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Jewish Question Seen As Definitely Up for Ecumenical Council Debate

The third session of the Ecumenical Council, to be convened September 14, will definitely discuss the proposed declaration on relations between the Catholic Church and Jews and other non-Christians, the Rev. Fausto Vallainc, director of the Council’s press office, declared today in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s official organ.

Father Vallainc’s article in the Vatican newspaper listed the full agenda of the Third Council session, after an announcement on its opening date had been made by Amleto Cardinal Vigonani, Papal Secretary of State, following a meeting with Pope Paul VI.

According to the press director, “quiet and little known work” had been carried on by the Council’s Secretariat during the current inter-session period. The resumed session, he said, will have to vote on the first three chapter chapters on ecumenism, which were discussed at the last session. “The two known declarations on Jews and non-Christians, and on religious freedom will have to be discussed, ” he added. The press director also listed the full agenda facing the next session, including 13 proposed points.

Competent observers here pointed out that the agenda is so long that a fourth session of the Council may be necessary. Although the announcement of the Pope’s decision on convening the third session did not mention its closing date, it is known that the Pontiff is anxious to have the session end in time to permit the participation of the Catholic Church in the International Eucharistic Congress scheduled to be opened in Bombay, India, by the end of November. If that schedule is adhered to, the third session of the Council should close not later than November 25, thus making a fourth session a necessity in view of what observers here call the “far-reaching” agenda facing the Council Fathers.

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