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The Anglican Church of Canada, from conversion to dialogue: the case of Roland de Corneille, 1961-1970.

The Anglican Church of Canada, an autonomous denomination, is part of the world Anglican Communion. The census of 1961 reported 2,409,068 members, in 3,600 individual churches, operating in thirty dioceses, served by 2,400 priests, each headed by an archbishop. (1) In the last five decades church membership has seriously declined because of growing secularism in Canadian society and due to various divisive issues within the Anglican community, such as the liberalization of the church toward women priests and homosexuals. (2)

The attitude of the church toward Jews and Judaism was of a traditionally conservative Christian character. In the 1930's Jews were referred to as "God killers," and "Danger of Pharisaism." (3) One of the characteristics of the church was its missionary zeal. (4) Accordingly, two missionary institutions operated for the Jews, one in Toronto and the other in Montreal, the cities where most Canadian Jews lived: In the 1930's and 1940's, the rise of Antisemitism and the problem of Jewish refugees around the world were viewed as an opportunity to work for Jewish conversion. The Primate of the Church stated in his Good Friday pastoral letter in 1938 that the distress of the persecuted Jews "lends urgency to the need of evangelism among them." (6) Indeed, the Nathaniel Institute, as the Toronto Missionary Society was called, was very active under the leadership of Morris Kaminsky. He held an "ultra-evangelical 'Are you saved' approach." (7) The Missionary Society of the Church of Canada financed its activities. (8)

However, the efforts to win over the hearts of Jewish refugees from Nazism were a failure, as was stated by those who were close to the Institute, because the newcomers to Canada arrived "with hearts full of bitterness and prejudice because of the treatment they had received in the name of Christ and under the sign of Cross." (9) In spite of its meager results, the Institute continued to operate during the 1950's.

From 1958, Roland de Corneille, an Anglican priest, was a member of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Committee on Christian Approach to the Jewish People (C.C.A.J.P.); in September, 1960, he became its secretary. (10) As the one responsible for Anglican missionary activities in Toronto, de Corneille gradually realized that, the "missionary method of the past is not acceptable." (11) Therefore, he was looking for a better and more effective method for the future. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, de Corneille studied at Trinity College in McGill University and at Yale. He was curate and then rector at several churches in Montreal and Toronto, including six years at St. Lawrence Church, Toronto. (12)

How did de Corneille reach his conclusion about the ineffectiveness of the traditional missionary methods, and what did he suggest instead? How did he move from being a secretary of a missionary institution to a leading figure in the dialogue process? It is the purpose of this essay to deal with these questions.

After "lengthy study" he proposed a program that he called a "Dialogue Approach." This new idea was "born out of necessity, and clarified by sociological and psychological insights." Analyzing the world situation after World War II, de Corneille maintained that a world revolution had taken place in the fields of rising nationalism and resurgent alien religions. Instead of Christian world superiority, non-Christians and nonwhites bitterly recalled former persecutions by Christians and regarded themselves not only equal to Christians but even superiors to them. In such a world, Christian missionary propaganda would obviously be resented. As for the Jews, the memory of the persecutions during the Holocaust by people who called themselves Christians and the rise of the Zionist movement "particularly complicates the problem." "In such a world as this, the missionary method of the past is still perhaps effective with a few individuals... However, on the whole, the missionary method of the past is not acceptable," stated de Corneille. He continued to develop his thesis as follows: "Any realistic missionary method that intends to represent a serious approach by the Church as a whole cannot be satisfied that it is sincere until it faces up to the new world that has dawned .... That means that before we can approach people with the Gospel, we shall have to first remove, with their help, the barriers that are in offense ... Out of this kind of situation, the missionary tactics of the Dialogue Approach has been born." (13)

Since sociological and psychological barriers blocked communication with Jews, in order to overcome the barriers of fear, suspicion, and hatred Christians should open the way of communication by friendship and love. "The true spirit of Evangelism is motivated by love.... The Dialogue Approach is a means of expressing in love the desire to break down those barriers which keep our love at arm's length." (14) De Corneille went on to emphasize that without showing love, friendship, and forgiveness, "we can expect no progress in evangelism to the Jews.... This does not mean that we must compromise with values that we know are right in order to get along with them." (15)

In 1961 de Corneille made great efforts to convince his local church authorities to abandon the traditional missionary method, because "the Kaminsky approach is for the past," (16) and to approve his dialogue approach. The first targets were members of the C.C.A.J.P. He knew that among them there was "an old die-hard group--a little handful of the followers of M. Kaminsky's approach." (17) Therefore, he explicitly supported the importance of conversion. His plan was not to abandon the Church's duty of evangelism, but to eliminate the barriers to the hearts of the Jews. It was only "missionary tactics," as he termed the new method of the dialogue approach. (18) He added, "I believe that the single key word is 'communication."' (19)

To make his proposal practical, de Corneille he developed a detailed plan. He prepared a map of the location of the Jewish population in Toronto, including schools, synagogues, and Jewish centers. He found that the great majority of the Jewish community moved from central Toronto to the North. His research of the distribution of the Jewish population in Metro Toronto showed that geographically the North became the heart of the distribution of the Jewish community. (20) Therefore, he proposed to establish a new center for missionary activities in the area where the Jewish population was most dense, so as to contact with the Jews easier and more effective. (21) He proposed changing not only the location of the center but also the nature of its facilities. He was eager to hide the missionary character of the new center. "The new center should not have an 'institutionalized' appearance, inside or out. It should have a residential appearance in a residential setting, without the benefit of any signs of identification." He insisted that "a transplanted Nathaniel Institute ... would be self-defeating." (22)

As for the new Jewish enquirers, he warned, "The greatest amount of discretion will be required." He insisted that "such discussions with enquirers would be a totally unpublicized aspect of the work of the centre." (23) One may conclude that the dialogue approach at the new center substantially continued the evangelical aspect of the Anglican Church, using new tactical methods, as the introductory section clearly stated: "We recommend that the ministry of the past be safeguarded, but that the trend toward the abandonment of the institutional approach be completed, and that a new approach be initiated at the new centre." (24) One may understand that in order to get the approval of the conservative members of the C.C.A.J.P., as well as the continuation of the financial support of the Missionary Society, this approach was essential. However, de Corneille denied this line of explanation, stating that he believed that in a "transition period" a dual approach to the Jews could be maintained--that is, along with the dialogue, an evangelistic approach should be continued. (25) One may wonder whether such a policy would be acceptable to Jewish groups and could be successful.

