VATICAN CITY -- It was what Pope John Paul II didn't say during a solemn Day of Pardon Mass that has elicited the most impassioned responses. While many welcome the pope's appeal for God's forgiveness, some had hoped for more explicit apologies.
Israel's chief rabbi, Meir Lau, said he was ''deeply frustrated'' by the pope's failure to mention the Holocaust in the eagerly awaited ''mea culpa'' Sunday.
A Catholic mission that ministers to the Roma, or Gypsies, in Rome, asked: ''Why is the Holocaust of the Gypsies not mentioned?''
At Sunday's special Mass, the pope asked God's forgiveness for the sins of Catholics through the ages, including wrongs inflicted on Jews, women, and minorities. But he spoke mostly in general terms, not mentioning the Holocaust, the Inquisition or Crusades by name and listing few specific groups.
Despite the criticism, the apology was a personal landmark for the frail, 79-year-old pope, who vowed to cleanse and reinvigorate Catholicism for its third millennium.
At the end of the confessions, he embraced a large crucifix on the altar for the special Mass, imploring God's forgiveness.
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