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Archbishop Speaks on Declaration on Jews at Reform Temple in Detroit

March 7, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Archbishop John F. Dearden of Detroit, speaking at a testimonial dinner at Temple Beth El, strongly defended the language of the declaration on Catholic-Jewish relations adopted by the Ecumenical Council and said that American bishops who attended the Council were “generally content with the final statement as drafted. “

He declared that the adopted version “explicitly denied” that the Jewish people itself “was involved in plotting on the life of Christ. ” He contended that elimination of the word “decide” from the final version was based on the belief of the prelates at the Council that the term was “a harsh sounding word involving a theological problem and should not have a place in the vocabulary of Christians. ” He stressed that the Church rejects all persecution and “because of its patrimony with the Jews, it sets forth a forthright condemnation of anti-Semitism in all its forms.”

The prelate was presented with a citation from Telple Beth El recognizing his deeds on behalf of goodwill. The presentation was made by Rabbi Richard C. Hertz, who told the dinner that it remained the obligation of Christians “to eliminate anti-Semitism and all sources of bigotry and prejudice.”

The Archbishop defended the use by the Ecumenical Council of the word “deplores” as a substitute for earlier language of “condemns” in reference to anti-Semitism. He told the 450 guests that this was a mistranslation of the Latin term and added that steps were being taken “to prepare versions that will more accurately present the document. “

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