SAO PAULO, Brazil (Mar. 22)
With broadest participation on behalf of nearly all of the top religious leaders in this country–including the blessings of the Cardinal of Brazil, Archbishop D. Carlos Carmello de Vasconcellos Motta–a Council for Jewish-Christian Fraternity was established here today.
More than 150 religious leaders of all faiths attended the founding meeting, summoned on the initiative of A. Bertie Levi, one of Brazil’s foremost leaders of B’nai B’rith. The Council pledged itself “to bring the faithful of the various religions closer together, in mutual knowledge and in the defense of human rights.”
Cardinal Motta sent a message of warm greetings to the initial meeting. Co-chairmen representing major religious communities were elected asheads of the Council. The co-chairmen are: Father Calixto Vendrame, provincial of the Order of Sao Camilo; Rev. Walter Augusto Ermel, professor of theology at the Presbyterian Seminary; and Great Rabbi Fritz Pinkuss.
Among the directors chosen are leaders of the Jewish community, Methodists, Lutherans, and prominent monks and nuns of the Benedictine, Dominican and other Catholic orders. It was believed by leaders of the Council that the Greek Orthodox community there will join the organization as soon as Msgr. Ignacio Ferzli, Orthodox Archbishop, who is out of the country, returns home.