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Saturday, 30 May 1964



We thank you for your Visit, and We greet with attentive esteem the courteous words you have adressed to Us.

We have heard with gratification the resolution you have manifested «to safeguard the religious and cultural freedom of all people, and the rights of all groups to develop the human values God has given them, free from coercion and discrimination».

We are glad of the opportunity you offer Us of confirming what is already well-known concerning the attitude of the Catholic Church, and in particular of the Holy See, towards the Jews. This name of Jew, in fact, raises several questions, which We consider with serene attention:

First of all, the racial question; and in this regard We repeat the heartfelt wish expressed, on numerous occasions, by Our venerated Predecessors: namely, that this should never be for you, or for any other ethnic group, a reason for undergoing any diminution in your human rights, which every civilization truly worthy of the name cannot avoid recognizing.

Second, the political question, which it is not Our business to pronounce Ourself upon, especially at this time; although We always desire and augur that it find just and peaceful solutions, both for the populations who have already sustained so many trials and sufferings, and also by reason of the interests which the Catholic Church, and the other Christian Churches, may have therein, and which must not be disregarded.

Finally, the religious aspect, which interests Us most deeply, and motivates Our particular consideration for the Jewish religious tradition, with which Christianity is so intimately linked, and from which it derives hope for trusting relations and for a happy future.

Hence, while We again strongly deplore the horrible ordeals of which the Jews have been the victims in recent years, We wish you every favor from God, Whom We invoke with all Our heart on your behalf, and that of all those who are near and dear to you.


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