Jesuit Organ Says Original Text Would Have Been More Effective

The Jesuit weekly, America, today welcomed the promulgation of the declaration concerning relations of the Catholic Church with the Jews as an “affirmation of our common spiritual patrimony and the rejection of anti-Semitism.” In an editorial in the magazine’s issue dated tomorrow, America pointed out that it had earlier expressed its inability to accept the reasons given for dropping the word “deicide” from the draft document or the shift regarding anti-Semitism from “condemn” to “deplore, and it still is not persuaded by the reasons given.

“While we understand the political pressures and theological problems that forced the changes, we feel that in these respects the original text would have better achieved the goal intended. Still, as Cardinal Bea insists, the substance denoted by ‘deicide’ and ‘condemnare’ remains: the Church has solemnly decreed that no basis exists in the religion of Christ for ‘hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.’ That much should be clear to the whole world.”

The New York Times, commenting today in an editorial on the Vatican declaration on the Jews, said: “In this declaration ‘on the relation of the Church to non-Christian religions’ it can be said, despite minor disappointments over wording, that the ecumenical spirit and purpose of Pope John have been fulfilled.”

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