Catholics and Jews Appeal Jointly for Sake of Jerusalem

«We Are Partners in Articulating Moral Values,» Says Panel

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 19, 2004 ( A Catholic-Jewish panel made an appeal for respect of the sacred character of Jerusalem as well as of the various religious communities that live in the Holy City.

The exhortation was made in a press statement after the meeting of the bilateral committee of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Grand Rabbinate of Israel, held at Grottaferrata, near Rome, from Sunday through today.

The theme of the meeting was «A Common View of Social Justice and Ethical Conduct.» According to the text, the participants express that «there is not wide enough awareness in our respective communities of the momentous change that has taken place in the relationship between Catholics and Jews.»

They stated: «We are not enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of human society.»

After pointing out that «Jerusalem has a sacred character for all the children of Abraham,» the Jewish and Catholic representatives appeal to «all relevant authorities to respect this character and to prevent actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that reside in Jerusalem and hold her dear.»

The statement is signed by six members of the Jewish delegation, five of them rabbis, among whom are Shar Yishuv Cohen, former chief rabbi of Haifa, and David Rosen, international director for religious affairs.

The Catholic delegation was led by Cardinal Jorge María Mejía, retired archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, as well as Cardinal Georges Cottier, former theologian of the Pontifical Household.

«We call on religious authorities to protest publicly when actions of disrespect towards religious persons, symbols and Holy Sites are committed, such as the desecration of cemeteries and the recent assault on the Armenian patriarch of Jerusalem,» the committee members affirmed.

«We call on them to educate their communities to behave with respect and dignity towards people and towards their attachment to their faith,» they concluded.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and Ricardo Segni, chief rabbi of Rome, were to analyze the state of the present Jewish-Catholic dialogue during a conference organized this afternoon at the Gregorian University.

On the 30th anniversary of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, established by Paul VI, Cardinal Kasper, accompanied by a delegation of the commission, will visit the Synagogue of Rome this Friday afternoon.

In statements on Vatican Radio, Father Norbert Hofmann, secretary of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, acknowledged that in the wake of the Second Vatican Council, Catholics are discovering the Jewish roots of their faith.

«Jesus was Jewish, the Mother of God was Jewish, the apostles were Jews,» he said. «Christianity has Jewish roots and we are increasingly rediscovering what we have in common.»

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Share this Entry


Support ZENIT

If you liked this article, support ZENIT now with a donation