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July 17, 1964 - Image 32

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1964-07-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.


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Boris Smolar's


Between You
and Me




(Copyright, 1964, Jewish
Telegraphic Agency, Inc.)



Inside Information

Those of the rabbis opposing the efforts of the Jewish organiza-
tions seeking to secure the adoption by the Ecumenical Council of a
declaration absolving the Jews of collective guilt for the crucifixion of
Jesus, should read the book "The Pilgrim," just published in this
country . . . They will then realize how well they are unwittingly play-
ing into hands of the Arab and other bishops who are conducting all
kinds of intrigues in the Vatican against the adoption of such a
declaration . .. "The Pilgrim," published by Farrar Straus & Co., is
written by a man who prefers to give his name as Michael Serafian,
but who is actually a Roman Catholic diplomat and who obviously
knows the inside doings in the Vatican as few do . . . He prefers not
to be known by his real name because of the extraordinary revelations
he makes in his book about what is going on in the Vatican behind
the scenes of the Ecumenical Council . . . And among these revelations
he also brings out step by step a detailed picture of the machinations
and strategy used by a powerful minority within the Vatican to wreck
the plans prepared by Cardinal Bea — with the blessings of the late
Pope John XXIII — to put an end to the legend that the Jews are
"a cursed people" guilty of the crucifixion of Jesus by the Romans
. . Included in their wrecking scheme is, according to the author
of "The Pilgrim," also the question: How could some division be
created between some of the major Jewish organizations involved
in the efforts of having the Ecumenical Council adopt a pro-Jewish
statement? . . . Such a split, the intriguing bishops believe, would
definitely paralyze the activities in the Ecumenical Council of the
liberal bishops who want the adoption there of a document in favor
of the Jews . . . For nearly three years, the author reveals, important
Jewish organizations had cooperated "faithfully and skillfully" with
Cardinal Bea with a view to drawing up a suitable document on the
Jewish question for presentation to the Ecumenical Council . . . But
the bishops opposing the adoption of this document have not only
worked within the Vatican against it in every way possible .. • . "They
also explored the possibilities of spoiling the collaboration between
Cardinal Bea and certain Jewish organizations in America," the
author of "The Pilgrim" stresses . . . The question, therefore, is:
Do rabbis in America want to be used as a tool by the bishops oppos-
ing the exoneration of the Jews by the Ecumenical Council from
the stigma of "Christ-Killers" or do they want to stand on the Jew-
ish side and not provide these Bishops with a claim that there is a
split among Jews on the issue?

Behind the Scenes

The author of "The Pilgrim," who is very convincing in relating
behind-the-scenes developments at the Ecumenical Council and in
Vatican circles, condemns the "unscrupulous methods" used by the
opposing bishops against Cardinal Bea and against the latter's
determination to clean the air in the attitude of the Catholic Church
toward the Jews . . . He makes it clear that the Jewish issue, although
it did not come into the open during the sessions of the Ecumenical
Council, dominated to a very great extent the atmosphere at the
Ecumenical Council outside the sessions . . . Had Pope John XXIII
been alive during the second session of the Ecumenical Council last
year, the scheme on Jews would have probably been adopted despite
the opposition of the extremely conservative bishops . . . Pope Paul
VI, however, is pictured by the author as a hesitating pontiff, who
feels strongly for the Jews, but not strong enough to back Cardinal
Bea's efforts the way his late predecessor did . . . He does not want
to disappoint the American Jews and the American hierarchy which,
with the exception of the Cardinal in Los Angeles, is in favor of
absolving the Jews of the crucifixion guilt . . . For the American
hierarchy, it was sufficient for him to call in the most influential
- members and explain that the circumstances at the second session
were unfavorable . . . For the Jews, he decided — according -to the
author of "The Pilgrim" — to ease the disappointment, at least tem-
porarily, by including a visit to Israel in his Holy Land itinerary
. . In this way Pope Paul could seem to acknowledge indirectly yet
publicly the existence of the Jewish State and lessen the Jewish dis-
appointment . . . The author reveals that, when Nasser learned that
Pope Paul intended to visit Israel, he was furious, and indicated
it to the Pontiff. However, Pope Paul refused to be influenced . . .
The author also reveals that, at one stage, arrangements became com-
plicated, and the Pope thought of calling off the visit to Israel . . .
Yet, once he had made up his mind, he set about staving off any
further Arab pressure and used diplomatic channels to convey his
firm resolution to Nasser.

