ROME (Nov. 23)
Implementation of the recently promulgated declaration on Catholic Church relations with the Jewish people will be the responsibility of a Secretariat headed by Paolo Cardinal Marella, chairman of the Vatican’s Secretariat for non-Christians, and not by Bishop Luigi Carli, it was emphasized here today.
The declaration on Jews, promulgated by Pope Paul VI on October 28, repudiates the charge of collective guilt of the Jewish people for the death of Jesus. It also “deplores” anti-Semitism. Now binding upon all Catholics as official Church doctrine, the document had been passed by the Ecumenical Council by a final vote of 2,221-88 with three abstentions.
The significance of today’s emphasis on the fact that Cardinal Marella, and not Bishop Carli, will have charge of implementing the declaration lies in the fact that Cardinal Marella is known in Vatican circles as a moderate and “middle of the road” prelate. Bishop Carli, on the other hand, is the clergyman who only recently, while the declaration was still being debated by the Council, published an article asserting that the Jewish people were collectively guilty of the killing of Jesus.
Cardinal Marella is one of the Vatican’s most known diplomats. He is well known in the non-Catholic and non-Christian world. He has spent 40 years in the Vatican’s foreign service. Among the posts he has held was that of apostolic delegate to Japan, and papal nuncio to France. The Secretariat for non-Christians is one of the latest top Vatican bodies, created by Pope Paul in May, 1964.