the Holocaust and "our friendship with our Jewish brothers." The pope's use of the word repentance was especially important, because it recognizes guilt and responsibility, something that Jewish leaders have been seeking. ("Pope offers 'repentance' to Austrian Jews," Tracy Wilkinson, Baltimore Sun September 8, 2007)