ROME (Jul. 2)
The full text of the speech delivered by Pope Plus XII last Friday to a delegation of the American Jewish Committee headed by Irving Engel, president of the organization, was published yesterday afternoon in the Vatican daily newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano, “emphasizing the importance of the Pope’s views on racial discrimination and persecution. The text reads:
“The American Jewish Committee, which you honorable gentlemen represent, has just rounded out 50 years of service in behalf of the right and status of those of your race who, with other minority groups, have been subjected to the violation of fundamental rights inherent in the human person. Forced to forsake the land of their birth and seek on far-off unfamiliar shores a refuge where they might begin anew a family life, how many have then had to experience the almost desperate situation added to their miseries of not being welcome where they had hoped for hospitality.
“Your desire to visit us this morning is a testimony to your confidence in the interest we have the sad plight of the peoples just described. Again and again, as did our predecessor of happy memory (Pope Pius XI) before us, we have strongly urged that the fundamental principles of justice and charity and the long-recognized practice of offering asylum to those not guilty of crime be the norm of government conduct today.
“It is a consolation to our paternal heart to know that our appeal has been generously heeded in many countries; and we like to cherish the hope that so long as that evil blight endures, states will not be lacking in their obligation to succor those who have been forced to emigrate. We have been happy to welcome you gentlemen and our hearts go out in a fervent prayer to God that in His bounteous goodness He have pity on those who are suffering injustice and enlighten those who are perpetrating evil.”