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Vatican Seen Ready to Take Up Statement on Jews This Week

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There were definite signs here today that the long-pending Vatican statements on Catholic relations with the Jews and on religious freedom would be adopted by the Ecumenical Council some time this week, before the Council adjourns on Saturday.

The way was opened for action on the two declarations when six chapters of another schema were distributed to the prelates and it was announced that the Council would meet twice daily all this week.

It is expected that the statement regarding Jews would be adopted before the end of the current session, with the question of where to place the declaration left to a fourth session scheduled to convene in 1966.

The statement on relations with the Jewish people has been retitled to “Declaration on Relations of the Catholic Church with Non-Christian Religions, ” and the section affecting Jews specifically has reportedly been strengthened. In general, it was said here, the effort has been made to clear the Jews unequivocally of the charge of deicide while, at the same time, assuring bishops from Arab countries that the document is theological, not political.

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