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N. C. R. A. C. Discusses Relationships Among Jews, Catholics, Protestants

The status of relationships among Jews, Protestants and Catholics was discussed today at the annual plenary session of the National Community Relations Advisory Council which is being held here. Participating in the frank discussion of conflicts among religious groups in this country were a Roman Catholic Monsignor, a Protestant professor of theology and a representative of the American Jewish Congress.

Monsignor Edward G. Murray told the 150 Jewish community leaders that Catholics believe religious and political authority should be separate. Recognizing that in practice some overlapping is inevitable, he said Catholics believe that in the areas of such overlapping religious authority must have primacy, since it rests upon ultimate truths.

Leo Pfeffer, American Jewish Congress representative, pointed out that among important issues upon which the faiths are divided and that cannot be completely compromised are: religion in the public schools, public aid for parochial education, Sunday closing laws, child welfare laws. “None of the groups is completely content, and none is willing to give up the struggle for adjustment closer to their respective ideals of the good society,” he said.

Mr. Pfeffer recommended as the best means of maintaining mutual respect among religious groups, continuing discussion carried on according to the following “rules of fair competition:” 1. Force or coercion must not be resorted to; 2. There must be no suppression of any sect or its activities; 3. The involvement of government must at all times be avoided; 4. Ecclesiastical sanction to influence government activity must be avoided; 5. Appeals exclusively to passion and prejudice, deliberate misrepresentation, irresponsible charges must be avoided; 6. There must not be resort to chauvinism; 7. Boycotts must be avoided.

The NCRAC is the coordinating agency for the relations activities of the national congregational bodies of Reform, Conservative and Orthodox Judaism in the United States, as well as for three major national Jewish civic organizations–American Jewish Congress, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans–and 42 Jewish community councils throughout the country.

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