Message from Cardinal Koch for anniversary of “Letter of Archbishop Saliège”

20 Nov 2022

On Sunday 20 November, the Jewish and Catholic communities of Toulouse celebrated together the 80th anniversary of the “Letter of Archbishop Saliège”. Dated 23 August 1942, Archbishop Saliège of Toulouse’s letter vehemently denounced the violence against the Jews and the failure to respect their rights.

The commemoration opened with the unveiling of a plaque in the Cathedral of Saint-Étienne and the celebration of a thanksgiving Mass presided over by Archbishop de Kerimel of Toulouse, during which the homily was delivered by Revd Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, OP, DPCU staff member.

In the early afternoon, after a prayer in the Palaprat Synagogue, a commemorative ceremony was held in Saliège Square outside the Cathedral, where several addresses were made, in particular by Haïm Korsia, Chief Rabbi of France, and Revd Father Destivelle, who read a message [FR] from Cardinal Koch, President of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews. In this message, Cardinal Koch, recalling the role of “sentinel” played by Archbishop Saliège and his “Saliège network”, expressed his profound aspiration to see “many other ‘sentinels’ emerge in our Churches, in our communities, and in our societies".

The meeting concluded with Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for the departed, and with El Malei Rachamim in homage to the victims of the Shoah.