LONDON (Sep. 30)
A formal protest against Ecumenical Council consideration of a draft declaration to absolve Jews of blame in the crucifixion of Jesus has been made to Catholic hierarchy leaders in Syria by Premier Salah Bitar, it was reported here today from Damascus.
The Government issued a communique, reporting that the Premier made the protest in meetings with Msgr. Leopold Teoili, acting internuncio, and with heads of the Catholic Church in Damascus. He told the Catholic leaders that the Syrian Government “does not subscribe to the theory that the matter is purely religious” and that Zionists were “exploiting” the matter at a time when the Arabs were making renewed efforts to bring the “Palestine question” to world notice.
It was also reported that the Syrian Government plans to bring up the issue at a conference of heads of “non-aligned states” which will open in Cairo on October 5. The government’s goal is to enlist wider opposition to the proposed Council action.