TUCSON, Ariz (Nov. 3)
The Arizona Catholic Register declared in its current issue that a “strong clear statement” from the Ecumenical Council on Catholic Jewish relations was needed because many Catholics were guilty of anti-Semitic hatred.
The publication asserted that while the official policy of the Catholic Church in the United States has never been tainted with anti-Semitism, the same cannot he said of us as individuals. “You don’t have to be very old or travel very far in some Catholic circles to find evidence of real hatred of the Jewish race. Some of the slang expressions used are quite inexcusable and offensive,” the Catholic organ stated.
It was for this reason, the publication declared, that “we need to have a strong, clear statement from the Council that will remove once and for all any suspicion that the Church regards the Jews as a cursed race and that to harbor hatred for them is not really a very serious sin at all, if it is a sin.”
The editorial reminded Catholics that “we ought to print indelibly on our minds that the Jews were God’s Chosen People, that all the first Christians, pope, bishops, priests, deacons and laity were Jews, that our most sacred writings come to us from the pens of Jewish authors, that the very prayers we say at Mass and in the priest’s breviary were composed in large part by Jews.”
The editorial denounced the charge of deicide against Jew as “laughable if so many did not take it seriously” and said no sane person could place the blame for Christ’s death on the Jews of his time and that it was “much more irrational” to “create a sort of collective guilt and charge it to Jews living centuries later and thousands of miles from the crime.”
The editorial said that American Catholics should be proud “that our own bishops are so prominent in the rewriting of a strong resolution condemning anti-Semitism. But we can also endeavor to recall our close ties to the Jewish race and to do all we can to eradicate once and for all any feeling of hatred towards those whose blood is the same as that which flowed in the veins of the sacred body of Christ.”