The American Jewish Committee (AJC) has criticized former Roman Catholic Bishop of Dominica and outgoing Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago Edward Gilbert for his anti-Jewish comments.
Reports indicate that during a sermon last Sunday, Gilbert negatively compared Trinidadian politicians to Jews, whom he described as “although a compassionate and caring people only looked after the people of their nation.”
The remarks did not go down well with Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Inter-religious Affairs, who criticized the archbishop. “Such prejudicial comments not only reflect personal ignorance, but also ignorance of the teaching of the Catholic Church since Nostra Aetate,” he said.
He continued, “Archbishop Gilbert’s comments again highlight the need for more effective global Catholic education regarding the Holy See’s official teaching on Jews and Judaism.”
Rosen stated that the 1974 Vatican Guidelines on Nostra Aetate precisely warn against such misrepresentation and generalizations and called on the Holy See to reiterate its repudiation of such prejudicial stereotyping.
Gilbert was named the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Roseau on July 1, 1994 by Pope John Paul II and was ordained by Archbishop Kelvin Edward Felix of Castries on September 7, 1994.
During his six years in Roseau Bishop Gilbert worked to reorganize the diocese. He inaugurated the Diocesan Synod, which involved the clergy, religious and laity in all its aspects. He modernized church structures, which included the appointment of the first woman to be the chancellor of the diocese.