Ecumenical Council Agenda Definitely Lists Declaration on Jews

The next session of the Ecumenical Council, to open at the Vatican on September 14, will definitely have before it the proposed Catholic Church declaration “On Jews and Non-Christians, ” Msgr. Pericle Felici, secretary-general of the Council, announced here this weekend.

Revised texts of four drafts on various, proposed Council actions, plus the declaration dealing with Jews, have been circulated to the 2, 300 Council fathers by Msgr, Felici. Accompanying the drafts was a letter from the secretary-general listing the order of debate, showing that the declaration will be the third item on the agenda.

The letter also set down a list of rules designed to speed up Council action and cutting down debate. One of the rules provided that reopening of debate, once discussion had been closed on any item, will require a petition bearing 70 signatures. Heretofore, debate could be reopened if requested by only five petitioners.

The New York Times reported from Rome that, in the revisions of Ecumenical Council procedures for the next session, there will be debate on the declaration regarding Jews and other non-Christians. According to the Times, this declaration was “tentatively altered” at the second session of the Vatican Council last year to “consider Judaism simply as one of the great world religions that do not accept the divinity of Jesus Christ.” The Times reported that “some commentators expressed surprise at the implicit depreciation of the Judaeo-Christian tie through the Old Testament. “

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