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September 18, 1987 - Image 12

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1987-09-18

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

N i ws

Wish someone you love
L'Shanah Tova Tikatevu
with a special tray or basket.

WE WISH EVERYONE A HAPPY, HEALTHY NEW YEAR

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12

FRIDAY, SEPT. 18, 1987

338-7700

by your vigorous leadership
in denouncing all forms of
anti-Semitism, and by the
church's recent teachings.
The church's repudiation of
anti-Semitism is of critical
importance in the struggle to
eradicate this virulent plague
from the entire human
family.
Anti-Semitism may affect
the body of the .Jew, but
history has tragically shown
that it assaults the soul of the
Christian world and all
others who succumb to this
ancient, but persistent
pathology.
We hope that your strong
condemnations of anti-
Semitism will continue to be
implemented in the schools,
the parishes, teaching mate-
rials and the liturgy, and
reflected in the attitudes and
behavior of Catholics
throughout the world.
Greater attention needs to be
paid to the Christian roots of
anti-Semitism. The "teaching
of contempt" reaped a
demonic harvest during the
Shoah in which one-third of
the Jewish people were
murdered as a central compo-
nent of a nation's policy. The
Nazi Holocaust-Shoah
brought together two very dif-
ferent forms of evil: On the
one hand it represented the
triumph of an ideology of na-
tionalism and racism, the
suppression of human cons-
cience and the deification of
the state — concepts that are
profoundly anti-Christian as
well as anti-Jewish. On the
other hand the Shoah was the
culmination of centuries of
anti-Semitism in European
culture for which Christian
teachings bear a heavy
responsibility.

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Continued from preceding page

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While your sensitive con-
cerns and your noteworthy
pronouncements about the
Shoah have been heartening,
we have observed recent
tendencies to obscure the fact
that Jews were the major
target of Nazi genocidal
policies. It is possible to visit
Nazi death camps today and
not be informed that the ma-
jority of its victims were Jews.
Your letter about Shoah, sent
last month to Archbishop
John May, the president of
the National Conference of
Catholic Bishops, represented
a deep level of understanding
of that terrible period.
We look forward to the
forthcoming Vatican docu-
ment on the Shoah, the
historical background of
anti-Semitism .. .
The return to Zion and the
re-establishment of Jewish
sovereignty in the land of
Israel play a paramount role
in Jewish self-understanding

today. Because of the impor-
tance that the State of Israel
occupies in the mind, spirit,
and heart of Jews, whenever
Christians and Jews meet in
a serious conversation, Israel
is at the center of that en-
counter. The re-emergence of
an independent Jewish state
onto the world stage in 1948
has compelled Christians and
Jews to examine themselves
and each other in a new light.
We must express our con-
cern at the absence of full
diplomatic relations between
the Holy See and the State of
Israel. We welcome the recent
statements from Vatican
leaders declaring that no

"We look forward
to the Vatican
document on the
Shoah."

theological reasons exist in
Catholic docrine to inhibit
such relations. We strongly
urge once again that full and
formal diplomatic relations
be established soon between
the Vatican and the State of
israel. Such a step would be
a positive and constructive
contribution by the Vatican to
the peace process, and it
would send a strong.signal to
the international community
that the Holy See recognizes
Israel as a permanent and
legitimate member of the
family of nations.
One of the most welcome
results of the recent Catholic-
Jewish encounter has been
the recognition by Catholics
that Judaism has continued
and deepened its unique
spiritual development after
the separation of the Chris-
tian chruch from the Jewish
people some 1,900 years ago.
A meeting such as today's is
a vivid reminder that we live
in an historic moment. Clear-
ly, as two great communities
of faith, repositories of moral
and spiritual values,
Catholics and Jews need to
move together in this new mo-
ment. The last quarter-
century has irreversibly
changed the way we perceive
and act towards each other.
In
an age of great
challenges and great
possibilities there is a com-
pelling need for a "vision for
the times," "Chazon Emoed"
(Habakkuk, 2:3). Our vision
for Catholics and Jews is a
prayer of the synagogue.
At the end of the Torah
reading, the scroll is held
high so the entire congrega-
tion may see the word _ s of
God, and together the con-
gregation prays, "Hazak,
Hazak, v'nithazek," "Be
strong, be very strong, and let
us strengthen one another."

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