CATHOLIC STAND ON CONVERTS IRKS JEWS
THE international conference of Christians
and Jews at Cambridge this week opened with a sharp confrontation between the Roman Catholic representative, Mr. Christopher Hollis, and the Jewish delegates.
Mr. Hollis, giving an address to the first conference of its kind in 20 years to promote co-operation between Christians and Jews, "admitted that Catholics pray for conversions, but our prime business. as Newman said, is not with conversions but with the edification of Catholics".
He was speaking in defence of the Vatican Council references to conversion, though he added that the Church did not believe that only Roman Catholics could be saved.
The representative of the World Jewish Congress Dr. I. Levy, replied to Mr. Hollis that Jews were put off the Vatican Council attitude to them by its very use of the word "conversions". Though the Council's intentions were no doubt good, this hindered its being well received by Jews. A plea to know what the word was supposed to mean was made by Mr. Justice Harry Batshaw, a Jewish judge of the Montreal Superior Court.
More than 70 delegates from 10 countries have been assembled at Newnham College for the conference, which opened on Monday of this week and ends this Sunday. The menace of neo-Nazism was a dominant theme from the start.
The opening address was given by the chairman, High Court Judge Sir Seymour Karminski, a leading figure in the British Jewish community. He called on the conference to aim at reaching those "dull and unhappy people who are the most vulnerable to antisemitism".
Three key addresses followed, reflecting the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish attitudes to relations between the two religions. On Tuesday the conference divided into four commissions to carry out the main part of their work. One main topic was the development of neoNazism and the challenge which this, as well as Communism, presents to the "traditional order of society". The conference has been organised between Britain's Council of Christians and Jews and the International Consultative Committee of Organisations for Christian-Jewish Cooperation. It has brought together leading scholars, theologians, legal luminaries and others from the United States, Canada, Austria, France, Germany, Holland, Israel, Italy, Switzerland and Britain.
The purpose of the conference, one of the most important and significant of its kind since World War II, is officially stated to be the study of Continued Page 7, Col. 7