Why does a Polish Catholic Have a Problem Facing the Holocaust?
Despite a wealth of literature on the subject, the Holocaust remains an unsolved and painful problem. Repeated endeavours by historians, sociologists, literary critics and poets provide at best a fragmentary reply to the question why that thing could happen. One might think that theology is the area of human learning that is particularly predestined to confront the mystery of evil. Alas, also the theologians' efforts fail and the answers provided by the official doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church are far from satisfactory. The statements made by the last two popes, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, on the site of the Auschwitz camp can serve as a good case in point. It is not therefore surprising that a Polish Catholic is not able to come up with a satisfactory reply. The only theologian who confronted the 'Why Auschwitz?' problem was Johann Baptist Metz. Unfortunately, such voices are isolated, or even marginalized. As a result, a Polish Catholic is left to study literary works from the times of the Holocaust, especially by poets, just to name Tadeusz Rózewicz, Wislawa Szymborska and Czeslaw Milosz.
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