ADL Denounces As "Height Of Hypocrisy" Southern Baptist's Charge that Catholic Church is Anti-Semitic
New York, NY, August 21, 2002 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today criticized as "completely absurd" and "the height of hypocrisy" a Southern Baptist leader's boldface assertion that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had engaged in an "extreme form of anti-Semitism" by adopting an official declaration against proselytizing Jews.
Jim Sibley, coordinator for Jewish ministries with the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board, made the remark in response to a new joint statement by a Catholic-Jewish dialogue group calling conversion campaigns aimed at Jews theologically unacceptable.
"To suggest that the Catholic Church, in adopting an official statement against conversion, is engaging in extreme anti-Semitism is offensive and completely absurd," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "At a time when other faiths are striving for unity and interfaith civility, the leadership of the Southern Baptist ministry has once again shown arrogance and contempt for other religions. Coming from a ministry with a track record of denigrating other religions and engaging in aggressive campaigns aimed at converting Jews, this statement is the height of hypocrisy. Before accusing other faiths of anti-Semitism, the Southern Baptist leadership should take a look in the mirror."
In remarks reported August 19 in the Baptist Press, Sibley stated: "It is never good for the Jews whenever the Roman Catholic Church fails with respect for the gospel. When they used coercion, the Jewish people suffered horribly and were hardened against the good news of their messiah. Now, in singling out the Jewish people for evangelistic exemption, they are withholding the hope of Israel. There can be no more extreme form of anti-Semitism."
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.