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Nuns Should Already Have Vacated Auschwitz Convent, Says Cardinal

The cardinal of Lyon, who headed the Catholic delegation that negotiated the agreement on vacating the Auschwitz convent, said Monday he agreed with the Jewish community that the nuns “should have left by now.”

Cardinal Albert Decourtray, who took part in the Geneva accord of Feb. 22, 1987, said in a radio interview Monday, “My interpretation of the agreements is the same as that of the Jewish community: The nuns should have left by now.”

Decourtray, who is considered France’s leading Catholic prelate, said, “One should understand the sentiments of the Jewish community. Auschwitz is a powerful symbol for them, and any further delay in the departure of the nuns is simply unbearable.”

The cardinal said that in spite of the “freeze” on Catholic-Jewish relations decreed last week by French Jewish leader Theo Klein, “personal relations between Jews and Catholics will continue. I, on my side, will do whatever I can to try to see that the agreement is implemented at the earliest.”

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