He prepared a detailed plan of activities, dividing it into two parts, publicized and unpublicized policy work. The dialogue approach belonged to the publicized work. He suggested arranging meetings with Jews in order to help understand one another in various fields. Organizations or individuals could organize these meetings for joint Bible studies, participating in a Jewish "Seder" in Passover, weekend conferences at camps, and tours. He also suggested conducting a program of education in the Anglican Church, aimed at the clergy, the laity, and divinity students regarding the need for the Christian "to give witness to the Jew of the Gospel, and as to how the dialogue approach can best serve this end." He also recommended the full use of all media to publicize the work. As to the unpublicized work, the ministry to individuals, mainly for children, summer camps, and Bible classes, would continue. (26)

Trying to ensure that the dialogue approach did not close the gates of evangelism, de Corneille repeatedly differentiated between the "official programme of the approach" and the "individual relationship." While the former aimed "at opening the lines of communication," the latter still allowed individuals "to proclaim the Gospel as the Holy Spirit moves [them].... Individual Anglicans, using G-od-given opportunities ... should do no harm to our cause so long as our official policy itself remains 'correct."' (27) In September, 1961, the Executive Committee of the Synod approved, in principle, the dialogue approach as the basis for future work. (28)

Although members of C.C.A.J.P. approved the basic assumptions of the dialogue approach, they were suspicious of de Corneille's tactics. They demanded a clear and definitive assurance that the "equity of the property at 91 Bellevue Avenue [the Nathaniel Institute] is to continue to be used for the work among Jewish people, as it has always been in the past." (29) Through reports, articles, and other publications the dialogue approach gradually infiltrated to several quarters of the church. "We had a double challenge before us. We not only had to face the challenge of confronting the Church with its Christian obligation to the Jewish people, but we also had to explain to the church the validity of the dialogue approach as a means of Christian witness in our day." (30)

The "double challenge" that de Corneille spoke about confronted not only rank-and-file church members but also the C.C.A.J.P. itself. Despite the fact that the Committee had approved the dialogue approach in 1961, in October, 1962, the Committee was still discussing the meaning and purpose of the dialogue. One member wondered: "Is this to be a dialogue or witness?" The answer was "it is mutual witness--not 'either/or." (31) Both the Diocese and members of the Committee maintained that the Committee should maintain the basic functions of the Nathaniel Institute. (32)

To materialize the dialogue, de Corneille turned to Jewish rabbis. He was convinced that important parts of the Jewish leadership were aware of the changing situation. "While rejecting any outright Christian proselytizing, often associated with some Christian efforts of the past, sections of the Jewish community are asking for lines of communication to be opened to widen understanding and insights." (33) Therefore, since his nomination as director of the program, de Corneille publicly emphasized his opposition to conversion.

He prepared a letter for the approval of Bishop Frederich H. Wilkinson of Toronto, which had been sent in December, 1962, to Reform and Conservative rabbis. The bishop wrote: "With the rise of the dialogue even more cooperation is possible and it behooves us as Christians to seek even stronger ties with God's ancient people." The bishop introduced de Corneille to the rabbis as the newly appointed director of Christian-Jewish dialogue, adding: "knowing the kindness and love of the Jewish people, and their sincere respect for men of religion and good-will, I am sure you will welcome this appointment." Out of twenty-eight rabbis who received the invitation, six responded, five positively and one in a hostile manner. The Committee was not discouraged by the few responses and decided "further approaches to Rabbis should be made when definite opportunity presented itself." (34)

Jewish reaction was at first skeptical. Orthodox circles opposed any kind of dialogue, because any debate on theological doctrines or ritual was out of the question. Even liberal leaders, such as Rabbi Jordan Pearlson, a Reform rabbi of Toronto, hesitated, because Jewish experience with Christians throughout the centuries had taught them to be suspicious. When the Church spoke about Christian love, Jews became nervous, commented Pearlson. (35) As a matter of fact, de Corneille's original dialogue approach, despite his repeated declaration that he opposed Jewish conversion, justified Jewish suspiciousness. Leaders of the Canadian Jewish Congress felt uneasy with de Corneille's dialogue program. They collected a dossier of documents that led them to the conclusion that under the dialogue cover he was hiding missionary aims. After reading de Corneille's book, Christians and Jews: Dialogue, Ben Kayfetz of Jewish Community Relations of the Canadian Jewish Congress, wrote to Pearlson: "Regrettably--and I say it quite seriously--there is nothing in the book to my mind that contradicts or cancels out the impact and the import of the dossier of materials that we have been seen and discussed. I had hope, somehow, that there would be." (36)

Despite this initial suspicion, de Corneille's program of reconciliation between the Christian and Jewish communities gradually took shape. He particularly cultivated Reform and Conservative rabbis in the Toronto area. When a fire damaged the mosaic of Beth Tzedec synagogue in Toronto, he wrote a letter of participation in the sorrow of the community and added a financial contribution as a symbol of participation in the sorrow of the congregation. (37)

