American Jewish Committee Head Reiterates Stand on Ecumenical Council

It is “right and proper” for both Christians and Jews to “encourage the other in steps toward understanding, without giving effect to questions of pride, prior responsibility and ceremony, ” Morris B. Abram, president of the American Jewish Committee, declared today in reference to his organization’s efforts on behalf of the adoption of a statement clearing the Jewish people of the charge of decide, by the Vatican’s Ecumenical Council.

Mr. Abram made the statement in a letter to Rabbi Leon J. Feuer, president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis. At the recent convention of the CCAR, Rabbi Feuer had stated that the “obsequious appeal for a statement by the Ecumenical Council can only be revolting to the Jewish spirit, ” and held that such a statement by the Catholic Church is “long overdue and should need no special pleading on our part. ” In his letter to Rabbi Feuer, Mr. Abram asserted:

“The efforts to uproot from Christian teaching and prayer the age-old charge of the collective guilt of the Jews for the death of Jesus is probably the most important step that can be taken for the welfare of world Jewry.”

Acknowledging the validity of Rabbi Feuer’s position that anti-Semitism is a Christian problem, Mr. Abram emphasized that it nevertheless “remains a problem that very much concern Jews. ” He stressed that “in combating prejudice, the victim, though he be in the right, certainly should use all the tools at his command to assist the discriminator in divesting himself of his distorted views.”

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