VATICAN CITY, MAR 27, 1998 (VIS) - Following are excerpts from the English-language joint communique released yesterday afternoon at the conclusion of the March 23-26 meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee in the Vatican:

"Following the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church and international groups representing the Jewish People both in Israel and in the Diaspora determined to establish together a mechanism to follow through on the extraordinary moment in history represented by the Council's Declaration 'Nostra Aetate' ('In Our Time'). ... The result was the establishment of the International Liaison Committee (ILC) between the Holy See and the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC). ... (The just-concluded) meeting is the first to be held within the Vatican City State itself."

"The two co-chairs of the meeting (were) Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy, president of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and Dr. Gerhard Riegner, honorary vice-president of the World Jewish Congress."

"The Cardinal expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of the Jewish partners in the dialogue to find solutions for such difficult issues as the Carmelite Convent adjacent to Auschwitz and the long process involved in establishing full relations with Israel. Regarding the Holy See Commission's Statement 'We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah', the Cardinal noted that Catholics still have much to learn. But he also pointed out that the Jewish community as well needs to understand better how the Catholic Church views itself."

"Dr Riegner commented that the meeting was taking place only 'a few days' following the release of the Commission's document, 'We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah'. ... He, as a personal witness to that tragic history, stated that the Jewish community had been 'deeply impressed' by the 'very strong passages' in the statement, ... its 'binding commitment' to ensure that such evil does not happen again, and the willingness to review the painful history of past 'anti-Judaism' in the Church.

"He nevertheless expressed serious disappointment that in his opinion the document 'avoids taking a clear position on the direct relationship between the teaching of contempt and the political and cultural climate that made the Shoah possible'. He furthermore expressed (a) strong reservation concerning the document's presentation of some facts in the historical record."

"In discussion on the Vatican's record during the Shoah, and the Jewish demand for impartial access to the relevant archival material, Cardinal Cassidy suggested that a joint team of Jewish and Catholic scholars review the relevant material in the volumes produced by Catholic scholars."

"The Committee's discussion took up four major themes: ..."

"1. Teaching About Each Other. ... Reports on the state of Catholic education vis-a-vis Jews and Judaism were given. ... Great progress was noted in removing the ancient 'Adversus Judaeos' tradition (or 'teaching of contempt') from current Catholic education around the world, with much activity promoting dialogue reported. ... (Also) discussed were misunderstandings of Christianity and Catholicism widespread in the Jewish community and steps that might be taken by Jewish educators to promote more accurate understanding."

"2. Statements of the Catholic Church on the Shoah. ... The ILC as a whole expressed its commitment to continue the dialogue."

"Consideration and discussion were devoted as well to a remarkable series of statements offering reflection on the Shoah by Catholic Bishops' Conferences, especially in Europe."

"3. After discussion, the Statement on Ecology, originally proposed in Jerusalem, was passed with strong support.

"4. The Millennium/Jubilee Year. In discussing preparation for the coming Millennium/Jubilee Year 2000, emphasis was placed on the vision proposed by Pope John Paul II that the turning of the Christian Millennium should provide Christians with the occasion for a reckoning of the soul (confession/inner conversion; heshbon hanefesh/teshuvah) not only with consideration of historical Christian anti-Jewish theology and mistreatment of Jews, but across the historical spectrum. ... (There were recommendations for the) establishment of a mechanism to ensure international bilateral consultations and planning for interreligious programming in the Holy Land and throughout the world. It is our hope that Pope John Paul II will be able to visit the Holy Land in connection with the Jubilee celebration.

"Finally, it is our common hope that the coming of the Millennium will see the establishment of permanent, peaceful relations between Israel and her neighbors."

av Webmaster publisert 31.03.2006, sist endret 31.03.2006 - 18:18