The dialogue entered in September, 1963, what de Corneille termed as "the second phase" of the activities. A Conservative rabbi, Albert Pappenheim of Downsview, Ontario, invited him to participate in a forum to be held at the synagogue and also agreed to participate in a panel organized by de Corneille at Christ Church in Toronto. (38) De Corneille was enthusiastic about the contact with Pappenheim. "It represents a most important development in our work.... The invitation indicates a high-level trust and decision, since it comes from two rabbis of large synagogues that are Conservative." In addition, he already had good connections with several Reform synagogues. Quite interestingly, de Corneille confronted difficulties with his own Anglican Church, rather than with the Jews. "The problem now becomes even more obvious," he complained to Bishop H. R. Hunt of Toronto, "it is how to interest our own churches in the opportunities at hand, or even more important to recognize that the Jews are our neighbours, and that the door of communication are opening up." (39)

Indeed, the dialogue with Jews began earlier than de Corneille had expected. In October, 1963, he reported visits to fifteen rabbis in Toronto, whose reaction was "always courteous, often warm and even enthusiastic." Many of them were interested of going "beyond the 'Brotherhood Week' type of relationship to a deeper association, discussion and encounter with Christians." (40) De Corneille was aware that Antisemitism would be harmful to the recent Christian-Jewish reconciliation. Therefore, reacting to an antisemitic letter distributed in Toronto, he brought to the meeting of C.C.A.J.P. a resolution that denounced any form of segregation and discrimination: "We voice our deep concern and compassion for all who suffer on account of their race, colour or creed." (41)

The newly established good relations between Anglicans and Jews were exemplified by a letter sent by Bishop Wilkinson to the rabbi of Holy Blossom congregation, the most important Reform temple in Toronto, in commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Kristallnacht. "The people of this Diocese, and I am sure all Canadians, join with their brethren of Judaism in expressing their deep grief and sorrow for the attempted genocide of the Jewish people, which has filled all mankind with a sense of loathing and shame." (42) Years later, Christian participation in the commemoration of the Holocaust would be one of the major items of the Christian-Jewish dialogue, but in 1963 Wilkinson's letter signified a new phase of the Anglican Church's relation with the Jews.

Despite de Corneille's optimism, the dialogue program confronted opposition from both sides, Christian and Jewish. In June, 1963, the C.C.A.J.P. admitted, "There is still an amount of hostility within our own ranks as well as much distrust among the Jewish people in attitude, and future efforts will have to be carried on with great care and patience." (43) In November, 1963, de Corneille reported to the Committee that "antisemitism is still a very real factor in the Church." Moreover, "the quantity and the vindictive quality are surprising." (44) He maintained that he was moving slowly into closer relations with the Jewish community. Despite divisiveness in the Jewish congregations, on one subject all the Jews were united: opposing antisemitic expressions and criticism of Israel. "All are conscious of the dreadful record of the Church in its relationships to the Jews in the past. All are wary of proselytizing." Therefore, he maintained that conversion is not the responsibility of the individual, but that of the Church. "In the final analysis 'conversion' is something which is brought about by the Holy Spirit of G-od, not by man." (45)

Gradually, a two-fold program was developed. The first one was aimed toward rank-and-file parish members, to teach them to understand Christian attitudes toward Jews during the centuries, as well as the need for dialogue and their own part in this dialogue. Before actual confrontation could take place, the Church should prepare to examine itself, its mission, and its motives. The introduction of the program to the parishes was made with utmost care. Only after consultation with and support of the leaders and executive of the parish was the program introduced. The education of people to communicate with Jews included four lectures and a visit to a synagogue. After the fourth meeting people were encouraged to participate in further study programs. (46) By March, 1966, 652 persons had participated in follow-up projects, and 2,000 people had requested the official "Newsletter." (47)

The second part of de Corneille's plan was the Dialogue Program. By March, 1966, forty group dialogues had been held, which more than 200 Anglicans had attended. Furthermore, there was a development in the depth of the topics, which indicated a new sense of freedom and a desire to touch the heart of one's faith. Among the subjects discussed were the following: "What is man?" "Can we as Christians and Jews continue to view man in the same way, in accordance with our traditions?" and "What is the relationship between G-d and man?" How successful were these encounters? Although Phyllis Napier, assistant director of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue Programme, admitted, "It is difficult to report on the far-reaching effects" of these communications, many Anglican participants maintained that "they have been able to witness to their faith in thought, word and deed" and, due to the encounter, were able to establish meaningful communication with Jews. (48)

De Corneille succeeded to persuading the organizers of the annual conference of the C.C.A.J.P, held at Aurora on May 3-4 1963, to concentrate on the subject, "Dialogue and Faithfulness to the Gospel." In his call to participants, de Corneille tried to soothe worried members about the danger of the dialogue process: "There is sometimes an uneasy feeling that through the use of dialogue perhaps compromise or dereliction of Christian duty may be the unintended result.... Dialogue is not a compromise to any easier way, but a challenge to a greater part of the Church to a harder 'Way.'" (49)

He warned Bishop Hunt: "There will be pressures upon us--upon you and me--to make statements or definitions that will satisfy the theological position of one extreme group or another in the church.... I feel we must be very careful that in our definition of our programme we do not fall into a trap of making a definitive statement that is so slanted that it closes the dialogue before it even begins." He strongly opposed supporting the theological opinion of any group within the Anglican Church for "accommodation's sake." (50) De Corneille repeatedly maintained two seemingly contradictory principles: opposition to Jewish conversion, and insistence that no theological compromise should be made. To convince the clergy and laity that these principles were not contradictory and could live side by side, he was busy lecturing, writing articles, preparing proposals, and discussing the theological side of his dialogue approach. (51)

The aforesaid difficulties notwithstanding, the Christian-Jewish dialogue gained momentum. Between January, 1964, and June, 1965, thirty formal dialogues took place in which ten rabbis and more than 400 other people, Jews and Christians, participated. In addition to dialogues with Jews, Anglican clergy and laity showed their interest by attending 353 meetings in thirty-three parishes. (52)

