The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn will publish new guidelines for interreligous relations that emphasize that "efforts to convert Jews to Christianity, whether overt or subtle, or the implication that Jucaism is an 'incomplete faith' are unacceptable for dialogue."
In addition to Catholic-Jewish relations, the guidelines update directives on Catholic-Jewish relations published in 1968, with sections aded for the first time on relations with other non-Christian religions.
The directives state that "in certain instances the faith of Islam has been a victim of oversimplification and even inaccurate caricature." The guidelines mention belief in a monotheistic God, identification with the Prophet Abraham and reverence for Jesus and Mary as points of Islamic convergence with Christianity.
Noting the significant presence of Asians in the Brooklyn area, the guidelines lament that dialogue with Buddhists and Hindus is "still in its infancy" and encourages more contact to increase understanding.
In addition to discouraging proselytizing, other areas of sensitivity in Catholic-Jewish relations stressed by the guidelines include:
"The State of Israel: American Jews feel a very strong bond of a kinship to Jews throughout the world and especially to Jews in the State of Israel. To many Jews, indeed as to marry Christians, the establishment of the State of Israel represents the fulfillment of the divine promises set forth in Scripture."
Interfaith marriage: Jews are greatly concerned with preserving the Jewish people and Judism as its way of life, and experience has demonstrated that intermarriage will inevitably lead to the diminution of the Jewish community."
"Anti-Semitism: Sources of interreligious animosity should be identified with openness and candor, and an earnest effort should be made to reach a mature understanding of each other's convictions."
According to the Rev. Ignatius Catnello, chairman of the Brooklyn Diocesan Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, the new guide-lines were drawn up after extensive consulation with the local Jewish community and leaders of other non-Christ faiths.