ROME (Oct. 23)
The Vatican Press Office has announced the setting up of two new commissions concerned with relations between the , Vatican and non-Christian religions-one for Judaism, and the other for Islam. The announcement of the commission for Judaism says;
“Among the facts concerning recent developments in the relations between the Catholic church and Judaism are the Catholic participation in local groups, aimed at fostering Hebrew-Christian friendship. There have also been cases of common action and collaboration uniting Catholics and Jews. Certain studies were recently conducted with the aim of making Catholics more faithful to the principles, re-proposed by the Second Vatican Council.”
The statement continued: “At the level of the universal church, it is necessary to point out that after various contacts between the Roman Curia and the representatives of important Jewish organizations, an official meeting was held in Dec. 1970. The International Liaison Committee between the Catholic church and world Judaism, set up at that meeting, has already held three annual sessions. Principally from this committee came the suggestion to create in the Vatican a commission for relations with Judaism.”
In conclusion, the statement said that the commission is a distinct organism but attached to the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, It had been established by the Pope himself, “with the object of promoting and fostering relations of a religious nature between Jews and Catholics. The commission must endeavor to develop its activities for an effective and just realization of the orientation, given in ‘Nostra Aetate’ of Oct. 28, 1965.”This referred to the statement in the 1965 document that the death of Christ cannot be blamed on all Jews.