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Cardinal Cushing Urges Better Understanding of Relationship Between Jews, Israel

October 6, 1969
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Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, told an audience here that Christians must develop a better understanding of the unique relationship between the Jewish people and Israel if Christian-Jewish dialogues are not to become “strained and ultimately fruitless.” “Israel is not just a homeland for the persecuted and oppressed, not just a refuge for people the world has abused,” Cardinal Cushing said. “It is for the Jews the fulfillment of prophecy, the return to the Promised Land, the realization of the Divine Covenant, the answer to the prayers of generations of the Chosen People.”

Cardinal Cushing spoke at the 10th annual “good neighbor night” dinner of the Temple Mishkan Tefila brotherhood in Newton, Mass. He addressed an audience of 700 which included Gov. Francis Sargent. He noted that some commentators have suggested that religious understanding between Christians and Jews is likely to be severely strained so long as the Mideast conflict remains unsettled. To prevent such a development, he said. “Christians in our country and everywhere must earn of the relationship of these people with their land. They must come to see it not just in terms of politics and foreign policy, not just in terms of geography and development, not just in terms of humanity and humanitarianism. They must see it in terms of the Covenant, of the Prophets and the total history of the Jewish people.

Cardinal Cushing declared that Israel is part of world history. “it is a State that here and now exists. We must ensure its permanent place among the family of nations. To insist upon this is not to deny any legitimate rights of other people. It is merely elementary justice.”

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