Yeshiva University and Catholic Clergy sign now

In support of Yeshiva Universitys decision to host members of the Catholic clergy, and in particular to show them the Beit Midrash, we, the undersigned, state the following:

(a) In a world increasingly hostile to the Jewish people, the Catholic Church, through its network of over a billion followers spanning the globe, is an extremely important ally in the battle against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel forces. In the face of rising Islamic anti-Semitism in the Middle East and Europe, in the face of non-Catholic Christian economic pressure against Israel - in the form of divestment campaigns by the World Council of Churches and the United States Presbyterian Church - and in the face of a global community bent on ignoring anti-Semitism and propagating falsehoods about Israel, it is of utmost importance to forge a "friendship" based on mutual interests and goodwill. This is not a religious statement, but rather an expression of pragmatic political necessity coupled with a desire for "friendly relations" among world bodies in general.

(b) With the culmination of the Second Vatican Council in 1965, Christians set out on an unprecedented path toward reconciliation. Among other resolutions, the Catholic Church decreed in Nostra Aetate, "[T]he Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone." Though we do not disregard the countless horrors inflicted upon the Jewish people by the Vatican in past centuries, we do recognize that the modern Church has taken a very different approach and that their friendship now is invaluable. We refuse to let the tragedies of the past indefinitely chart the course of interaction with an obviously reformed Church.

(c) In full accordance with the Ravs view, we would oppose any effort to engage in "religious dialogue" with anyone of another faith. However, in agreement with Rabbis Norman Lamm, Zevulun Charlop, Jeremy Wieder, Yosef Blau, Eugene Korn, Julius Berman, and others, the discussion that takes place at Yeshiva University is not "religious dialogue."

(d) The impression made upon visiting Clergy, particularly in the Beit Midrash, is a worthy achievement, if not a Kiddush Hashem. It is a most notable accomplishment when we demonstrate the essentiality and timelessness of Torah, the healthy and dynamic state of our religious service, and the depth of our commitment to G-d simply by doing what we do everyday. We are not after their approval; we are only exploiting a significant opportunity to perpetuate G-ds name and honor in this world.

With these four points in mind, we hereby support Yeshiva University in its decision to engage members of the Catholic Church. It is our hope and prayer that the Jewish people benefit from ever-improving Jewish-Catholic relations, and that the other denominations and religions of the globe soon follow suit towards a more peaceful and tolerant coexistence.

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Vicki FrenchBy:
Technology and the InternetIn:
Petition target:
Yeshiva University Administration

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