Jewish Group Honors Cardinal

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, received the American Jewish Committee’s Isaiah Interreligious Award April 30 at the closing session of the AJC’s annual meeting in Washington.

The award, honoring extraordinary achievement in interreligious affairs, was given to the cardinal because of his “long-standing commitment to Jewish-Catholic dialogue and leadership in advancing understanding between the two faiths,” the AJC said in a news release.

Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s international director of interreligious affairs, presented the award.

“Cardinal Kasper has made some of the most far-reaching statements regarding the Catholic Church and Judaism, has firmly opposed attempts to proselytize Jews and has been a champion in the struggle against anti-Semitism and anti-Judaism,” Rabbi Rosen said.

The cardinal said he was “deeply moved by this high distinction” and expressed gratitude “as a German, as a Catholic theologian and as president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with Jews” for the honor.

“I am deeply grateful that I have been able to contribute to making a difference in relations between our two communities and to the healing process of the deep wounds inherited from the past,” Cardinal Kasper added.

He said he considered his work “not merely a duty, but rather a personally engaging and fulfilling task.”

In remarks at the AJC meeting, Cardinal Kasper said Catholics and Jews “have embarked on a vision of the world without anti-Semitism and anti-Catholicism.”

“We strive together to make a difference in the world, working for the good of our children and the children of our children so that atrocities such as the Holocaust can never happen again,” he added.

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