Even Orthodox Jewish refusal of dialogue became more lenient. While at the beginning the refusal for any kind of communication with Christians was definite, later it became conditional. In January, 1966, in a conference of 900 representatives of the Rabbinical Council of America, it was recommended that Jews should not enter into public debate with Christians on matters of doctrine or ritual, such as the Christian idea of Trinity, the Jewish attitude toward Jesus, the concept of Covenant, or the Messianic idea in Judaism and Christianity, because they are "useless, fruitless and hostility-creating." However, discussion on such subjects as war and peace, poverty, moral values, technology, and civil rights was permitted. Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik of Yeshiva University, the eminent scholar and philosopher, said: "In the areas of universal concern, we welcome an exchange of ideas and impressions. Communication among the various communities will greatly contribute towards mutual understanding and will enhance and deepen our knowledge of those universal aspects of man which are relevant to us all." (53) However, he opposed any public dialogue concerning doctrinal or ritual aspects. (54)

De Corneille made great efforts to extend his activities beyond the Anglican Church and succeeded in establishing contacts with other denominations. In 1966 he participated in international conferences in Britain, Sweden, and Switzerland, delivering lectures about the dialogue experience in Toronto. (55) The Roman Catholic Information Center showed interest in the dialogue method and procedure, aiming to introduce a program into Roman Catholic parishes toward better relations with Protestants and Anglicans. Furthermore, the Committee on the Church and the Jewish People of the World Council of Churches considered convincing the churches engaged in missionary work to establish an Ecumenical Study Center for dialogue between Christians and Jews. The General Convention of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. in October, 1964, adopted a resolution seeking a meaningful dialogue with the Jews. De Corneille also established contact with Rabbi Balfour Brickner, director of the Commission on Interfaith Activities for the Reform Union of American Hebrew Congregations. The American Reform movement looked favorably to de Corneille's efforts to change Christian attitudes toward Jews. We can see that the dialogue approach gradually received attention even beyond the Anglican Church of Canada. (56)

The widespread interest in dialogue with Jews that took place at the beginning of 1966 within and beyond the Anglican Church was a successful outcome of de Corneille's efforts, but it also presented serious problems. "There is a tremendous surging increase of interest on the part of the clergy and the laity in having dialogue with Jews," reported de Corneille in March, 1966. However, the growing interest of the parishes led to unprepared, independent initiatives of clergy who had no contact with de Corneille's program, were not familiar with the dialogue procedure, and could cause more harm than good. "These independent overtures worry us," stated de Corneille, calling for cooperation. "The question is no longer whether there should be dialogue or not, but whether the dialogue should be prepared and coordinated or unprepared and uncoordinated." (57)

More serious was the problem of cooperation with Roman Catholics. As a result of the atmosphere in Vatican II, Catholics had changed their attitude toward non-Catholic denominations and non-Christian faiths, including Jews. The result of this change was the establishment of the Secretariat for Non-Catholics, whose purposes were dialogue and charity to others than Catholics. This tremendous change was clearly expressed by Archbishop Philip Francis Pocock of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toronto. In an address at Holy Blossom Temple, the archbishop called for a dialogue, which meant mutual respect characterized by love in action. He confessed his church's sins in past relations to the Jews. De Corneille reported that Pocock's approach was "totally disarming to hostility and suspicion." Jews were overwhelmed, almost disbelieving what they heard. De Corneille was worried about the new Catholic approach, afraid of competition for the souls of the Jews. "A tremendous problem is now posed by the entrance of the Roman Catholic Church into the area of dialogue, and its aggressive approach toward Christians and toward Jews in this area," he complained in a confidential report to his Committee. He was worried that the dialogue would be "unguided," therefore "ineffective." In conclusion, he turned to the Anglican Church to give adequate thought to the implications of these developments, calling for preparation and coordination: "There is increasing need for cooperative coordination between ourselves, Protestants and Roman Catholics in our dialogue with Jews." (58)

To further the influence of his dialogue approach in the Christian world outside the Anglican Church, de Corneille was requested by the World Council of Churches' Committee on the Christian Church and the Jewish People to write a book describing his pioneer program. The purpose of his 1966 book, Christians and Jews, (59) was "to set the record of the Church's communication with the Jews in the past before Christians without apology, to explain what has motivated the attempt to create a new relationship through dialogue, and to report on the events that have transpired in the course of establishing and conducting it." (60)

The book discussed the theological sources of the dialogue, the challenge that faced the Church, and the technical methods to use in the dialogue process. The author repeated his conviction that, in order to carry out the dialogue successfully, the first step should be serious Christian self-examination. The Church needed to examine itself, its relationship with the Jews, its mission, and its motives. Only after preparation in workshops should communication and discussion with the Jews take place. He set out rules of the dialogue, printed questions, and brought possible reactions during the discussion. The book is a guide for clergy and laity on how to conduct a dialogue. The book was highly praised by such church leaders and theologians as noted British theologian James Parkes, R. B. Cunningham of the Board of National Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A., (61) and Wilfred F. Butcher, the General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches. (62)

In 1966 the dialogue program was going forward "extremely well," as de Corneille's report indicated. There was increasing Jewish interest in taking part in the program. Furthermore, as an indication of the influence of the Toronto initiative, the Anglican Church undertook a program of Christian-Jewish dialogue in Israel, under the auspices of the Anglican archbishop of Jerusalem, George Appleton. (63) A report of Christian-Jewish dialogue activities from June 15, 1965, to May 31, 1966, listed three meetings with Associates' groups, thirteen special visitations and conferences in which the director took part, thirteen dialogues held with Jewish groups, eight special programs held, a dozen sermons preached, and special talks given by the director and the assistant director. In addition, study courses and leadership training sessions were provided. This impressive list clearly shows the wide range of activities by de Corneille and his associate both locally and nationally and even internationally. (64)

