Vatican Sources Say Document on Jews is ‘revised’ but Not ‘rewritten’

Sources close to the Vatican today revealed that “some changes and modifications” were made in the draft of the Declaration on Jews by the plenary meeting of the Vatican’s Secretariat for Christian Unity which took place two weeks ago under the chairmanship of Augustin Cardinal Bea. However, the same sources emphasized that the original text, repudiating the charge that the Jewish people crucified Jesus, has not been “revised” in the sense of having been “rewritten” or “re-done.” The original had been approved preliminarily by a vote of 1,192 against 99 at the session of the Ecumenical Council last year.

The plenary meeting of the Secretariat was attended by 30 bishops who considered 242 am endments to the original text. The Secretariat decided to forward the modified text for final voting to the next session of the Ecumenical Council, which opens at the Vatican September 17. The same Vatican sources also said that the Declaration will probably not be printed before the end of the inter-session period, and will probably be distributed to the Council Fathers only when they convene here next September.

There was a feeling among some Vatican circles that the reason for postponing the printing of the modified document on the Jews as voted by the Secretariat, may be connected with a desire to avoid further public discussion of the document before the time arrives for final voting. However, the decision on the printing and distribution of the text is in the hands of the Ecumenical Council’s secretary-general, Cardinal Felici.

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