Ecumenical Council to Get ‘stronger’ Statement on Jewish Issue

A retitled and thoroughly revised version of the long-pending Catholic Church statement on relations with the Jewish people, making the statement regarding the Jews “even stronger” than the one proposed to the Ecumenical Council in 1962, was being prepared today for distribution to the 2, 400 prelates at the Council early next week.

That disclosure was made at the United States bishops press panel today by a member of the Secretariat for Christian Unity which, under Augustin Cardinal Bea, presented the first, strong version of such a draft at the first session of the Council in December 1961, unequivocally absolving the Jewish people of all time–now and in the time of Jesus–of the crime of deicide.

The new document, the expert said, is now entitled “A Declaration on the Relations of Catholics to Non-Christian Religions.” The part of the new document dealing with non-Jews, he said, “is being put into a wide framework,” but the section dealing with the Jews “appears to be much stronger than even the first draft.”

It seemed, however, that, due to the final rush of many documents facing the Council before its scheduled November 21 adjournment, there will be time only for the type of vote on the new declaration whereby the fathers would “approve with reservations.” That would mean that final approval and consequent promulgation of the document may not be achieved by November 21, and would be held over for the fourth session of the Council. The fourth session will probably not be convened until 1966.

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