Montreal (Mar. 23)
(By our Montreal correspondent)
Jew and Gentile joined in breaking bread last night at the first goodwill meeting of its kind to be held in Montreal when representatives of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism were guests of the Brotherhood of Temple Emanu-E1 at a banquet given in the Emanu-E1 hall.
Dr. A. Bercovitch, president of the brotherhood, was chairman.
Robert J. Hart, a Catholic, told the meeting what he considered the attitude of the Roman Catholic Church to those of other persuasions. Every living soul, he said, no matter what is his faith, be it Jew or Mohammedan, if he is trying to live in good faith, and is taking reasonable means to find out what is the right way of life, is an “out and out member of the Catholic Church.”
The Rev. W. J. Johnston, a minister of the United Church of Canada, was then introduced, and in delivering his plea for a greater fellowship among the various creeds of the world, divided his brief into three parts.
He displayed before his audience in a graphic manner the chasm which separates Jew and Gentile. The bridge across this gorge of suspicion and envy. he felt, was taking shape and becoming more and more apparent, and, especially during these last few years. Each part of his talk he represented as a bridge over the gulf; the first he called the bridge of good-will; the second, friendship; and the third, brotherhood. He pleaded for a greater effort on the part of all concerned to forget the adverse qualities, which mankind is so wont to bring to the fore, and to concentrate their attention rather on the best elements of their particular race or creed.
Rabbi Julius Berger who was absent because of illness sent his message which was read to the assembly.
His message was entitled, “Tearing Down the Old Wall,” and in emphasizing the essential unity of mankind, he urged that deeds rather than thoughts or creed be the criterion. He said that were he a Christian, he would try to understand first the points of view of the Jew and others, to avoid the word “tolerate” and in its place use the more sympathetic word “appreciate,” to look to their divine example to motivate their actions and thoughts, and finally to make allowance for the Jews, in virtue of what they have gone through. “Such are some of my ideals which I would endeavor to carry out into activity, if I were not what I am,” his words ran. “In a word, my ideals would be the fulfilment of the truth contained in the following: ‘Though divided in creed, we are united in deed’.”