Despite this wide recognition and success, because of a lack of financial support, the continuation of the program was discussed seriously. The establishment of the project was approved on an experimental basis "subject to satisfactory financial arrangements being achieved." (65) It was financed annually by several grants totaling $15,800. (66) Due to a serious decline of funds, the Missionary Society and the Women's Auxiliary canceled their support for the dialogue program. (67) Consequently, the C.C.A.J.P. faced its most serious crisis in 1967. To face these financial difficulties, a Special Committee was appointed, "to study the whole matter of the Diocesan concern with respect to the CCAJP." (68) The Special Committee concluded that, despite the fact that de Corneille did "an excellent job" locally, nationally, and internationally, it would recommend transferring the dialogue from a private home to the parish hall, while de Corneille "should use his talents to promote the approach on a much wider scale." (69) The Missionary Society, which was asked to continue its financial support of the dialogue approach, refused to depart from the traditional Christian teaching of the Church's evangelical mission to the Jews and rejected the funding request. Considering the program's validity, "in relation to our understanding of the sociological theory of the dialogue and the theological implications, and in view of the limited financial resources available ... the Committee regretfully recommends that it be discontinued as of June 30, 1967," wrote T. E. Jones of the Ad Hoc Committee re. Christian-Jewish Dialogue of the Missionary Society. (70)

During the spring of 1967, the C.C.A.J.P. discussed at length the options facing the Christian-Jewish dialogue, in view of the shrinking funds. Corneille, who did not want to see the termination of his program, persuaded Richard D. Jones, Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews (C.C.C.J.) (72) to undertake the support of the dialogue program. Accordingly, Jones recommended to his board the payment of a $10,000 grant for the period of July, 1967--June, 1968, hoping that the activities would go beyond Toronto to other Canadian cities. (73) Thus, with the help of the C.C.C.J. the continuation of the Christian-Jewish dialogue was secured. This partnership between the dialogue program and the C.C.C.J. would be in the future one of the best strongholds to rely upon in hard times. Indeed, the C.C.C.J. continued its support for the following year as well. Since the Diocese of Toronto canceled its contribution, because of lack of funds and theological hesitation to continue to support the dialogue program, the Christian-Jewish dialogue became independent from any auspices of the Anglican Church. (74)

While de Corneille's original plan to encourage interreligious communication was to recognize the religion and point of view of Jewish neighbors, Middle East politics threatened to destroy or harm this peaceful dialogue. The Six-Day War was a turning point for many Christians against Israel. (75) De Corneille reported on this change in Christian attitude: "In all honesty, I must report to you that the 'Six Day War' between Israel and the Arab nations in June has brought in its wake a greater strain upon Christian-Jewish relationships than any event in recent decades." The relative silence of Christian denominations in the face of Arab threats of Israel's destruction reinforced the barriers to Christian-Jewish communication. He cited the disappointment and dismay of Jewish leaders for this lack of concern with regard to Arab declarations to destroy Israel. De Corneille stated that the sweeping Jewish criticism of the silence of all churches was "very uninformed and inaccurate." However, he admitted that several church leaders showed no concern for Israel's survival, but expressed concern for the safety of the holy places and criticized Israel for disregarding the plight of Arab refugees, while remaining silent on the plight of Jewish refugees in Arab countries. These facts reinforced Jewish misgivings in regard to some Christian leaders. "Obviously, one of the emerging problems is that some people have become newly antagonistic to dialogue." (76)

The Six-Day War clearly showed the lack of Christian comprehension of what the State of Israel meant to the Jewish people in Diaspora. Jews interpreted Christian institutional apathy to the survival of Israel as an expression of Antisemitism. Since in the post-Holocaust era explicit Antisemitism was "politically incorrect," Christian leaders were reluctant to speak negatively about Jews and preferred to criticize Zionism and Israel, which sounded more objective. Israel's policy in the Occupied Territories, the plight of Arab refugees, and the Palestinian demand for political independence were among the subjects that brought strain in the years to come in Christian-Jewish dialogue. De Corneille maintained that only through communication with Jews could Christians grasp the meaning of the Holocaust and the significance of the State of Israel to the Jews. He considered the Six-Day War a catalyst for furthering the dialogue program. (77)

While there was an increasing involvement of Christian individuals in the dialogue program, de Corneille made great effort to gain institutional support of his own Church. Finally, after five years of activity, he received the recognition of the Anglican Church when its 1967 General Synod adopted the following resolution: "That this Synod calls upon the Church to seek positive dialogue with appropriate representative bodies of Jewish faith, and asks the Committee on Ecumenical Affairs to study this matter and seek ways of implementing such dialogue." (78)

As a highlight of his work and due to his good relations with Jones of the C.C.C.J., de Corneille was invited to serve as the Director of the International Conference of Christians and Jews, to be held in September, 1968, in Toronto. Since the topic of the conference was Christian-Jewish Relations: Overcoming the Barriers to Communication," de Corneille was selected because of his experience and the contacts he had made through the dialogue program. (79) Despite some criticism, (80) de Corneille rated the conference as "the most significant single event of 1968 in the field of Christian-Jewish relations." The dialogue program benefited from the conference as well as it contributed to its success. (81)

One of the developments in 1968 was that the dialogue became increasingly ecumenical. Roman Catholics, United Church members, Presbyterians, and Disciples of Christ joined the Anglicans, Now, dialogue took place not only between Christians and Jews but also among Christians themselves. There was also a development in cooperation with Jews when Orthodox rabbis agreed to sit on panel dialogues and entered more freely into discussions. (82) Due to cooperation with the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, the dialogue activities spread outside the Toronto area to Montreal, Halifax, St. John, and Winnipeg. (83)

Table discussions that followed the official addresses by the representatives of the four denominations pointed to certain areas of tension. The Jews were particularly upset by the imbalance in coverage by The United Church Observer. Since 1967 the journal and its editor A. C. Forrest had constantly published anti-Israel criticism that led to a deep quarrel with the Canadian Jewish community. The lack of official United Church protest and the absence of balancing opinion reinforced Jewish impressions that the Observer represented the view of the United Church. (84) Jewish participants expressed criticism of the lack of Christian understanding of Jewish sensitivity to the existence of the State of Israel and to Jewish survival. Christians, meanwhile, expressed anxiety over Jewish "oversensitivity" and suspicion regarding the motives of Christians. Furthermore, Christians were unable to understand why Jews opposed their attitude toward Israel as a political state as subject to criticism as any other state. Christians were amazed at Jewish ignorance regarding Christianity as a monolithic religion. The obvious conclusion was that lack of communications caused those misunderstandings. Therefore, "Christians and Jews must learn and study together, and work together ... without, however, requiring a melting pot." (85)

