ROME (Mar. 22)
Augustin Cardinal Bea, the Catholic prelate at the Vatican who was the principal proponent of the Ecumenical Council’s decision two years ago to adopt a declaration calling for broad improvement of Catholic-Jewish relations, expressed satisfaction to a group of American Jews who visited him at the Vatican over the efforts being made in some countries, including the United States, to implement the Church’s decree relating to relations with the Jewish people.
As an example of the type of action which he views with satisfaction. Cardinal Bea mentioned a recent meeting at St, Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, where concrete plans were made by Catholic and Jewish representatives for implementation of the decree. Such meetings, he said, should be repeated elsewhere.
The group that met with the cardinal consisted of young leaders active in the American Jewish Committee. The prelate cautioned, however, that “much patience, determination and wisdom” are needed. “We cannot, ” he declared, “undo in a few years the misunderstandings and prejudices among fellow-Christians going back so many centuries,”
Joint discussions between Jews and Catholics on social issues as well as in the field of religious understanding are “desirable, ” the cardinal stated. Such discussions, he said, would also help to work out common points of view on questions of state aid to education and on textbooks. He approved the examination of parochial school textbooks being carried on now at Pro Deo University’s Leonard Sperry Center here, and at Louvain University, in Belgium.