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Pope's Meeting With Waldheim

July 05, 1987

It was a mistake for Pope John Paul II to meet Kurt Waldheim. The Pope is the highest moral conscience in the world, and he meets a man who is a former Nazi officer, one who has lied about his military service, who is unrepentant of Nazi atrocities and whose war crimes have been recognized by the United States.

How can the Pope do such a thing? Surely he remembers that the Jews have endured 1,500 years of violence and hostility from the Catholic Church. Happily much progress has been made in Jewish-Catholic relations in the last 20 years. But this meeting can only weaken relations. Already two Jewish organizations have indicated that they will not meet with the Pope in September.

The Vatican showed poor judgment in this matter. It is, however, something that can be settled amicably, though it won't be easy. But the Vatican created the problem; now it is up to the Vatican to resolve it.

DON RADEMACHER

Los Angeles

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