Back-Stage Influence

Jewish Role vis-a-vis the Vatican Criticized;
`The Pilgrim' Reveals Pope Paul's Weaknesses

By the Editor
This is a dissent from the open-
ing paragraph of Boris Smolar's
review of Michael Serafian's "The
Pilgrim" (published by Farrar,
Straus & Co. — subtitled "Pope
Paul VI, the Council and the
Church in a Time of Decision.").
Indeed, Smolar has given a good
analysis of the very revealing ac-
count of the Ecumenical Council
and the activities behind the
scenes at the Vatican. But his con-
clusion is in error. If anything,
Serafian's book proves that the
battle among Catholic dignitaries.
the opposition to efforts to remove
deicide charges against the Jews,
retains many of the age-old preju-
dices against us. Therefore, it is a
conflict that should be left to the
Church and Jews should refrain
from becoming involved in it.
The American Jewish Com-
mittee has defended its position
in the matter, but we adhere to
the viewpoint we had expressed
editorially upholding the presi-
dent of the Central Conference
of American Rabbis (Reform)
and the Orthodox rabbis who
have disapproved of the AJC's
meddling in the matter. There is
a decided division in Catholic
ranks over the pinning of the
crucifixion guilt on the Jews,
and we adhere to the view that
what is required is not absolu-
tion for Jews and exoneration of
blame for god-killing, but peni-
tence on the part of Churchmen
for having created the deicide
problem for us.
In his address in Jerusalem be-
fore the World Jewish Congress
executive, on Sunday, Dr. Nahum
Goldmann took the position that
Jews should stop prodding the
Vatican on the issue. What other
attitude can one possibly pursue—
unless vested interests among
Jewish organizations seeking note-
riety dictate otherwise?
Serafian's book contains so
many revelations pointing to a
weakening of feeling on the Jew-
ish proposal that it is inconceiv-
able - how any self-respecting Jew-
ish group could possibly join in
"pressure' upon the Vatican. It's a
matter for the Catholics to battle
over. and for us to leave well
enough alone.
Best proof of the weakness of
Pope Paul VI, not sufficiently
stressed by Smolar, is Serafian's
comments on Paul's visit to Israel.
It is true that, as Serafian writes,
"To his credit, Paul refused to be
influenced." But there are some
serious questions to be posed, as
the anonymous author of "The
Pilgrim" indeed does. The Vati-
can may not be influenced in some
matters, but it is influnced in not
recognizing Israel's existence.
We are told by Serafian that
Hussein protested Paul's speech in
Israel: "Paul had seemingly implied
that only Israel was the Holy
Land." You wouldn't imagine it
from the fact that Paul never even
mentioned the word Israel on his
trip to the Jewish State. To quote
"His speeches in Israel were
rather impersonal and lustreless.
Avoiding any reference to Isra-
el as a State, he praised warm-
ly the efforts of Pius XII in aid-
ing Jews during the Nazi terror
and indirectly repudiated Hoch-

The role played by the American bishops in siding with those
at the Ecumenical Council who wanted the schema on Jews adopted
at the Council's second session is depicted also in another book just
published here, under the title "The Second Session" . . . Its author,
Xavier Rynne, reveals that the Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Meyer,
voicing the opinion of many American bishops, put his stamp of ap-
proval on the schema and urged its acceptance as a basis for discus-
sion . . . Such discussion did not, however, take place, and Serafian,
in his book "The Pilgrim" claims that Pope Pius, while consulting
other participants in the Ecumenical Council on the Jewish docu-
ment, did not consult the American bishops . . . He also asserts that
at no stage did a delegation of American cardinals go to the Pope
and insist on the discussion of the document on Jews .. . Requested
to do so, one American cardinal flatly said: "The Holy Father must
not be pressured" . . . What Pope Paul decided later was that the Mexican Prelate Vows
document on Jews would altogether be taken out of Cardinal Bea's
hands and entrusted to a new Secretariat for non-Christian Religions, to Back Jews at Vatican
with Cardinal Marella, a staunch supporter of the Curia line, in
charge of it .. . The author of "The Pilgrim" thinks that Pope Paul Miguel Dario Miranda y Gomez,
approached Cardinal Bea's document—absolving the Jews as a people Catholic Archbishop of Mexico,
from the accusation of deicide and rejecting as unscriptural the pledged to advocate a "pro-Jewish"
notion of a divine curse pursuing Jews through history — not from position in the forthcoming session
a human relations point of view but from a theological-political one . . . of the Ecumenical Council, to be
He claims that Pope Paul was led to have severe doubts about the opened at the Vatican Sept. 14.
The prelate also said he would
advisability of proposing the Jewish document . . . At the same time
he realized that Pope John and Cardinal Bea had promised the docu- do everything he could to help pre-
ment, that the Jews expected it, and that there was deep anti-Semitism vent the spread of anti-Semitic
among Catholics . . . He was told again and again by Cardinal Bea literature in this country. He made
that nothing short of a formal decree on the lines proposed by the these promises after an hour's con-
ference with a delegation repre-
latter would suffice under the circumstances.
senting the Central Committee of
Friday, July 17, 1964
Mexican Jewish Organizations.

