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USA    JEWISH GROUP WANTS POPE JOHN XXIII DECLARED `RIGHTEOUS'
A Jewish group announced on Thursday that it was seeking to have Pope John XXIII recognised by the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Israel as one of the "righteous among the nations".
    In ceremonies at the Vatican mission to the United Nations in New York, a copy of a letter to Yad Vashem from the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation was presented to Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state.
    Samuel Sisso, Israeli consul general in New York, accepted the letter for transmittal to Yad Vashem. Tenembaum's letter said the foundation was "gathering information and preparing documents from many sources" to demonstrate the significance of John XXIII's work on behalf of Jews when he was apostolic delegate to Turkey.
    The foundation is also ``asking the Vatican to provide us with additional primary sources'' about his tenure in Turkey, the letter said.
    Yad Vashem, a place where Pope John Paul II had one of his most memorable meetings with Jews during his visit to Israel last March, was established in 1953 to commemorate the Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust. It includes an Avenue and Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations to honour those non-Jews who acted to save Jewish lives during that period.
   
CNS
   
12 Sep 00



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