April 24, 2002

Memory of John XXIII will be honoured


Thirty years ago, in Latin America, the idea of investigating the texts related to the Nuncio Angelo Roncalli during his mission in Istanbul and in the Balkan countries came up, as was informed in Manhattan by the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation.

A commission integrated by the author of the initiative, Baruch Tenembaum, the rabbis Jacobo Fink and Schlessinger, the historians Boleslao Levin, Stanford Shaw, Christian Feldman, ]ohn Morley, Ira Hirschmann, Peter Hebblethwate, Ted Szulc, Arthur Morse, Giancarlo Zizola, Barry Rubin, Stefano Trinchesse and Randolph Brahan, prepared the project that took many years of hard work and that ended a few weeks ago, with the conclusions of the reports being summed up by the vice-president of the Jerusalem branch of the Wallenberg International Foundation, Dr. Mario Ablin.

Nuncio Roncalli was elected Pope taking the name of John XXIII, and established the foundation for the interconfessional labour in the Vatican Council that announced historical decisions with the spirit of respect and reconciliation, as it had already been pointed out by Baruch Tenembaum, Schlessinger, Arthur Herzberg, Abraham Foxman and Zvi Kolitz, in the public presentation, attended among others by the Vatican Secretary of State, Angel Sodano.

The group of intellectuals, community leaders, rabbis and historians that 30 years ago came up with the idea of honouring Nuncio Roncalli, informed the different factors of the public opinion, through reports number 1, 2, 3, including Yad Vashem, the Vatican, ADL and 105 Interfaith Organizations, and 40 heads of states who are members of the Raoul Wallenberg International Foundation.

AndreƩ Chouraqui, of Jerusalem, and a group of European and American leaders will soon summon the members of the Roncalli International Committee for the awaited announcement and the launch of the activity programme.