During 1969 there was increased activity concerning dialogues. In Toronto five churches were involved in an ecumenical program involving 400 people. A larger program was held in Montreal comprising six churches, with 500 people. In addition, five dialogues were held in Toronto and five in Montreal. Particular attention was given to dialogues with young people. (86) The growing connections with the Roman Catholic Church led to a monthly luncheon meeting of spiritual leaders of the various denominations. These monthly luncheons became an "institution" that attracted rabbis, leaders of the United Church, Baptists, Pentecostals, and other Evangelicals. Each month a church leader presented a paper, which became the basis for discussion. Due to the fact that high-ranking church leaders including the Catholic archbishop and the Anglican bishop participated, with de Corneille as chair, the luncheon was an opportunity not only to discuss theology but also to settle practical interreligious community matters in an unofficial and friendly manner. (87)

As we have seen, after eight years of activities, interfaith dialogues became by 1970 a widespread phenomenon. Anglican parishes initiated on their own meetings with Jews even without consulting the office of de Corneille. The entrance of other denominations into the field of interreligious cooperation, particularly the Roman Catholics, along with the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion and the Lutherans, convinced de Corneille that Christian-Jewish dialogue should move in a "more ecumenical direction." This "ecumenical direction" meant not only the theological framework but also practical ones, as de Corneille specified them: "to move in a more ecumenical direction in terms of sponsorship, staffing and programming, and toward solving the housing problem of the work of Christian-Jewish Dialogue." He anticipated the engagement of a full-time Catholic worker and the addition of a Sister of Sion to the staff. (88)

The dialogue process was considered by members of the Toronto C.C.A.J.P. as an experimental project that was opposed by several conservative members. When the financial position became acute, because of the cancellation of contributions by several organizations--including the Missionary Society, the Women's Auxiliary and the Anglican Toronto Diocese--the decision to evacuate the dialogue center and the termination of de Corneille's directorship was almost natural.

Consequently, despite the extension of the dialogue program, the first phase of the Anglican project of Christian-Jewish dialogue ended in 1970. What had begun as a new and more efficient tactic for conversion gradually developed into a great success of dialogue. De Corneille succeeded, almost single-handedly, in overcoming many obstacles, including Christian and Jewish reservations, Although certain groups of the Jewish community in Toronto, such as the Orthodox rabbis and officials of the Canadian Jewish Congress, continued to suspect his motives, de Corneille's reputation among Jews was high. Lou Ronson, the Director of B'nai Brith Canada, later praised de Corneille's role in reconciliation between Anglicans and Jews, saying that among Anglicans de Corneille stood out for his understanding of Jews and Judaism. Moreover, as a strong supporter of Israel, he counterbalanced the pro-Palestinian elements among Anglicans. The Israeli Government appreciated his sympathetic approach and invited him to tour the country as its official guest. (89) Furthermore, he was so highly regarded in Jewish circles that they nominated him as the first non-Jew to direct the newly established Department of Human Rights funded by B'nai Brith. (90)

While among Jews de Corneille received respect, he faced more difficulties from among his own church. He complained of the "limitations which the programme has endured and the failure of the programme to have won the necessary support needed to overcome these limitations." He was particularly critical of the Synod Office of the Diocese of Toronto, "that the work has failed to win the needed support and recognition." (91)

With the resignation of de Corneille on January 1, 1971, as Director of the C.C.A.J.P., the Anglican initiative of the dialogue approach was transferred to an interfaith project, named the Christian-Jewish Dialogue in Toronto, which still operates successfully.

(1) "Anglicanism," Canadian Encyclopedia (1985), 1:57; "Anglican Church of Canada," Encyclopedia Canadiana, 1:164.

(2) William Portman, "A Century of Changes, 1890-1993: The General Synod," Anglican Journal 119 (September, 1993): 11.

(3) C. B. Mortlock, "The Christian Revolution," Canadian Churchman 63 (December 3, 1936): 691; F. D. V. Narborough, "The Danger of Pharisaism," Canadian Churchman 70 (February 11, 1943): 83.

(4) "Report of Board of Management, Missionary Society of the Church of England in Canada," Church of England in Canada (CEC), Journal of the Proceedings of the General Synod, 1946, pp. 129-130; See also "Missions to Jews," Journal of the Proceedings of the General Synod, 1943, pp. 147-148.

(5) "Nathaniel Institute, Toronto," Canadian Churchman 76 (August 18, 1949): 271-272.

(6) Quoted in Alan Davies and Marilyn E. Nefsky, "The Church of England in Canada and the Jewish Plight during the Nazi Era," Canadian Jewish Historical Society Journal 10 (Fall, 1988): 2. For a detailed discussion of the attitude of the Church of England in Canada to the Holocaust, see Davies and Nefsky, "Church of England," pp. 1-19; Alan Davies and Marilyn Nefsky, How Silent Were the Churches? Canadian Protestantism and the Jewish Plight during the Nazi Era (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1997); Marilyn Nefsky, "The Shadow of Evil: Nazism and Canadian Protestantism," in Alan Davies, ed., Antisemitism in Canada: A History and Interpretation (Waterloo, ON: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992), pp. 197-225.

(7) Roland de Corneille to the Rev. J. R. Brown, January 24, 1961, in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives, 87-15, box.9, file 2; hereafter cited as ADTA.

(8) Memo: "Subject: Equity in the Nathaniel Institute," October 16, 1961; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12.

(9) Audrey Forster to the Right Rev. H. R. Hunt, January 29, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f. 4.

(10) See "Progress Report of CCAJP for the months June-August 1962," submitted by Roland de Corneille, September, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b.3, f.6.

