Abram Finds Catholics in Western Hemisphere Favor Decree on Jews

Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, reported tonight results of a national survey which showed that Catholic Church leaders have given widespread approval to the proposed Ecumenical decree on Catholic-Jewish relations.

Mr. Abram spoke here tonight at the American Jewish Committee’s Herbert H, Lehman Human Relations Award Dinner. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy delivered a major address on the issue of civil rights. The dinner honored Samuel D. Leidesdorf, 82-year-old business executive and communal and philanthropic leader, who received the Lehman award “for a half-century of dedicated service to human rights and human relations causes. ” Jacob Blaustein of Baltimore, honorary president of the American Jewish Committee, made the presentation to Mr. Leidesdorf.

Mr. Abram expressed the hope that the Ecumenical Council will take affirmative action on the decree when it resumes its session in September. He said that there was evidence that the decree “has made a deep and positive impact on wide circles in Catholicism in both North and South America.” He based his statement not only on a survey of the Catholic press in this country, but also on reports from the Committee’s representatives in major South American centers of Catholicism, such as Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. There, he said leading prelates expressed eagerness to do all in their power to assure the adoption of the schema on the Jews.

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