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Ecumenical Council May Postpone Final Action on Declaration on Jews

Doubt was expressed here today that the current session of the Ecumenical Council at the Vatican–due to close November 21–would have time to debate the proposed declaration on the Catholic Church’s relations with the Jewish people, Unless there is a request from Pope Paul VI, the “Jewish issue” may be held over to the Council’s next session, which may not be convened until 1966, Vatican sources indicated.

The so-called “Jewish issue” declaration has been caught in a jam along with many other problems of which the Council must dispose before it recesses on November 21. A possibility was seen here of a “conditional” vote on the Jewish issue, However, such a ballot would be only preliminary to sending the draft back to a commission for final drafting, and such a final draft, it was said, is not likely to emerge during the present session.

Meanwhile, today, Franjo Seper, Archbishop of Zagreb, Yugoslavia, proposed to the Council that it adopt a recommendation to the effect that all persons have the right to leave the country of their origin or return thereto. Such a recommendation could be interpreted as aiming at the Soviet Union, whence Jews are forbidden to emigrate, The Lagreb prelate made his proposal during a debate on steps advocating freedom from hunger throughout the world.

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