In what may be his last official Passover message to Jews, John Cardinal O'Connor, the spiritual leader for millions of New York Catholics, sent out a heartfelt letter to Jewish colleagues saying he is ashamed of the hateful actions of Catholics in the past, and asks that he be remembered by Jews as their friend.
The 78-year-old archbishop, who suggests that he will retire early next year, wrote that at Passover, he is reminded of "the steadfast faith of Jews throughout the generations."
With preparations under way for Pope John Paul's historic Millennium visit to Jerusalem next March, the question of the Vatican's political position on the future of the Holy City takes on greater significance.Some Jewish leaders may not like what they hear. Talking to Jewish interfaith leaders at recent conference in Washington, D.C., Vatican Foreign Minister Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran advocated that all the "holy places" in Israel be put under "international guarantees" of access.
One of the nation's top Greek Orthodox events will feature two Jewish speakers. Author Elie Wiesel will be presented with the Athenagoras Humanitarian Award on Saturday night at the Annual Grand Banquet of the Order of St. Andrew.
Wiesel joins former President Jimmy Carter and the late Mother Theresa as past winners of the humanitarian prize.
The leader of the Ukrainian Catholics in America has panned Mel Gibson's "The Passion" as a shallow, violent work that could incite hostility toward Jews.
Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Archdiocese of Philadelphia said he would not recommend it to friends, true believers or children.
Mel Gibson's mouth has turned into a lethal weapon.
So suggests Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, following a series of published and oral comments made by the award-winning Hollywood actor and director concerning his controversial upcoming movie about the death of Jesus of Nazareth.
"Recent statements by Mel Gibson paint the portrait of an anti-Semite," Foxman told The Jewish Week Tuesday.
Inside the third-floor conference hall, Cardozo Law School officials beamed with pride as Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu accepted a peace award sponsored by the school, an affiliate of Yeshiva University.
But outside the hall, a group of students protested the selection by fellow students of Archbishop Tutu as the fourth recipient of the International Advocate for Peace Award, labeling him an anti-Semite and opponent of Israel.
"Anti-Semite on campus," called out Cardozo student Yishai Fleisher, a bearded man sporting a yarmulke and tzitizit.
The "Jewish" cardinal from Paris arrived here Monday to help launch an innovative weeklong program to teach French priests about Jewish life, New York style.
Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, the Jewish-born Roman Catholic archbishop of Paris, delivered a 40-minute address about the future of Catholic-Jewish relations during a dinner sponsored by the World Jewish Congress attended by about 50 interfaith observers.
Last January, dozens of well-heeled New Yorkers gathered at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria to raise money for the archbishop of New York's last gesture toward the Jewish community he held so dear.
The archbishop's birthday dinner raised $1.5 million for the establishment of the John Cardinal O'Connor Distinguished Chair in Hebrew and Sacred Scripture at St. Joseph's Seminary, the Westchester institution that trains future priests. O'Connor wanted to teach seminarians greater respect for the Jewish roots of Christianity.