(11) Roland de Corneille, "The Real Meaning of the Dialogue Approach," June 5, 1961; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12.

(12) Order form of Roland de Corneille's book, Christianity and Jews: The Tragic Past and the Hopeful Future (New York: Harper and Row, 1966; Canadian edition titled Christianity and Jews:

Dialogue [Longmans Canada, Ltd., 1966]); for convenience, quotations are from the American edition. Also see C.C.A.J.P., Minutes, June 9 and September 29, 1964; ADTA, 87-15, b.3, f.5; and Ontario Jewish Archives, MG8/S, C.C.C.J., 1968, 35, f.30; hereafter cited as OJA.

(13) De Corneille, "Real Meaning of the Dialogue Approach."

(14) Ibid.

(15) Ibid.

(16) De Corneille to Brown, January 24, 1961.

(17) Ibid.

(18) De Corneille, "Real Meaning of the Dialogue Approach."

(19) Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, October 13, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4.

(20) Roland de Corneille, "Report on the Distribution of the Jewish Population in Metro Toronto," n.d. Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, May 20, 1961; Memo: de Corneille, "Summary," n.d.; ADTA, 87-15, b.3, f.6.

(21) "Recommendations by CCAJP," June 5, 1961; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12. This document was prepared by de Corneille; see Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, June 7, 1961; ADTA, 8715, b.3, f.6.

(22) Part III, "The New Centre," was omitted in the revised version: "Recommendations by CCAJP," submitted on November 7, 1961; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12.

(23) See part B, "The unpublicized policy of our work," in ibid.

(24) Ibid.

(25) Author's interview with Roland de Corneille, February 7, 2002.

(26) "Recommendations by CCAJP," November 7, 1961.

(27) "A specific programme for the 'dialogue approach,'" n.d.; although unsigned, the document was written on de Corneille's official stationary; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.2.

(28) Roland de Corneille, "Memo to all members of CCAJP," September 14, 1961; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12.

(29) Subject: "Equity in the Nathaniel Institute," October 16, 1961. When the Institute ceased to operate, the Anglican Diocese of Toronto used the building for other functions. Roland de Corneille, J. A. Watton, et al., to Bishop Frederick H. Wilkinson, November 7, 1961; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f.12.

(30) Roland de Corneille, "Progress Report to CCAJP, for the Year 1963"; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13. See also idem, "Dear Associate," July 4, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f. 12; and "Report for the Synod Journal for the CCAJP", nd. (ca. 1963); ADTA, 87-15, b.5, f.2.

(31) Minutes, C.C.A.J.P., October 29, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f.13.

(32) Author's interview with de Corneille, February 7, 2002.

(33) De Corneille, "Dear Associate," July 4, 1962.

(34) "Suggestions concerning Announcement of the Appointment of a Director," January 31, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13. Minutes, C.C.A.J.P., February 4, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13 See Bishop H. R. Hunt to Rabbi I. Amsel, December 28, 1962, and Bishop H. R. Hunt to Rabbi Stuart E. Rosenberg, December 29, 1962; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4.

(35) Author's interview with Roland de Corneille, July 20, 1995.

(36) Ben Kayfetz to Rabbi Jordan Pearlson, December 28, 1982; OJA, MG 8/S, CCCJ, 1982. About the suspicion of the leaders of the Congress and a dossier of materials on de Corneille, author's interview with Les Scheiningen, former president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, December 15, 2001. On the other hand, later, in October, 1965, de Corneille refused to allow Malvern P. Jacobs, who was converted to Christianity and was working for conversion, to join a course on the Christian faith. See Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, October 5, 1965; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.7.

(37) Roland de Corneille to Rabbi Stuart Rosenberg, May 8, 1963, and Rosenberg to de Corneille, May 14, 1963; the Archives of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue of Toronto.

(38) Roland de Corneille to Rabbi Albert Pappenheim, September 22, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4.

(39) Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, September 21, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4.

(40) Roland de Corneille, "Dear Associate: Christian-Jewish Dialogue," October 1, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13.

(41) Ibid. See the suggested resolution, beginning with the words "Whereas during ...," n.d.; ADTA, 87-15, b.7, f.8.

(42) Bishop Frederick H. Wilkinson to the Rabbi and Congregation of Holy Blossom Temple, November 10, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.2.

(43) Minutes, C.C.A.J.P., June 17, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13.

(44) Minutes, C.C.A.J.P., November 25, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f 13.

(45) Minutes, C.C.A.J.P., June 17, 1963.

(46) De Corneille, Christians and Jews, p. 93.

(47) Phyllis Napier, "Report to CCAJP," March 1, 1966; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.6.

(48) Ibid.

(49) C.C.A.J.P., "Conference: Dialogue and Faithfulness to the Gospel, May 3-4, 1963"; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13. Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, March 20, 1963; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4.

(50) Roland de Corneille to Bishop H. R. Hunt, June 11, 1964; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4.

(51) See Roland de Corneille, "The Church and the Jews" and "The Mission of the Church to the

Jewish People"; ADTA, 87-15, b.9, f.4. Also see idem, "Christian-Jewish Dialogue: General Trends and Theological Considerations," December 3, 1964; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12.

(52) Roland de Corneille, Christian-Jewish Dialogue (Anglican), "Dear Associate," June 15, 1965; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.7. See also Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Summary and Recommendations," December 3, 1964; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.12; and "Jews Visitors at Our Churches," The Anglican Journal 91 (April, 1965): 7.

(53) Cited in postcript by Rabbi Balfour Brickner, in de Corneille, Christians and Jews, pp. 136137.

(54) Two Toronto Reform rabbis, Louis J. Cashdan of Temple Emanu-el and Jordan Pearlson of Temple Sinai, disapproved these recommendations, supporting dialogue with Christians: "Topics Jews Should Shun," The Telegram (Toronto), January 25, 1966.

(55) Roland de Corneille, Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Dear Associate," September 22, 1966; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.5.

