NEW YORK (Jul. 2)
Sources “very near to the Presidency of the Secretariat in Rome for the Unity of Christians” of the Ecumenical Council today denied a report that the Ecumenical Council resolution condemning anti-Semitism was to be dropped. This was disclosed in a cable received here today from Zachariah Shuster, director of the American Jewish Committee’s European office.
Mr. Shuster had been mentioned last Sunday in a statement by Rev. Gustav Weigel, professor of ecclesiology at Woodstock College in Maryland, as being “anxious” for the issuance of the resolution condemning anti-Semitism by the Ecumenical Council. Father Weigel had made the statement at the question and answer period at a meeting of the National Community Relations Advisory Council in Atlantic City last weekend.
In his remarks, Father Weigel said that “although this (the declaration on anti-Semitism) was a statement of moral principle,” the Arab states “would see in it a political intention.”
Mr. Shuster said that he was informed this morning by authoritative sources in Rome that the statement attributed to Father Weigel regarding future action by the Ecumenical Council on the resolution “does not correspond to the actual state of the question involved.” Sources close to the Secretariat for Christian Unity of the Ecumenical Council stressed that “no authorization whatever” had been given to making statements like the one attributed to Father Weigel.”
(Father Weigel, in the question and answer period at the NCRAC meeting had voiced his concern that the resolution on anti-Semitism would not be acted upon when the Ecumenical Council convened on September 29. He said the statement might be introduced before the Council ends its labors, but his own feeling, based on personal observation, was that the bishops would rather avoid the issue than face it.)
FATHER WEIGEL ‘GLADLY’ ACCEPTS THE INFORMATION FROM ROME
Father Gustav Weigel in a statement to the American Jewish Committee today said: “In the question and answer period to the lecture which I gave to the National Community Relations Advisory Council, I was asked what was the situation of the condemnation of anti-Semitism by the Vatican Council. Without the sufficient reflection and time to make a statement for the press, I answered that something had been prepared for the first session but for fear of its being interpreted as a political tactic, many felt it should be reserved to the second session.
“I expressed it as my personal guess without instruction from anyone and representing no one, that it would probably be avoided in the second session. Gladly do I accept information from those in a better position, who can give a contrary prognosis. The question at issue is a moral one and political arguments are not in place.”