Wojtyła’s Pontificate on display at the Museum of Tolerance








The Simon Wiesenthal Center

Los Angeles, 30 April.

. “A source of inspiration for future generations” is the motivation of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — the international Jewish organization for human rights, established in the United States. It is dedicated to preserving the memory of the Shoah and to promoting tolerance and understanding through communitarian participation and educational and social action — and it has decided to pay homage to the Beatification of John Paul II by creating in the Museum of Tolerance, located in Los Angeles, including a special section on “the significant aspects of his historic friendship and solidarity with the Jewish people”, as a part of the permanent structure of the museum.

The Founder and Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Rabbi Marvin Hier, in pointing out the most significant aspects of the long friendship between the Pontiff and the Jewish community, stressed: “We want his actions to become part of the permanent exhibition at the Museum of Tolerance, so that they may represent a living witness of his extraordinary life and a source of inspiration for the generations to come”.

The Museum of Tolerance opened in 1993, and welcomes more than 300,000 visitors every year, as well as offering the support of advanced multimedia resources. The profound commitment to dialogue and the reciprocal understanding between Catholics and Jews has had another important sign of appreciation on the part of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre, last March.

More than 450 representatives of this Jewish organization gathered for the “2011 Humanitarian Dinner”, in honour of the “Humanitarian Award” conferred among others on the Polish Pope. Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio in the USA, accepted this token of their posthumous gratitude.

In paying tribute to the work of John Paul II, Rabbi Marvin Hier assured people that the late Pontiff “would always have a special place of honour in the hearts of Jews, everywhere”. And he added: “on the occasion of two private audiences with the Pope, we had the chance to experience personally the uniqueness of this great man, and in particular his cordiality in relating to others”.