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Wednesday, 24 November 1976

Dear friends,

As we have done in the past, we extend again today a cordial welcome to members of your “Anti-Defamation League”.

You are well aware of our teaching on discrimination of all kinds. We have repeatedly expressed our position on this subject. Indeed, it was clearly stated to the leaders of your group whom we received in audience on another occasion (Cfr. PAULI PP. VI Allocutio diei 2 iunii 1971).

And we are happy to know that so many of our Jewish brethren are pleased that we have established a Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and that this Commission has published “Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration ‘Nostra Aetate’, no. 4”.

On our part we express deep satisfaction over the improvement that has taken place in Jewish-Christian relations, and we express the hope that collaboration will continue to foster mutual understanding and esteem.

Among other things, the above-mentioned “Guidelines and Suggestions” speak in the following terms: “In the spirit of the prophets, Jews and Christians will work willingly together, seeking social justice and peace at every level-local, national, and international” (Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration «Nostra Aetate», no. 4, IV).

We see rich possibilities of collaboration open up before us who are of the “Jewish and Christian tradition, founded on the Word of God” and “aware of the value of the human person, the image of God” (Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration «Nostra Aetate», no. 4, IV).

Our own appeals for peace are coupled with our appeals for the recognition of human dignity and the value of human life. Indeed, our motto for the coming World Day of Peace is: “If you want peace, defend life”-defend human life against anything that wounds, weakens, dishonors or destroys life.

Yes, the God of justice and the God of peace, who is the Lord of life, is our common Father and the source of our brotherhood. And upon all of you we invoke his light and strength.


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