Those who Remain Silent are Responsible

Saint Edith Stein

Those who remain silent are responsible.
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

What does this quote mean? In English, there’s a twofold possibility:

  • Those who remain silent about their own goodness act responsibly.
  • Those who remain silent about evil in the world share in culpability.

It is, in the original, the latter which is meant: Those who remain silent about evil in the world share in culpability. 

Contemplation only means certain kinds of silence. Contemplation is totally incompatible with silence in the face of injustice, oppression, racial prejudice, economic injustice, or any form of social evil.

4 thoughts on “Those who Remain Silent are Responsible

  1. I see it this way: Because they didn’t stood up for themselves, they felt responsible for what happenend next in their thoughts and feelings. If they were strong, maybe the same happenend, but they weren’t responsible for not fighting. It’s about the second world war, but also about individuals and their thoughts and feelings. That they are responsible of what they are. We can say: we are not responsible for what the other is. But yes, we are responsible for what we say, and better; for what we didn’t say and how we feel now about it.

  2. I mean they were responsible for not fighting, because they want to think: what happens to me, is not my fault.

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