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Cardinal Bea Heads Vatican Relations with Jews; Announcement Made

February 24, 1967
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The question of who is in charge of the Vatican relations with Jews was cleared up today at a press conference held by Paola Cardinal Marella, chairman of the Vatican Secretariat for Relations with Non-Christian Religions. Cardinal Marella said that Vatican relations with Jews was the responsibility of Augustin Cardinal Bea.

Cardinal Bea, head of the Secretariat for the Promotion of Christian Unity, had a key role in the formulation of the strong declaration on Christian-Jewish relations which was approved in a somewhat diluted version by the Ecumenical Council and promulgated in 1965 as official Church doctrine. The declaration repudiates the charge of collective Jewish responsibility in the crucifixion of Jesus, deplores anti-Semitism and calls for “fraternal” Christian dialogues with Jews.

In that capacity, Cardinal Marella said, Cardinal Bea had maintained contact with Jewish circles since. Cardinal Marella also said that Jews in a way were “pre Christians,” and therefore were not in the category of non-Christian religions with which his secretariat was concerned.

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