SIDIC Collection on Judaism and Jewish-Christian Relations Inaugurated at Gregorian University
Rome - An address by Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and remarks by other leading Catholic and Jewish officials, marked the inauguration of the SIDIC Library Collection and Documentation Centre at the Gregorian University in Rome on 17 October 2002. SIDIC, the Service International de Documentation Judéo-Chrétienne (International Jewish-Christian Documentation Service), is a project of the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion, commonly known as the Sisters of Sion.
'We cannot define Christianity and its identity without making reference to Judaism,' said Cardinal Kasper, 'which is not the case with Islam, Buddhism, or any other religion. Judaism belongs to the very roots of Christianity.' He called for continuing efforts to overcome antisemitism and foster positive relations between the two communities. Noting that the church 'should not be afraid of the historical truth,' Cardinal Kasper stated that the archives of the Holy See will make available in 2003 the full correspondence between the Vatican and the German government up to 1939.
Remarks were also offered at the inauguration ceremony by Fr. Franco Imoda, S.J., Rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University; Sr. Mechthild Vahle, N.D.S., Superior General of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sion; Dr. Yosef Lamdan, Ambassador of Israel to the Holy See; Dr. Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome; and Archbishop Joseph Pittau, S.J., Secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education.
The SIDIC Library Collection, which consists of more than 6,000 volumes, will form a significant resource for the Gregorian University's Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies, functioning as part of its Institute for the Study of Religions and Cultures. Further development of the collection will be supported by the newly established Gerhard Riegner Memorial Fund, named in honor of the late Secretary General of the World Jewish Congress, who was the first to sound the alarm in the United States and Britain about the Nazis' genocidal program.
SIDIC - www.sidic.org
Kasper address - www.bc.edu/bc_org/research/cjl/articles/Kasper_SIDIC.htm