Ecumenical Gathering Hosted by President of Argentina

Two Cardinals of the Catholic Church and representatives of nine other Christian and non-Christian denominations, including a rabbi of the Jewish community and a Moslem, were the guests of President Jorge Rafael Videla of Argentina at an ecumenical luncheon here. The gathering was hailed as proof of cultural and religious pluralism in this country.

Rabbi Salomon Banhamu Anidjar, of the Buenos Aires congregation, who was provided with kosher food, told reporters afterwards that he was grateful for the opportunity afforded the representatives of different faiths to meet with the President to consider problems of the country and theological and religious matters. He said he was aware of reports abroad about an anti-Semitic campaign in Argentina and referred to the attacks suffered by some synagogues and by members of the Jewish community. At all times a positive response and support was forth-coming from government authorities, Anidjar said.

He expressed hope that “the fact that we sat around the Presidential table in a climate of peace, harmony and understanding will reflect on the Argentine Republic’s peace and tranquility as befits this generous land. This is the wish of the entire Jewish community.” Anidjar said. Others who attended the luncheon agreed that the dialogue was substantive, conducted in an atmosphere of cordiality without any moments of tension.

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