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Canadian letter on anti-Semitism.

Toronto -- Archbishop Brendan O'Brien of St. John's, representing the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined with nine other Canadian Christian church leaders on December 8, 2003, in signing a letter condemning anti-Semitism. The letter, directed to the Christian churches in Canada, the Jewish community in Canada, and to All People of Good Will, reminds Catholics and others of the "Jewish roots of our faith traditions." We must not be silent in the face of anti-Semitism; rather, we must become acquainted with our Jewish friends and with their places of worship, celebrating all that we Christians share with them. We must remember that we are "Jews and Christians alike, brothers and sisters, children of one God, heirs in faith of Abraham and Sarah."

"We declare our unqualified gratitude for the gifts of the Jewish people to world civilization in general and Canadian society in particular.

"We acknowledge with sadness and regret, and no little shame, the historic burden of persecution, which Jews have borne throughout western history; a burden all too often inflicted by Christians, who have maligned Jesus' own people in Jesus name.

"We challenge all churches, parishes, congregations, and people of good will to find ways and means to expose and eradicate anti-Semitism within and from Canadian society.

"We must not be silent.

"We urge all within our church communities and, indeed, all Canadians to exercise the greatest diligence on behalf of our Jewish friends and neighbours, that when they come under attack, and their sacred places desecrated, they find tree solidarity in establishing security and in redressing wrong." (CCCB, Dec. 9, 2003; Tor. Star, Dec. 11)

Jewish leaders welcomed the statement. Ottawa Rabbi Reuven Bulka called it a "warm, clear and forceful declaration." Canadian Jews should applaud the statement and reciprocate by condemning attacks on Christians around the world, said Toronto's Prof. David Novak. "There's virtually no anti-Semitism today coming from the churches anymore," he said. "Anti-Semitism today comes from Islamic and leftist circles." (Can. Jewish News, Dec. 18, 03). See Vatican for related statement.
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Title Annotation:Canada
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Feb 1, 2004
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