Vatican Orders Strict Secrecy on Contents of Declaration on Jews

John Cardinal Heenan, Archbishop of Westminster, said at a press conference here that he was bound by secrecy not to give out any information about the Vatican Council draft declaration on non-Christian religions. The declaration contains the much-discussed statement rejecting all Jewish responsibility, past and present, for the crucifixion of Jesus. Cardinal Heenan, ranking Catholic prelate of Britain, has consistently fought for a strong declaration.

The Cardinal told the press conference he was even barred from saying whether he was satisfied with the present wording of the draft on Jews. It has been reported that one of the amendments which will be before the 2, 000 Fathers will be a proposal to drop the word “deicide” but assurances have been given that the essential meaning will not be diluted.

The Cardinal added that he had assured Jewish friends in London several weeks ago that everything would be done to work cut a document satisfactory to them and that he could only repeat the same statement at the press conference.

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