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Saturday, December 10, 2016
Faith leaders condemn anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism
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 A shared commitment to the poor, and to combating both anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism, featured in a declaration made by Jewish and Catholic leaders at a recent meeting in Buenos Aires. For the first time, representatives of the Holy See joined Jewish interfaith experts in identifying anti-Zionism as a form of anti-Semitism. The Joint Declaration of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee recalled 'Nostra Aetate' - "the ground-breaking declaration of the Second Vatican Council which repudiated the deicide charge against Jews, reaffirmed the Jewish roots of Christianity and rejected anti-Semitism". Anti-Semitism was condemned once again in the Joint Declaration: "We draw encouragement from the fruits of our collective strivings which include the recognition of the unique and unbroken covenantal relationship between God and the Jewish People and the total rejection of anti-Semitism in all its forms, including anti-Zionism as a more recent manifestation of anti-Semitism". Meanwhile, the Jewish community has shown a "growing willingness to engage in interreligious dialogue and joint action regarding religious, social and communal issues on the local, national and international levels". The Jewish community has also "become aware of, and deplores, the phenomenon of anti-Catholicism in all its forms, manifesting itself in society at large." Echoing the words of Pope John Paul II that "anti-Semitism is a sin against God and humanity", the signatories declared, on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps, "our determination to prevent the re-emergence of anti-Semitism which led to genocide and the Shoah". Terrorism was also condemned: "Terror, in all its forms, and killing 'in the name of God' can never be justified. Terror is a sin against man and God." Men and women of all faiths were called on "to support international efforts to eradicate this threat to life, so that all nations can live together in peace and security on the basis of 'Tzedeq' and 'Tzedaqah'. The Jewish-Catholic encounter in Argentina had been devoted to the topics of 'Tzedeq' and 'Tzedaqah' (Justice and Charity) and, inspired by God's command to "love one's neighbour as oneself", leaders of both faiths agreed that Jews and Catholics must work together for the poor and human rights.
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