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Antisemitism: Special Two-Part Presentation Browse

John T. Pawlikowski: Church Meaning


What does it mean to be church? And what does it mean to be church in terms of the suffering of people who are not part of your community? For me the conviction has become very strong that no church, no religious institution, can so define itself in terms of self-preservation that it allows the suffering of other people simply to become the suffering of unfortunate expendables. That we cannot tolerate. Any church that loses a sense of the dignity of all people and is unwilling to stand up for that dignity at key moments of social tension I think really is threatening its own well-being, its ultimate purpose, and that’s one of the strongest convictions that I have drawn from the study of theology after the Holocaust.

—John T. Pawlikowski

O.S.M., Professor of Ethics and Director, Catholic-Jewish Studies Program, Catholic Theological Union, Chicago, Illinois

"What does it mean to be church?"