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Cardinal in Chile Addresses Audience in Santiago’s Largest Synagogue

Raul Cardinal Silva Henriquez, Archbishop of Santiago, addressed a capacity audience in the largest synagogue here, this weekend. He lectured on the theme of “respect for the individual in the Old Testament,” and asserted that, at this time, on the sve of the fourth session of the Ecumenical Council to be convened at the Vatican in September, the Catholic Church is conscious of the thought that “all men have bonds to the people of God.”

Considered throughout Latin America as one of the foremost progressives in the Catholic Church, Cardinal Henriquez thus pointed up his continued interest in having the Ecumenical Council adopt definitively the Declaration on Relations with Non-Christians, passed by the Council’s last session, last winter. That declaration would repudiate once and for all the charges of deicide against the Jewish people, and would denounce anti-Semitism. Cardinal Henriquez cooperated with the late Pope John XXIII in the Vatican’s move to absolve the Jews of the deicide accusation.

The prelate’s address, in the B’ne Israel Synagogue, attracted wide attention here. He had been invited to deliver the lecture by the recently-formed Committee of Christian-Jewish Fraternity, headed by a Jew, Gil Sinay. Co-sponsoring the events were virtually all leading Jewish organizations here, including the Temple B’ne Israel congregation, the Jewish Community of Chile and the local section of the Women’s International Zionist Organization. Mr. Sinay is the president of United Hias Service in Chile.

The Cardinal’s address was greeted by the large audience with an enthusiastic standing ovation. The leading Chilean newspapers featured reports of the address as an outstanding example of fraternal Christian-Jewish relations in this country. The Cardinal explained his appearance in a synagogue by declaring:

“For a better understanding of my attitude, it should be remembered that the thought of the Catholic Church at this moment of the Council is one of broad understanding for human values. For all men have bonds to the people of God and, in the first place certainly, the people who were entrusted with the divine alliances and promises and of whom Christ was born in the flesh.”

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