Vatican Declaration on Jews Distributed in Rome; Promulgation Thursday

The Vatican Secretariat distributed today to the prelates attending the Ecumenical Council the final text of the Declaration on the Relations of the Catholic Church with Non-Christian Religions which includes a chapter on relations between the Church and the Jewish Religion. That text was approved by the Council on November 15 by a vote of 1,765 to 250.

The document is to be promulgated by Pope Paul VI in a public session of the Council on Thursday. The text exonerates the Jewish people of collective responsibility for the death of Jesus, and also “deplores” anti-Semitism.

The Vatican Secretariat also distributed to the prelates today the latest version of the draft declaration on religious liberty. Like the declaration containing the chapter relating to the Jews, adoption of the religious liberty draft has also been advocated by the liberal majority of the bishops attending the Ecumenical Council. The measure would, for the first time, establish Catholic doctrine as recognizing that every man is entitled to follow the religion of his choice and that religious freedom must be granted by all states, even those that recognize only one state religion.

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