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Israelis, Vatican Decry Suicide Bombings

March 08, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

VATICAN CITY — The first meeting between an Israeli delegation and high-level Catholic officials for interfaith dialogue concluded this week with a joint statement condemning suicide bombings.

"Taking any human life, including one's own, even in the name of God, is sacrilegious," said the statement, which also upheld the sanctity of human life and urged respect for family values.

The statement was issued by members of the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, who met at Grottaferrata near Rome.

"No religious leader can condone terrorism anywhere in the world," the statement said. "It is a profanation of religion to declare oneself a terrorist in the name of God, to do violence to others in his name. Terrorist violence everywhere in the world is a contradiction of faith in God."

The delegations were led by Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, an Argentine prelate who is a church librarian, and Rabbi Shar Yishuv Cohen.

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