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Portugal: Porto, “Memorandum of Understanding on friendship and cooperation” between Catholic diocese and Jewish community. “A future holding hands”

A “Memorandum of Understanding on friendship and cooperation” signed between the leaders of the Catholic diocese and the Jewish community of Porto on September 17th is a “break from past misunderstandings and a certainty of a future holding hands”. This has been written in a message to the diocese, the day after the signing of the MoU, by the bishop of Porto, Manuel da Silva Rodrigues Linda. As stated in the diocesan weekly, Voz Portucalense, as well as supporting “excellent friendly relations” between the two communities “that have always lived peacefully since before the foundation of Portugal”, the MoU embodies the “joint intention” to “try to cooperate in welfare” in support of the “human dignity of many people who are trapped in poverty, vice or meanness”. In writing to the diocese, mgr. Manuel Linda explains that “it is through the fruitful lifeblood of ancient Hebraism that we have received the Saviour” and that “Noah, Abraham, Moses belong as much to our ‘heritage’ as to the Jews’ one”. And, while history has not always acknowledged that “deep bond” and there have been misunderstandings and violence and the Holocaust, now this “will never happen again”, both because society has become more ‘human’ and because the religious leaders of both communities have committed to doing all they can to deepen their relations, to ease mutual understanding, and to embrace a climate of mutual trust that may make cooperation possible”. The MoU has been signed by mgr. Manuel Linda, the president of the Jewish Community of Porto, Dias Zion, and the chief rabbi, Daniel Litvak.

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