January 29, 2007 – New York – The American Jewish Committee mourns the passing of the Rev. Robert Drinan, a respected Jesuit priest, brilliant legal scholar and teacher, effective political leader, and beloved friend of the Jewish people and Israel.
“Robert Drinan was a Righteous Christian of our generation, and I had the joy of working with him for many years,” said Rabbi James Rudin, AJC’s senior interreligious adviser.
“Drinan passionately believed in the promise of the Second Vatican Council and its call for positive Catholic-Jewish relations,” Rudin said.
During his illustrious career, as a priest and later as a member of Congress, he was a cherished ally of the American Jewish Committee on a host of vital issues.
“Drinan was a relentless foe of all forms of anti-Semitism and a life-long supporter of Israel, deeply committed to the Jewish state’s survival and security,” said Rudin.
Drinan was a founder, in 1972, of the National Interreligious Task Force on Soviet Jewry, an international leader in behalf of human rights and religious liberty, and a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. His book, Honor The Promise: America’s Commitment to Israel, is a testament to Catholic understanding of and support for the Jewish state.