Archbishop Dolan Addresses Jewish Leaders
Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York addresses the audience while participating in a presentation on Catholic-Jewish relations during the Anti-Defamation Leagues annual meeting in New York on 3 Nov. (photo: CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)
08 Nov 2011 by Beth Griffin
NEW YORK (CNS) — Catholics and Jews can
most effectively capitalize on five decades of progress in
their relations by joining forces to promote religious
freedom, defend immigrants, face a common threat from
fanatics and advocate for civility in politics and society,
said New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.
He addressed more than 250 Jewish leaders
assembled in New York Nov. 3 for the annual meeting of
the Anti-Defamation League, an organization that fights
Reflecting on the current state and future of
Catholic-Jewish relations, Archbishop Dolan said both
groups must continue to rejoice in how far weve come,
but not take the progress for granted. He dated the
beginning of positive change to Nostra Aetate, the
Second Vatican Councils declaration on relations with
He said Nostra Aetate was one of the most
enlightened documents" of the council and it set the bar
It also opened the door to unprecedented visits to
synagogues and Israel by Popes John Paul II and Benedict
XVI. To have the man we call the vicar of Christ go to a
synagogue is of earthquake proportions, Archbishop
Archbishop Dolan said Pope Benedicts Oct. 27
meeting in Assisi, Italy, with leaders of other faiths could
not have happened 50 years ago.
Among areas that call for rejoicing, Archbishop
Dolan said, is that both groups have grown in sensitivity
to one another since Vatican II.
One of the characteristics of progress is the
willingness to speak candidly about issues that cause
tension and neuralgia, including Pope Pius XII;
Holocaust denier British Bishop Richard Williamson, a
member of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X; and the
wording of prayers offered on Good Friday for the wellbeing
of the Jews.
Archbishop Dolan said progress and friendship
that began at the local level have now been
institutionalized in both faiths. He cited the Catholic-Jewish dialogues that take place through the Holy See and
the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which the
archbishop heads as president.
Going forward, Archbishop Dolan said Catholics
and Jews should work together for religious freedom. He
warned of possible movement by the government that
would dangerously tread on issues of conscience and
religion that our two families hold very dear.
Internationally, all believers are in the crosshairs
of fanatics around the world. Somewhere, someplace,
somebodys being persecuted to the point of blood because
of their faith and we need to stand together in defense of
those people, he said, to applause.
He said it is time for both faith groups to face
realistically the common threat we have from fanatics,
especially in the Islamist community.
Tags: Interreligious Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan Catholic-Jewish relations