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American Jewish Congress Opposes Catholics on State-church Version

The American Jewish Congress took sharp issue today with charges by Catholic spokesmen that the church-state separation provision of the New York State Constitution was anti-Catholic in intent and effect. Murray A. Gordon, chairman of the New York Metropolitan Council of the Congress, said his organization opposed any effort to weaken the present prohibition against the use of public funds for sectarian institutions.

In a statement presented to a State Democratic Committee hearing on the 1967 Constitution Convention, held in New York today, the AJ Congress declared: “Any attempt to tamper with Article 11, Section 3 of the State Constitution would be a tragic step backward toward destruction of the principle of separation of church and state under which religion has flourished in this country.” Any movement toward government financing of non-public schools as a separate system paralleling those provided for the public generally is a grave threat to the public school system on which our democracy rests.”

Mr. Gordon did not present his testimony in person at the hearing because of the Jewish holiday, Simchat Torah. The statement was delivered by Jack Weinstein, professor of law at Columbia University.

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