Catholic-Jewish project to fight AIDS in Africa

This week, Catholic and Jewish leaders are expected to discuss how the two religious groups can work together to stop the spread of AIDS in Africa, reported Haaretz.

A number of Jewish scholars and rabbis and 27 bishops and cardinals from around the world will meet to discuss this first-ever project at an international religious conference, which opens today in New York. The World Jewish Congress is sponsoring the conference for the third year.

Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger, who recently retired as archbishop of Paris, Walter Cardinal Kaspar of Germany, president of the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, and Israel Singer, chairman of the World Jewish Congress governing board are expected to speak at the opening session.

Bishops from China, India, Brazil, Argentina, South Korea and the Ukraine, and four cardinals from Africa will also attend.

There is an "unavoidable need for close cooperation between the two faiths on social issues," Singer told Haaretz.

The conference is expected to issue a closing statement that "the two faiths cannot remain passive in the face of the human tragedy taking place in Africa due to the spread of AIDS."

The conference comes on the 40th anniversary of the 1965 Church document, Nostre Aetate, which addresses Catholic-Jewish relations.

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