Amended Text Merely Deplores Anti-semitism; Does Not Condemn It

The fact that the amended text of the Vatican’s draft declaration on Jews does not condemn but only deplores anti-Semitism is pointed out strongly in the Corriere della Sera, of Milan, one of the foremost newspapers in Italy.

The original text, which was approved by a large majority of the Ecumenical Council at its session last year, said that the Catholic Church “deplores, indeed condemns, hatred and persecution of Jews.” The amended text, eliminating the word “condemns,” reads: “The Church, which rejects any persecution against any man, mindful of the patrimony with the Jews and moved not by political reasons, but by the Gospels’ spiritual love, deplores hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.”

Fabrizio de Santis, who wrote the leading article on the issue in the Milan newspaper, noted that one bishop in the Council had pointed out that change and asked why that alteration had been made. “Is it possible,” he asked, “to ‘deplore’ and not to ‘condemn’ a future Hitler who would again pretend to solve the Jewish question, putting them into extermination camps and into crematory ovens?”

ECUMENICAL COUNCIL TO VOTE ON TEXT IN ABOUT 10 DAYS

Informed sources said here today that voting on the amended text of the draft declaration will take place at the fourth session of the Ecumenical Council between October 11 and 15. They also confirmed reports that the form of voting on the amendments could permit restoration of the word “deicide.”

Under Council procedures, a two-thirds vote of the 2, 200 prelates at the Council is required for approval of an amendment. However, it was indicated that, at the present time, there was no way of knowing whether more than a third of the prelates would oppose the amendment eliminating the term “deicide” from the draft.

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