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American Jewish Committee lauds Cardinal Kasper, noting opposition to proselytism

CWN - May 05, 2010

The American Jewish Committee presented its Isaiah Interreligious Award to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, at the conclusion of its annual meeting on April 30.

“Cardinal Kasper has made some of the most far-reaching statements regarding the Catholic Church and Judaism, has firmly opposed attempts to proselytize Jews and has been a champion in the struggle against anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism," said Rabbi David Rosen, the American Jewish Committee’s international director of interreligious affairs.

“I am deeply moved by this high distinction and I cannot but express my deep gratitude to AJC for the honor conferred upon me as a German, as a Catholic theologian and as President of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews,” said Cardinal Kasper. “I am deeply grateful that I have been able to contribute to making a difference in relations between our two communities and to a healing process of the deep wounds inherited from the past.”

“We strive together to make a difference in the world, working for the good of our children and the children of our children so that atrocities such as the Holocaust can never happen again,” Cardinal Kasper added.

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  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - May. 06, 2010 10:35 AM ET USA

    extremecatholic, I agree with you. The problem as you astutely pointed out, is we Catholics out of post-Vatican II naivete and not some small measure of self-loathing guilt have ceded the intellectual high ground to the Jews who use the word "proselytize" to mean any attempt (persuasion or coercion) to share the Gospel with non-Catholics. Watering down the truth is no basis for dialogue. Therefore I won't dialogue. What I will do is pray for their conversion to the one true Faith.

  • Posted by: extremeCatholic - May. 05, 2010 11:43 PM ET USA

    "Proselytize" means one thing to Jews and another to Christians. We make a distinction between presenting the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ in truth and charity, and using threats, coercion, or inducements for conversion. Only good means to a good end. For Jews, any attempt to discuss Christianity as the fulfillment+ of Judaism is per se proselytization. There's a lot of equivocation around that word.

  • Posted by: Savonarola - May. 05, 2010 5:55 PM ET USA

    Don't we read in Luke that the gospel is to be preached to every creature? Guess he had it wrong and there is now an exception for Jews who are to be denied the gospel.

  • Posted by: samuel.doucette1787 - May. 05, 2010 5:24 PM ET USA

    Glad we got the AJC's seal of approval to make an exception of Jesus' mandate to "preach the Gospel to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit." Remember Cardinal Kasper what the first Pope St Peter said: "There is no other name under heaven by which men are saved!" Finally, what gall to link evangelization to Jews to the Holocaust! Who made the AJC our magisterium?

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