Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Union of Orthodox Jewish Organizations, and Rabbinical Council of America Hold Meeting

Academic journal article Journal of Ecumenical Studies

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Union of Orthodox Jewish Organizations, and Rabbinical Council of America Hold Meeting

Article excerpt

The meeting on January 29, 2004, in New York continues a series of twice-yearly meetings between delegates of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Judaism that began in 1987, following the visit of Pope John Paul II to the U.S. and his historic meeting with representatives of the American Jewish community. The meeting occurred on the same day that a suicide bomber in Israel took the lives of eleven innocent civilians, an act that the group condemned for the inexcusable senselessness it represented, even as it prayed for the victims and their families. Indeed, one major topic of the discussion was the sharing of concerns over the tragic situation in the Middle East and a joint resolve to work for a peaceful and just solution for all involved, both Jews and Palestinians. Of special concern to the Catholic delegation was the plight of Christians in the area and what might be done to assist them, a concern warmly and supportively received by the Jewish delegation.

A second area of mutual concern, raised by the Jewish side, was the possible impact of the film, The Passion of the Christ, which was then soon to be released. Without commenting on the film itself, which none of them had seen, the delegates agreed that the often tragic history of Passion Plays over the centuries legitimized such concerns in the present. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to stand together to fight Antisemitism wherever it might arise. It was noted that in cities across America Jews and Catholics are developing educational programs on the proper understanding of Church teaching in this area. Bishop William F. Murphy called the attention of the group to a new publication of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Bible, the Jews, and the Death of Jesus: A Collection of Catholic Documents, as a helpful resource of official Church statements on this important topic. …

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