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VALLEY SUMMIT OF CATHOLICS, JEWS SEEKS TO PATCH DIFFERENCES.

Byline: Robert Monroe Staff Writer

A religious summit made singular by the presence of the leaders of Southern California's Roman Catholic and Jewish communities drew 1,500 to Valley Beth Shalom on Wednesday evening.

The message from Cardinal Roger Mahony and Rabbi Harold Schulweis and other clergy was that this dialogue was an important step - although only one - toward reconciliation of past differences between the two religious groups.

``We are here because the God we worship will not be segregated,'' said Schulweis, one of Southern California's most prominent Jewish leaders. ``We are here to open a new era, to turn a new page in the Jewish-Catholic relationship.''

Catholics and Jews have attempted for at least three decades to abate an animosity that has been centuries in the making, the religious leaders said. Wednesday's event comes as Jews have praised the Vatican's acknowledgment of its silence during the Holocaust but criticize Pope John Paul II's recent attempts to beatify Pope Pius XII, who led the church during World War II.

Jewish speakers said Wednesday that Catholics have not gone far enough in atonement. They have not explicitly apologized for their indifference or collusion with Nazi Germany, Rabbi Yosef Kanefsky said.

``Why is it religions can generate such epic moral failures?'' asked Kanefsky, rabbi of B'Nai David-Judea Congregation in Los Angeles.

The Rev. Patrick Mullen, a biblical studies professor at St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, emphasized the commonality between Jews and Christians to the applause of an audience that organizers said appeared split evenly between followers of the two religions.

Referring to Jesus, Mullen said, ``this man was a Jew. It is inconceivable that anyone in his name should persecute Jews.''

Mahony and Schulweis ended the program by lighting candles in remembrance of Jews killed in the Holocaust.

``We share the common hope that we will continue to grow in mutual understanding and respect through the kind of dialogue we participated in this evening,'' Mahony said. ``Even the candor with which we express our disagreements is indicative of this progress.''
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 30, 1999
Words:338
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