A TOP Vatican official last week denied that comments made by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, concerning the relationship between Christianity and Judaism had anything to do with the postponement of a Catholic— Jewish conference on the Holocaust scheduled for midDecember (Catholic Herald October 30).
Fr Duprey, vice President for Relations Between Christians and Jews, said the delay was due to a joint decision to "broaden the perspective of the meeting", in the light of events which had occurred since the conference was first planned.
He had in mind the meeting between Vatican officials and Jewish leaders in August and the reception by US Jewish leaders in September of the Pope and the dialogue commission's President Cardinal Willebrands during the former's pastoral visit to the country.
Cardinal Ratzinger's published comments in October about Judaism only finding its fulfilment ip the acceptance of Christ as the Messiah, the row over the beatification of the Jewish nun Edith Stein, and the reception of President Waldheim of Austria by the Pope despite rumours of his part in wartime persecution of Jews angered Jewish leaders and impeded dialogue.
The postponed conference on the Holocaust was intended by the Vatican to be a way of smoothing over troubled waters.