Chief Rabbi of Israel Welcomes Ecumenical Council Statement

Rabbi Isser Unterman, chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Israel, today “warmly welcomed” the action of the Ecumenical Council, which adopted on first reading a declaration absolving the Jews of special blame for the crucifixion of Jesus and condemning anti-Semitism.

“The fact that the great Catholic Church has come to the conclusion that its attitude toward the Jewish people needs revision is warmly welcomed by us,” he stated, He also expressed the hope that the Church will “view sympathetically the growth of the State of Israel as a historical event which, in our firm belief, is a fulfillment of the Divine promise mentioned in Holy Writ.”

On the other hand, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Itzhak Nissim declined to issue a statement about the Ecumenical Council’s action on the declaration concerning relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. Until such a declaration is promulgated by the Vatican as part of church dogma, said Rabbi Nissim’s office, the document must be considered only as an internal affair of the Catholic Church.

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