SAO PAULO (Nov. 6)
The first Pan-American conference on Catholic-Jewish relations concluded here yesterday with the adoption of a document recognizing that Zionism is an expression of the Jewish people’s wish for liberty and is uncontaminated by racism or despotism.
But the delegates to the two-day conference declined to pass a motion to condemn the infamous UN resolution equating Zionism with racism, whose 10th anniversary is next Sunday. The motion was introduced by Brazil’s former Ambassador to Israel, Jose Oswaldo Meira Pena.
Nor did the conference support the appeal made at its concluding session by Rabbi Henry Sobel of the Israelite Congregation here, that the Vatican officially recognize Israel.
The two-day conference, held at the Hebraica Center here, was aimed at evaluating the impact on Catholic-Jewish Relations in the Western Hemisphere of Vatican Council ll’s “Nostra Aetate,” the declaration on the Jews, and commemorate its 20th anniversary.
CONFERNCE CONDEMNS ANTI-SEMITISM
The conference condemned anti-Semitism, and the Rev. Jorge Mejia, Secretary to the Vatican’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, gave assurances that Pope John Paul II will persist in advancing Christian-Jewish relations. No door is closed for any dialogue, he said.
In addition to Mejia, there were several other important Church figures at the conference, both from Europe and from South America, as well as Catholic and Jewish leaders from the entire Western Hemisphere.