JEWISH leaders and Catholic officials agreed on March 22 to cancel a planned meeting in May between the Pope and Dutch .lets after a dispute over the agenda.
The meetiag as scheduled to be held when the Pope visited the Netherlands during a trip scheduled to include Belgium and LUxembourg in mid-May.
Maurits Goudeket, a spokesman for the Jewish community, said that Jew's had agreed to meet with Pope John Paul on the condition that he would "speak about .the state of Israel as a fact" and "express the guilt feelings of the Catholic Church before and during World War II and the period of the Holocaust." He said Jewish delegates were told the Pope could not speak about guilt feelings because it was not possible for one Pope to discuss the actions of a predecessor.
The Archdiocese of Utrecht said in a lengthy statement on March 22 that the issue had unexpectedly ignited "intense emotions among the Jewish community. in the Netherlands," It said that "Christians still had not been able to win back the violated trust of the entire Jewish community." All but a few thousand of the 100,000-member pre-war Dutch Jewish community were sent to Nazi death camps, arid few returned. Goudeket, vv ho represents the organisation of liberal-religious Jews in the Netherlands, said Dutch Jews objected to a meeting with the Pope because of the Vatican's position regarding Israel and its alleged World War II policies towards Jews.
"the Vatican has no diplomatic relations with Israel. Vatican officials have said there would be no official recognition of the Jewish state until a wide range of Middle East issues are resolved. Those include the status of Jerusalem, disagreement over borders, resettlement of Palestinian refugees and security for Lebanon, officials have said,