DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     May 18, 1998     vol. 9, no. 96

from a CATHOLIC perspective

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          WASHINGTON, DC (CWNews.com) - The senior Vatican official in charge of relations with the Jewish people told an American Jewish group on Thursday that a major goal of a recent Vatican document on the Holocaust was to make Christians aware of past injustices perpetrated by Christians against Jews.

          Cardinal Edward Cassidy, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, told the American Jewish Committee at its annual meeting that the document was intended to promote awareness of the Shoah (Holocaust) among "Catholics in those countries that were far removed by geography and history from the scene of the Shoah, and encourage their participation in the present efforts of the Holy See to promote throughout the Church a new spirit in Catholic-Jewish relations."

          The cardinal also said that awareness is not enough, but Christians should ask forgiveness from God for pardon and reconciliation on behalf of victims and those who perpetuate violence throughout history. Martin Kaplan, chairman of the AJC Interreligious Affairs Commission, replied to the cardinal's comments, applauding two achievements of the document: "There is no room within the Christian religion for anti-Semitism or anti-Judaism, and the Roman Catholic Church affirms the truth of the Shoah." He also saluted Pope John Paul II and other Catholic leaders for their efforts in ending anti-Jewish attitudes in Christians and the Church's theology.

          Both Kaplan and Rabbi A. James Rudin both expressed disappointment that the document did not form an explicit link between old anti-Jewish attitudes and the Nazi anti-Jewish movement that culminated in the Holocaust. The Vatican has repeatedly said that Nazi hatred of Jews and Christians is rooted in pagan, and not Christian, influences.

Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

May 18, 1998       volume 9, no. 96


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