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Rome Jewry Awaits Invitation to Opening of Ecumenical Council

While no Jewish observer is expected to be admitted to the Ecumenical Council which opens next month, it is anticipated that the Jewish community of Rome may be invited to send a representative to the formal opening session, it was learned here today.

It was revealed here today that the Jewish Community had been approached several weeks ago in an indirect way as to whether it would accept an invitation to the inaugural session. The attitude of the community leadership is to accept such an invitation, if extended. However, so far no such invitation has been received, although the “second round” of invitations has already been completed by the secretariats of the Council.

Should the invitation be extended, the person who will be sent by the Jewish Community as its representative to the inaugural session will probably be Professor Fausto Pitigliano, the president of the Community. It is recalled here that Professor Pitigliano publicly expressed last May readiness to accept an invitation from the Ecumenical Council and that “the Jewish Community in Rome being geographically the nearest Jewish community to the Vatican” could expect such an invitation.

The extending of an invitation to the Jewish Community here to send a representative to the inaugural session of the Ecumenical Council would be only an act of courtesy. It will not reflect any intention on the part of the Council to deal with the problems which Jewish organizations would like to see included in the Council’s agenda. Indications at the present moment point to the possibility that the Council will not even come out specifically with a declaration against anti-Semitism.

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