Leading U.S. Rabbi calls for New International Ecumenism in Defense of Morality
By Gudrun Schultz
WASHINGTON, D.C., United States, January 26, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Leading Orthodox rabbi Yehuda Levin delivered an impassioned plea for a “new ecumenism” among international religious leaders in defense of morality, during a speech at the March for Life demonstration in Washington Jan.22.
“It’s time for religious people to come out of our places of worship and bring our faith in to the artificially denuded public square,” said Rabbi Levin, saying support for abortion and homosexual marriage within Jewish communities was “paganism.”
Head of an Orthodox Jewish congregation in New York City, Rabbi Levin founded Jews for Morality in an effort to counter the growing support for liberal moral policies in the Jewish community. A prominent speaker in defense of traditional moral teaching, Rabbi Levin has addressed the annual March for Life in Washington for the past 25 years.
The rabbi reiterated his call for moral solidarity between leading Western religions, asking Pope Benedict XVI to stand at the forefront of what he called a “new ecumenism” in defense of morality.
“On Jan.2 I visited the Vatican to propose a new type of ecumenism. No theology, no dialogue, no apologies…Just joining together to preserve our Godly values. Religious leaders must reclaim their leadership roles in society from the political panderers, the legislative and the judicials.”
In his meeting with the Pope, Rabbi Levin pledged the support of the Orthodox Jewish community to the Catholic Church’s efforts in combating moral decay in Western society.
“I might seem now to be speaking in almost a prophetic way. I have the blood of prophets in my veins. I am saying with certitude—with a logical certitude—that the group in Western Civilization and perhaps in World Civilization with the most potential to act as a catalyst for a moral counterattack, pushing back the barbarians who stand against the gates of Rome and Jerusalem . . . are Catholics. You don’t have to be a prophet to understand that,” Rabbi Levin told LifeSiteNew.com at the time .
“And the personality whom God has placed at the top: I couldn’t have prayed, as an Orthodox Jew, for a better person.”
Emphasizing the pressing need for strong leadership from religious authorities, Rabbi told March for Life crowds that the visible participation of spiritual leaders was vital in countering the assault on the family and social morality.
“In former times, people of faith were called to sacrifice they’re lives to be martyrs. All we’re asking today is that our religious leaders accompany us as we take to the street.”
“I turn to the Moslem world and their leadership. Sign a petition, bring it to the Pope. Let’s start a revolution!”
“Let the pope come here, he’s an outstanding champion,” Rabbi Levin said, calling for a papal visit to New York. “We need you in America. We need a new ecumenical alliance.”
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Jewish Rabbi: If Catholic Leaders Rally, Jews and Evangelicals Would Follow