Menu JTA Search

Catholic Bishops of Belgium Disassociate Themselves and Church from Passion Play

SIGN UP FOR THE JTA DAILY BRIEFING

The Catholic Bishops of Belgium have instructed priests that their parishioners attending the Passion Play at Oberammergau should be reminded that “Jesus was a Jew” and made aware of the objections raised by Jews that the play is anti-Semitic. The instructions were contained in a pastoral letter to priests of the Archdiocese of Malines which includes Brussels. “It is of the utmost importance that the Christians who go to Oberammergau should know of the objections of the Jews to the Passion Play as well as the problems created by the play for Christians,” the bishops wrote. “In this connection it is important to know whether Christian circles take the declaration on the Jewish faith by the Vatican Council seriously. The Passion Play at Oberammergau is, of course, not organized by the Church. Nevertheless, it is a Christian event…Christians must not let themselves be placed in a position where they become responsible for the Crucifixion of Jesus after having watched the Crucifixion of Jesus on the stage. They must also remember that when Jesus spoke of Jews he spoke of people of his own religion. He was not an outsider–He was a Jew, and as such he had the right to teach his fellow Jews as the prophets had done before him.”

NEXT STORY