Jewish leaders, angered by what they perceive as a series of affronts to their faith, have indefinitely postponed a summit meeting with Roman Catholics here next month to discuss whether the Catholic Church adequately resisted the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews during World War II.

Following a meeting in New York Monday night, representatives of five Jewish groups cabled the Vatican that "in view of recent developments," Dec. 14-16 "would not be a favorable time" for the interfaith dialogue that had been planned since March.

The most recent development to upset Jewish leaders is a comment by an influential Vatican official, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. In an interview published last month in the Italian weekly, Il Sabato, Ratzinger was quoted as saying that while the attitude of the pope toward Jews is "one of respect," he also holds to a "theological line" in regard to dialogue.

"This always implies our union with the faith of Abraham but also the reality of Jesus Christ, in which the faith of Abraham finds its fulfillment," Ratzinger is quoted as saying.

When Jewish leaders protested Ratzinger's comments as implying that Jews can be "fulfilled" in their faith only by converting to Christianity, the Vatican said his words had been taken out of context and mistranslated, distorting his intentions.

On Wednesday the Vatican released a statement summarizing "the intention of Cardinal Ratzinger," along with the transcript of the Ratzinger interview in his native German.

As a result, said Eugene Fisher, who heads the American bishops' office for Jewish relations, "the Ratzinger matter has been clarified."

Some Jewish leaders disagreed. "German is my native language," said Rabbi Wolfe Kelman of New York, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Assembly of Conservative Judaism. In his view, the German text "does not modify {Ratzinger's} position; if anything it deepens it . . . . What Ratzinger is saying is that the ideal for Jews is to become Christian."

Jewish-Catholic amity was shaken this year by the Vatican's canonization of the Jewish-born convert Edith Stein, by the construction of a convent for Polish nuns at the Auschwitz concentration camp where millions of Jews were murdered, and by Pope John Paul's audience with Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, accused of participation in Nazi atrocities during World War II.

The rift was papered over in late summer by a meeting of the pope and Vatican officials with Jewish leaders.

Both sides said they looked to the December session to explore what the church did and did not do to save Jews from the Holocaust.

But in September, the pope raised Jewish hackles again in his meeting with Jewish leaders in Miami when he defended the World War II role of Pope Pius XII, who many Jews believe was too timid in his resistance to Nazism.

The cumulative effect of these incidents led to the cancelation of next month's talks.

"We need to reconsider the general thrust of this meeting and to redraft our agenda," said Rabbi Mordecai Waxman, chairman of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultation, the coalition that coordinates the dialogue for the Jewish side. Waxman said he is awaiting response from the Vatican before taking steps to reschedule the talks.

"We don't want to approach {the study of the Holocaust} in a confrontational manner," said Elan Steinberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress. "What we don't want is a meeting with Vatican scholars justifying {the actions of} Pius XII, and the Jewish scholars saying it ain't so."