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January 06, 1967 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-01-06

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Vatican Declaration on Anti-Semitism Called 'Ambiguous' by Paul Blanshard

Paul Blanshard, whose criticisms
of the Catholic Church in his ear-
lier writings have been among the
severest on record, offers import-
ant and interesting analyses of the
recent Vatican Council declarations
on Jews and others, in his "Paul
Blanshard on Vatican II" published
by Beacon Press.
In spite of many "personal mani-
festations of good will toward the
Jewish people by the Fathers,"
Blanshard states that it is impossi-
ble to give the Church "a credit on
the balance sheet." He writes:
"While the Cotnitil officially re-
pudiated anti-Semitism, its repudi-
ation was too hesitant and ambi-
guous to be convincing to those
who cared to remember Auschwitz
and the silence of Pius XII at the
worst moment in all history for a
Christian leader to maintain sil-
ence. Here the burden of responsi-
bility must rest squarely on the
shoulders of Pope Paul himself. He
may not be personally anti-
Semitic but his institutional loyal- •
ties, at a crucial moment, seemed
to take precedence over his hu-
manity. It never seemed to have
occurred to him that there might
be occasions in history when a
church has a duty to die rather
than compromise on a supreme
moral issue. In defending Pius XII
and the German policy of his
Church during World War II, he
went far beyond the limits of filial
duty and demonstrated a kind of
institutional narcissism, protecting
his Church against criticism that
was so valid it should have led to
unqualified public penance rather
than evasive apologies. His own
apology for Pius XII was not sweet-
end by a post-Council statement
from Italy's right-wing leader,
Bishop Luigi Carli of Segni, that
Judaism 'carries in fact always
with it, one :would say by its very
nature, the judgment of condem-
nation by God.' "
Blanshard charges that Paul's
"abrupt disraissal of the Coun-
cil's majority views on two oc-

casions at the end of the third
session in 1964, when religious
liberty and Jewish relations were
being debated, made him, for a
few days at least, the most un-
popular pope of recent times."
He charges further that "mar-
riage with a non-Catholic is rated
by canon law as bad; with a Jew
worse," and he adds: "In the
heated discussion about the in-
justices meted out to non-Catho-
lic Christians in mixed marriage,
the injustices meted out to Jews
in Catholic-Jewish mixed mar-
riages were virtually ignored.
Even in the coffee bars there was
no . suggestion that any effort be
made to eliminate the anti-Sem-
itism of present rules."
On this score Blanshard writes:
"Perhaps the Fathers reasoned
that they had had enough Jewish
headaches in the discussion of the
declaration on the Jews. In any
case, they had more to be ashamed
of in Church rules about Jewish--
Catholic marriages than in the
rules about mixed marriages with
baptized Christians. For every ar-
chaic and discriminatory feature in
marriages with non-Catholic Chris-
tians there is an extra discrimina-
tory feature prescribed by canon
law for mixed marriages with
A 24-page chapter devoted to the
Jews traces the history of Catholic-
Jewish relations, dating back to
Pope John's having turned over
consideration of a statement on the
Jews to Cardinal Bea's Secretariat
for Promoting Christian Unity. The
negative as well as the positive as-
pects of Vatican history in relation
to Jews are reviewed. Blanshard
shows that anti-Semitism, quiescent
from .die 4th to 10th centuries,
burst into flame with the First

Crusade in the 11th Century. Ana-
lyzing the anti-Semitic element he
"Many of the early Church fa-
thers were as definitely anti-
Semitic as Gerald L. K. Smith.
St. Chrysostom called a syna-
gogue a 'house of vice' worse
than a brothel,' 'a den of bri-
gands,' and 'the cavern of devils.'
Although he was not the first
Christian preacher to apply the
word `deicide' to the Jewish peo-
ple, he was the most vociferous
in spreading the idea. From his
preaching was derived the policy
of describing the Jews as 'Christ-
killers.' "
There follows a history of the
Vatican-Jewish relations, with nu-
merous expressions in defense of
Jews. The literature that has ap- I
peared on the subject of the recent
Vatican Councils, the accusations
and defenses, the debates over
Hochhuth's '"The Deputy" and
Friendlander's "Pius XII and the
Third Reich"— these and scores of
other developments are part of
these historical analyses.
Blanshard asserts that the Church
cannot completely cleanse itself of
old sins, that: "Institutional pride,
papal primacy and papal infallibil-
ity are all stirred in to a mixture
of shaded history that must be
served as an apologia to Catholics
of the rising generation." He con-
cludes his discussion on the Jews
by stating:
"But the future can be a great
deal brighter than the past. The
final statement of Vatican II con-
demning all forms of anti-Semit-
ism was sincerely promulgated
as a platform for future conduct.
There is no doubt that it will
bring new decencies into the re-
lations between Catholics and

Praise the sea, but keep on land.
—Geo. Herbert.


The entire theme in this lengthy 14—Friday, January 6, 1967
book on the Vatican II decisions is
an immensely important review of
an important era in religious his-
tory. The review of the Jewish con-
ditions, Blanshard's analyses of the
To Handle Our Distinctive
Protestant case, the over-all criti-
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que on Catholic relations, serve to
W rite
indicate a step in normal and posi-
tive directions. This volume will be
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viewed with great interest by all
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faiths and will no doubt merit the
serious consideration of Catholics
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Sunday evening, January 22, 1967-8:00

Incitement to Race Hatred
to Be Punished in Brazil,
According to Press Law

(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)

penalties for incitement to racial
hatred will be meted out to offend-
ers, according to the new press law
which was introduced by the gov-
ernment into the Brazilian Na-
tional Congress Tuesday.
According to a clause in the new
bill, publications whose publishers
or editors are found guilty of a
second offense in incitement to
race hatred will be closed down.
Another provision of the new
press bill requires that the pub-
lisher or responsible editor of a
periodical be Brazilian-born.

$1,000,000 Plans
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Life-Saving Danish Boat
Given to Museum in Israel

TEL AVIV—A small. Danish boat
which was used by the Danish un-
derground to smuggle Jews from
Denmark to Sweden during the
Nazi occupation was brought to
Israel Wednesday as a gift to the
Haifa Maritime Museum.
The "Astrid," a gift of Lawrence
Schacht of New York, arrived on
the Israeli vessel Liroa. The "As-
trid" was accompanied by its
skipper, Jans Borgsen, who was on
the wanted list of the Nazis for
helping Jews to escape. There is
insufficient room in the museum
for the Danish boat, and efforts
will be made to find an appropri-
ate permanent place for it.
Schacht is a director of the In-
dustrial Development Bank of Is-
rael and a member of the board of
the American Technion Society and
of the United Jewish Appeal of
New York. He is also a member of
the national council of the Joint
Distribution Committee.

Jews in the future. The very ven-
tilation of unpleasant truth about.
present and past abuses consti-
tuted an immense gain for tol-
erance and good will. Catholic
textbooks are being revised to
purge them of anti - Semitic
paragraphs, and Catholic-Jewish
meetings of understanding are
blossoming throughout the world.
If the final utterance of Vatican
II on the Jews was inadequate,
it still marked a gigantic step
forward toward a future of fair

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ordinary shares and Rassco pre-
ferred ordinary shares for the year
ended March 31, 1966, payable on
Jan. 31, 1967, to stockholders of
record on Jan. 2, 1967.

UN 4-7474

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