Lithuania    CHURCH OFFERS HOLOCAUST APOLOGY
Lithuania's Catholic Church issued an official apology on Friday for not doing enough to prevent the massacre of some 220,000 Jews during the 1941-44 Nazi occupation.
   "We are sorry the church did not show enough resistance in times when nationalist egoism was overtaking the values of the Bible," said the statement, signed by Lithuanian Archbishop Sigitas Tamkevicius.
   "The memory of the church is depressed by the violence and hate that was used," the two-page document said.
   More than 90% of Lithuania's Jewish community - one of Europe's largest - perished during Nazi rule in this predominantly Catholic nation. Killings were ordered by the German occupiers, but were often carried out by Lithuanian collaborators.
   Friday's statement alluded to collaborators and those who stood by as the killings occurred, saying "some of the church's children were short of love to Jews and short of willingness to influence Nazi collaborators."
   During a visit to Israel last month, Pope John Paul II said the Catholic Church was "deeply saddened" by Christian persecution of Jews through the centuries. But he stopped short of the apology many Jews were hoping for.
   
AP
17/4/00

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