Pope Pledges to Implement Ecumenical Council’s Declaration on Jews

Pope Paul VI pledged here today, at a public session of the Ecumenical Council, to implement the recently promulgated Declaration on Relations with Non-Christian Religions, which includes a chapter on the Jewish people, absolving them of the charge of deicide and deploring anti-Semitism.

At the same time, however, the pontiff indicated that implementation of that declaration will no longer be in the hands of the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, of which Augustin Cardinal Bea is president. Cardinal Bea has been the chief proponent of the declaration dealing with the Jews, since the item had been entrusted to his charge by the late Pope John XXIII.

Pope Paul told the Council he would see to the implementation of the “activities initiated by this synod,” and named the declaration on Jews as one of the items to be entrusted hereafter to the Secretariat for Non-Christians. Cardinal Carli is the head of that secretariat.

The Council received today the full text of a new, draft schema on “The Church in the Modern World,” which would give explicit support to the right of Christians to disobey orders of a “wicked character,” naming genocide specifically as one of those “wicked” matters. The draft condemned genocide because of its “dreadfulness by right and in fact.” That draft schema is expected to be brought to a vote in the next few days.

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