Rome (Jul. 20)
(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)
The attitude of the Catholic church toward the Jewish people was explained by Cardinal Van Rossum, one of the influential leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency representative here.
“The Catholic Church,” the Cardinal stated, “is seeking to bring about the reconciliation and fraternity of the whole human race according to God’s commandments and according to the Christian teachings of love and charity.
“The Church,” he declared, “condemns anti-Semitism most severely and with the whole force of its authority. Especially does the Church desire that its voice of love to all peoples should be made heard now after the war, when so many prejudices and seeds of hatred and persecution are spread against the Jews.
“I want to emphasize,” the Cardinal said, “that any attempt to disturb the peace, the dignity and security of existence of the Jewish people will never be supported by the Church-because it is contrary to its spirit and its mission.
“The Catholic religion has three principles in common with the Jewish religion: belief in One God, in the immortality of the soul and in purification by punishment for sin. I would wish that Jewish education should lay more stress upon these three principles, he said.
“Christians,” he said, “have to thank the Jews for their greatest spirits, for their apostles, for St. Paul, St Peter and Christ himself. This alone is sufficient reason why Christians should respect and appreciate the people of Israel for what they have done and deserved.”
With regard to the establishment of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, the Cardinal said: “The efforts of the Jewish people to revive its land which has been neglected for generations are being watched by the Church with benevolence as the fulfillment of God’s promises to His Chosen People.
“Naturally,” he added, “other religions and especially the Catholic religion which has in Palestine its Holy Places and traditions must be properly respected. Many of the apprehensions which were felt of late years in this respect have now disappeared, and the Catholic Church looks with full sureness upon the development of common relations for the future.”