Pope Benedict XIV travels to Poland.
Rain fell over Auschwitz until the main ceremony, when the skies cleared and a rainbow appeared.And of course, the eternal prophetic voice...
The Pope said it was almost impossible, particularly for a German pope, to speak at "the place of the Shoah [Holocaust]".
"In a place like this words fail," he said. "In the end there can only be a dread silence, a silence which is a heartfelt cry to God: 'Why, Lord, did you remain silent? How could you tolerate all this'?
"Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil?"
The Pope, one of the church's leading theologians, said humans could not "peer into God's mysterious plan" to understand such evil but only "cry out humbly yet insistently to God: 'Rouse yourself. Do not forget mankind, your creature'."
"But dost thou know what will be to-morrow? I know not who Thou art and care not to know whether it is Thou or only a semblance of Him, but to-morrow I shall condemn Thee and burn Thee at the stake as the worst of heretics. And the very people who have to-day kissed Thy feet, to-morrow at the faintest sign from me will rush to heap up the embers of Thy fire. Knowest Thou that? Yes, maybe Thou knowest it,' he added with thoughtful penetration, never for a moment taking his eyes off the Prisoner."Indeed. Words do not fail.