Catholic-Jewish Meeting Condemns Terrorism and Anti-Semitism

Commission of Chief Rabbinate and Holy See Convenes in Jerusalem

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JERUSALEM, DEC. 4, 2003 ( A high-level meeting of representatives of the Chief Rabbinate and of the Holy See concluded with a radical condemnation of terrorist violence and anti-Semitism.

This conclusion is reflected in the final statement of the third three-day meeting of the Joint Commission of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel’s Delegation for Relations with the Catholic Church and the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Jews.

In the final statement, signed by both the Jewish and Catholic Delegations, the participants expressed «their profound appreciation for the forthright statements emanating from the Holy See condemning violence against innocents and denouncing the current resurgent manifestations of anti-Semitism.»

In this spirit, Cardinal Jorge Mejía wrote to the chief rabbis of Israel: «It is indeed not only cruel but vile and quite incompatible with any acceptable human standards to attack people in their places of prayer.»

At the time of the joint commission’s meeting, John Paul II issued a powerful appeal «to all men and women of good will to join your voices with mine as I repeat that the holy name of God must never be used to incite violence or terrorism, to promote hatred or exclusion.»

«As religious leaders,» the participants state, «we share in the pain and sorrow of all who suffer in the Holy Land today — individuals, families and communities — and express our fervent hope and prayers for an end to the trials and tribulations in the Land that is holy to us all.»

«We urge our own communities, schools and families to live in mutual respect and understanding and to immerse themselves in the study and teachings of our holy Scriptures which we share, for the ennoblement of humanity, universal peace and justice,» the document concludes.

The Jewish delegation was headed by Chief Rabbi Shear Yashuv Cohen, accompanied by four other rabbis and two experts. Cardinal Mejía led the Catholic delegation.

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