huth's play, 'The Deputy.' Sha-
zar, President of Israel, in his
farewell speech, quoted the tra-
ditional Jewish reply to any
Christian missionary: 'And we
will walk in the name of the
Lord our God for ever and ever.'
But this Paul could not know
or realize."
"The Pilgrim" is so revealing
in its expose of the weakness of
Pope Paul VI, as contrasted with
the compassion and determination
of John XXIII, that it emerges as
one of the most significant docu-
ments dealing with the Catholic
attitude today in matters relating
to Jews and other faiths.
Paul, when he was Archbishop
Montini, had autographed and
prefaced an anti-Semitic book by
Angelo Alberti.
There is an evident desire now
in the Vatican not to disappoint
American Jews "at least tempor-
arily" — and that is hinted as one
of the reasons for the Papal visit
to the Holy Land.
There are hints of a divide et
impera (divide and conquer) atti-
tude among Catholic dignitaries,
and the Jewish issue is one of
those that suffered as a result.
Farrar, Straus and Co. has
gathered opinions on Serafian's
book. Many Catholics condemned
it. In the Saturday Review, John
A. Hardon, S. J., said "Serafian
is innocent of Catholic history."
New York Catholic News called
"some of his assumptions . .
just plain silly." Protestants
praised the book. Dr. Henry P.
Van Dusen of the Union Theo-
logical Seminary unhesitatingly
praised the book as "the most
valuable . . . treatment of Vati-
can II yet published."
- But the editor of the Jewish
Publican Society of America, Dr.
Solomon Grayzel, came through
with a pun: "I suspect that the
man is a French journalist." Con-
trast this comment on an author
who used the pseudonym, who is
described by the publishers as a
diplomat, "as a Roman Catholic

serving in posts abroad," with the
one made in his review by John
O'Connor in the San Francisco
"A new hunt has begun. It is the
search for Michael Serafian . . .
It is evident from the book that
the author knows his way around,
is obviously a Vatican insider, a
is a student of history."
Was Dr. Grayzel afraid to
press an opinion which might lend
Jewish interest to an expose of
Vatican politics? Is this the atti-
tude of fear that accounts for the
role played by Jews in Ecumenical
Council activities? Isn't such an
approach just the kind of tactic
that defers justice and loses rather
than gains respect for us?
—P. S.


T "

Hebrew Corner

Nve Hof Caesarea

A high-class Israeli vacation resort
on the international level is being built
on the sea shore in the shadows of the
ruins of old Caesarea. It is expected
that this most modern resort will draw
tourists that will buy their own home
where the sun shines for 10 months
during the year.
Such enterprises already exist on the
shores of Jamaica, the Bahama Islands,
Spain, France and Italy.
The "Nve Hof Caesarea" company is
building villas on the shores at Caes-
area as a modern vacation center. There
will be swimming pools, golf courses,
tennis courts, hotel service and parks.
The homes will be turned over to the
buyer furnished and with an appliances.
The buyer can live in his home or turn
it over to the company that will rent
it out to tourists and care for the home
while the owner is absent.
Those coming for their vacation at
Caesarea will be able to enjoy them-
selves, swimming in the warm olympic
pool, playing tennis, basket ball, fish-
ing, boating on the sea, water sports
and playing golf.
An educational center will be erected
where classes in Hebrew will be given
for both beginners and those advanced,
also seminar on various subjects. Movies,
concerts and dramatics will be included
in the regular program of the recrea-
tional center. It is understood that the
center will have all the necessary
services as a beauty parlor, fashion
store, bank, telephone and telex service.
The company that is building the va-
cational center is confident that upon
its opening it will be patronized by
thousands of tourists that previously
spent their vacation in this type of a
place in Europe.
Translation of Hebrew Column
Published by Brith Ivrith Olamith

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