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February 18, 1990     Arkansas Catholic
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February 18, 1990

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j , Jewish leaders Joint statement (CNS) - Catholic and leaders in Los Angeles, in a local hailed as a model for other the country, have produced statements on the Holocaust and nts were developed under of Project Discovery, co- by the Archdiocese of Los and the American Jewish Corn- include study guides and for use by other groups or high school Holocaust: At the Edge of says ongoing Catho- ns show a pressing need r more dialogues and mutual under- of the Holocaust, the World by Hitler to exterminate people. recent tensions it highlighted se OVer the Carmelite convent at in Poland last year, Pope point we must face fact that we are not 1987 and 1988 meetings es. Kurt Waldheim and 1989 statement on East. SeCond document, "Forgiveness/ Reflective Statement," both common elements and differences in Catholic and of forgiveness. ie and forms may be, all- it says, "but both Catholi- ClJudaism require recognition Wrong, sincere feelings of re- acts to remedy the damage, .POssible, and efforts to behave future. statement says both religious lack an adequate develop- theory and practice regarding forgiveness of another point we must face the fact not perfect, that we have One another in the past and )ted!y do so in some meas- -%" the group said. The was written by the Priest-Rabbi Committee, a group that has issued joint statements on a number of topics during 20 years of dialogue. The Holocaust statement was pre- pared by the Catholic-Jewish Respect Life Committee, a predominantly lay committee of teachers, professionals and other leaders which has issued previous statements on issues such as abortion, health care questions and death and dying. The statement gives a brief overview of Christian anti- Semitism before Hitler, the Hitler era and his genocidal campaign against Jews, and the mixed response of Catho- lics to Hitler's actions. It focuses on challenges facing Catholics and Jews today in the light of the Holocaust. The document notes that the 1933 Vatican concordat with Nazi Germany, to which the pope agreed in an effort to protect Church rights, in fact was ignored by Hitler and, because it neutralized the centrist Catholic Work- ers Party, helped pave the way for Hitler to claim totalitarian powers. In the concordat, Pope Pius XI fol- lowed the model of the Vatican con- cordat with Italy four years earlier, in which he agreed there would be no of- ficial Catholic party in return for guar- antees of freedom for Catholic schools, religious education and youth groups. Looking back at the events, the docu- ment says, "we are now free to ask whether the compromises made by the Vatican with the Nazis did not, in the long run, do more harm than good." Eugene Fisher, director of the U.S. bishops' national office for Catholic- Jewish relations in Washington, said the document shows a "remarkable open- ness" on both sides of the dialogue - on the Jewish side with the emphasis given to "righteous Christians" who took risks to save Jews from Hitler, and on the Catholic side with their "willingness to "look at a historical event (the/ concor- dat) objectively, not in an apologetic or defensive way but maturely." He described the forgiveness state- ment as particularly valuable because of the spiritual dimension of the statement. "It's not just an academic exercise - it's a real dial6gue," he said. He said one thing Christians can learn from studying the Jewish understanding of those questions is that Jesus' teach- ings about forgiveness, reconciliation and love of God and neighbor came out of the Jewish tradition. "We've tended to assimilate (the Jewish tradition contained in Christ's teaching) and then think we made it up," he said. U.S. bishops' statement on Middle East becomes official U.N. document New York (CNS) - The U.S. bishops' treatment of Palestinian issues in their November Middle East statement has been issued as an official document of the United Nations General Assembly and given general distribution to all U.N. missions. Archbishop Renato R. Martino, Vati- can ambassador to the U.N., said that he knew of no previous occasion when a document produced by a national bishops' conference had been given such U.N. recognition. The General Assembly document with the bishops' statement also included a Middle East statement by the Canadian Council of Churches made last Octo- ber. The Canadian bishops' conference, which holds associate membership in the council, participated in develop- ment of the Middle East statement and endorsed it. Distribution of the two statements, published in the same U.N. document, came at the request of the U.N. Com, mittee on the Exercise of the Inalien- able Rights of the Palestinian People. Senegal's U.N. ambassador, Absa Claude Diallo, committee chair, trans- mitted the request to U.N. Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar. "In view of the importance of these statements," Diallo wrote, the commit- tee decided to ask "that extracts from these statements relating to the ques- tion of Palestine should be issued as official documents of the General As- sembly under the items entitled "Ques- tion of Palestine' and "The Situation in the Middle East.'" When the General Assembly holds its 45th session next fall, the "items" indi- cated by Diallo will be among those on the agenda, and the statements from the U.S. bishops and the Canadian Council will be cited by an official reference number. Although the U.S. bishops pleased Jewish organizations by expressing support for Israel, they drew Jewish criticism for also endorsing the right of the Palesfinians to =self-determination, including their option for an independ- ent homeland." The Canadian council was more explicit in supporting the right of the Palesfinians to a "sovereign Palesfinian state." A volunteer pounds a nail into a house under renovation by the Topeka Family Shelter in Topeka, KS. The shelter, supported by local religious and business interests, involves young people in its work projects. (CNS/Anita McSor/ey/ The Leaven) Patriarch Michel Sabbah says intifada way of life Vatican City (CNS)- The two-year-old Palestinian uprising against Israeli rule has become "a way of life," said Latin- rite Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusa- lem. "We want to be free. We want to have our own rights in our land and homes," he said. Patriarch Sabbah is the first Palestinian to head the Latin Patri- archate. The patriarch said he "could not give . figures" about support for the uprising, called intifada in Arabic, a word mean- ing =shaking off." But, he added, sup- port of the Palestine Liberation Organi- zation, which supports the uprising, is high. The uprising began with confronta- tions between stone-throwing youths and Israeli troops bearing automatic assault rifles in Israeli-occupied Pales- tinian territories. The violence has grown to include murders of Palestini- ans suspected of being Israeli inform- ers. More than 700 deaths, mostly Pal- estinians, have been caused by the inti- fada. , ) BOX 408 POCAHONTAS, ARK. 72455 PHONE 892-3191 Z,Z.,d.ZZZZZ.,d.Z,,K,K,KZ.KZ.ZZ :Z. "E 'OL4,,,NSU Na , 0. ' AGENCY " I_ " 842-2431 i ,, England, AR { '/Hr. Insurance ... all lines of Coverage. # ~ L L L ZL Z LLLLLLLLLLL.g :LL r_LLLlLLLLLLLLLLLLL,t "ll Shop us first...