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Statement to the press from the meeting of the bilateral committee
of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews
and the Chief Rabbinate of Israel


From our meeting in Grottaferrata (Rome), October 17-19, 2004, we issue this declaration.

Conscious of the fact that there is not wide enough awareness in our respective communities of the momentous change that has taken place in the relationship between Catholics and Jews; and in light of our own committee's work and our current discussions on a shared vision for a just and ethical society; we declare:

1. We are not enemies, but unequivocal partners in articulating the essential moral values for the survival and welfare of human society.

2. Jerusalem has a sacred character for all the children of Abraham. We call on all relevant authorities to respect this character and to prevent actions which offend the sensibilities of religious communities that reside in Jerusalem and hold her dear.

3. We call on religious authorities to protest publicly when actions of disrespect towards religious persons, symbols and Holy Sites are committed, such as the desecration of cemeteries and the recent assault on the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. We call on them to educate their communities to behave with respect and dignity towards people and towards their attachment to their faith.



1. Rabbino Shar Yishuv Cohen, già Rabbino Capo di Haifa

2. Rabbino Rasson Arussi, Rabbino Capo di Kiryat Ono

3. Rabbino Yossef Azran, Rabbino Capo di Rishon-Lezion

4. Rabbino David Brodman, Direttore generale del Centro per l’educazione ebraica a Savyon

5. Rabbino David Rosen, Direttore internazionale per gli affari interreligiosi

6. Signor Oded Wiener, Direttore generale del Gran Rabbinato di Israele a Gerusalemme



1. Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Jorge María Mejía

2. Sua Eminenza il Cardinale Georges Cottier, O.P.

3. Sua Eccellenza Mons. Pietro Sambi

4. Sua Eccellenza Mons. Giacinto-Boulos Marcuzzo

5. Mons. Pier Francesco Fumagalli

6. P. Norbert Hofmann, S.D.B.