(56) "Developments and New Problems," February 11, 1964; "The Report is strictly confidential"; ADTA, 87-15, b. 4, f.3. See also "General Trends and Theological Considerations," December 3, 1964.

(57) Roland de Corneille, "Confidential Report to CCAJP," March 1, 1966; ADTA, 87-15, b.4, f. 1 ; emphasis in original.

(58) Ibid.; emphasis in original.

(59) See note 12, above.

(60) De Corneille, Christians and Jews, p. viii.

(61) Roland de Corneille and Phyllis Napier, "Summary Report on the Work of Christian-Jewish Dialogue, October, 1966"; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f.2.

(62) Wilfred F. Butcher, "Christians and Jews: Dialogue," Horizons, no. 19 (January-February, 1967): 4.

(63) Roland de Corneille, Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Dear Associate," Christmas, 1966; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.5.

(64) Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Report from June 15, 1965, to May 31, 1966"; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.13.

(65) "Summary Report on the Work of Christian-Jewish Dialogue, made by the Director and Assistant Director to the Bishop's Special Committee," October, 1966, p. 2; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.2.

(66) "Report of Special Committee on the CCAJP," n.d.; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f. 13.

(67) Ibid.

(68) Bishop H. R. Hunt to Donald Bradbury, December 16, 1966; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.3.

(69) "Special Committee re Christian-Jewish Dialogue," n.d.; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f.2.

(70) The Rev. Canon T. E. Jones, Ad hoc Committee re Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Report to Executive Committee, Department of Missions," February 14, 1967; ADTA, 87-15, b. 16, f.2.

(71) Minutes of C.C.A.J.P., March 27, 1967; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.4.

(72) The Canadian Conference of Christians and Jews was established in 1940 with the purpose "to promote justice, amity and understanding and cooperation among Catholics, Jews and Protestants ... and to analyze, moderate and finally eliminate inter-group prejudices which disfigure and distort religious, business, social and political relations." For a detailed discussion of the .C.C.C.J.'s activities and cooperation with the Christian-Jewish Dialogue, see Fellowship (the Monthly Bulletin of the C.C.C.J.) (Toronto), no. 1 (June, 1940); "The CCCJ--its origin, purpose, objectives, programmes," n.d.; OJA, MGS/S, JCRC, CCCJ, 1980.

(73) Minutes of C.C.A.J.P., April 14, 1967; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.4.

(74) "Report to the Executive Committee," March 21, 1968, "Re: Christian Approach to the Jewish People"; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.3.

(75) For the anti-Israel approach of national and international bodies such as the World Council of Churches, the Canadian Council of Churches, and the United Church of Canada, after 1967, see Haim Genizi, The Holocaust, Israel, and Canadian Protestant Churches (Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002).

(76) Roland de Corneille, Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Dear Associate," October, 1967; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.4.

(77) "Summary, International Conference of Christians and Jews, September 2-6, 1968, Toronto," pp. 4-5; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.3. See de Corneille's proposal to the Synod for fighting Antisemitism through dialogue: Minutes of the C.C.A.J.P., May 23, 1967; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.4.

(78) "Progress Report of Christian-Jewish Dialogue," November, 1968; ADTA, 87-15, b.3, f.4.

(79) Roland de Corneille, Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Dear Associate," October, 1968; ADTA, 87-15, b.16, f.3.

(80) 1968 International Conference of Christians and Jews, "Delegates' Evaluation"; OJA, MG8/S, JCRC, CCCJ, b.35, f.30, 1968.

(81) "Progress Report of Christian-Jewish Dialogue," November, 1968; ADTA, 87-15, b.3, f.4.

(82) Roland de Corneille, Christian-Jewish Dialogue, "Dear Associate," Lent, 1968; ADTA, 8715, b. 16, f.3.

(83) "Progress Report of Christian-Jewish Dialogue," November, 1968.

(84) For a detailed discussion of the United Church-Jewish quarrel, see Genizi, Holocaust, Israel, chaps. 6-10.

(85) "Toronto Dialogue Conference Sponsored by Christian-Jewish Dialogue" (Anglican), on February 22-23, 1969; the Archives of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Toronto, OL04, DT08, Religious Leaders.

(86) "Report Submitted to the Board of Community Services for the Covening Journal of Synod," March 17, 1970; ADTA, 87-15, b.5, f.3.

(87) Author's interview with Rabbi Erwin Schild, December 11, 2001.

(88) Memo: De Corneille to Bishop George Snell, June 5, 1970; ADTA, 87-15, b.4, f.4.

(89) Israel's invitation is in Minutes of C.C.A.J.P., October 1, 1968; ADTA, 87-15, b.3, f.5.

(90) Author's interview with Lou Ronson, July 14, 1995.

(91) "Drawbacks to the Programme," pp. 2-3 of an untitled memorandum that begins with "Questions"; ADTA, 87-15, b.7, f.8.

Haim Genizi (Jewish) is a Professor Emeritus of Bar Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel, Where he taught history from 1967 till 2002. He has also served as a visiting professor at Hebrew University in Jerusalem (1978-80), Brooklyn (NY) College (1990-91), and York University in Toronto (1995, 1998-99, 2001). Born in Budapest, he holds a B.A. in history and Bible and an M.A. in American history from Bar Ilan University, as well as a Ph.D. in American history from the City University of New York (1968). His English-language books include American Apathy: The Plight of Christian Refugees from Nazism (Bar Ilan University Press, 1983), America's Fair Share: The Admission and Resettlement of the DP's, 1945-1952 (Wayne State University Press, 1993), and The Holocaust, Israel, and Canadian Protestant Churches (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002). He has published several books in Hebrew, as well as several dozen articles in professional journals and edited books published in England, Israel, and North America. He has made presentations to a wide variety of international conferences, including several of the Annual Scholars' Conferences on the Holocaust and the Churches, throughout Europe, North America, and Israel. He was director of the Begin Institute for the Study of Underground and Resistance Movements, 1984-98.
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