Jean-Paul II received a delegation of the American Jewish Committee

Source: FSSPX News


"At the approach of the fortieth anniversary of the conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate, there is, regrettably, an urgent need to repeat our total condemnation of racism and anti-Semitism", declared Jean-Paul II to this delegation.

" To thwart this alarming tendency requires that we insist together on the importance of religious education which promotes respect and love of others", he asserted, adding that violence in the name of religion is always a profanation of religion.

"In these days, our attention is drawn towards the Holy Land which continues to be affected by violence and suffering. My fervent desire is to find a just solution, which respects the rights and the safety of the Israelis as well as of the Palestinians".

The pope was delighted with this visit which reminded him of the visit of the same committee in the Vatican, on the occasion of twenty years of the conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, in 1985, the contribution of which "to the intensification of Judeo-Catholic relations was significant ". - Official delegations of the American Jewish Committee were received in Rome by John-Paul II on four occasions, in 25 years.

From his part, Harold Tanner, president of the American Jewish Committee recalled acts and words of the pope to the Jewish community for his twenty five years of pontificate, and expressed his " profound gratitude" and his "admiration" for " the exceptional personal contribution " which the pope brought to the dialogue between Jews and Catholics.

He thus evoked some of the most significant gestures of John-Paul II, such as the visit of the synagogue of Rome in 1986, and the journey of the pope to Israel in the year 2000" after the establishment of full relations between Holy See and the Jewish State ". This visit in the year 2000 " was an extremely strong testimony of the authentic transformation of relations between the Church and the Jewish people ".

"Of course we profoundly appreciate your multiple declarations on the unique relations between our two Faiths (sic) and your description of the Jewish people, people of the eternal and unbroken Alliance, as the elder brothers and beloved of the Church".

"You were also very direct in your condemnation of all prejudices and sectarianism, in particular anti-Semitism ", pursued Harold Tanner, recalling how much the Jewish people were saddened by "the current wave" of anti-Semitism and violence and expressing the deep gratitude of the Jews "for the categorical declarations of the Holy See condemning this perversity”.

"We are particularly horrified by the use which was made of religion in the Middle East and worldwide to justify and even glorify the murder of innocent persons. We are grateful to you for your powerful declarations condemning violence in the name of religion and we pray that the whole world listens to and recognizes the truth of your words".

The president of the CJA was also anxious to thank the pope for the attitude of the Church in the United States: "I believe it is exact to assert that no Jewish community has ever enjoyed anywhere such a warm friendship such cooperation as those which exist with the American Roman Catholic Church ".

"As you declared yourself concerning the Divine command to Abraham to be a blessing in the world, this is our common responsibility. But to succeed we must first be a blessing to each other. You were a real blessing for the Jewish Community - and we are profoundly grateful to you for it", he concluded.