WASHINGTON (April 11, 2003) -- Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has received from Pope John Paul II his fifth quinquennial appointment as Consultor to the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
Dr. Fisher is one of ten such Consultors world-wide and the only American.
In a cover letter to the appointment, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Commission, wrote: "The renewal of your mandate imparts particular joy as it enables the Commission to continue to involve you and to benefit from your valuable collaboration in its aim of promoting and nurturing relations between Catholics and Jews."
On hearing of the appointment, the USCCB General Secretary, Msgr. William Fay, said, "I join with Cardinal Kasper in expressing my delight and gratitude to Dr. Fisher for his many years of productive and faithful service to the Church."
Father Arthur Kennedy, Executive Director of the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said: "Dr. Fisher's work has contributed to deepening bonds between Jews and Catholics not only in the United States, but also in many other countries and contexts as a result of his dedicated activity as Consultor to the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews."
Dr. Fisher, who has served the bishops' conference for 25 years in this capacity, has been the recipient of numerous awards from both Jewish and Catholic organizations.
In 1999 he was named an honorary doctor of divinity by St. Mary's Seminary and University, in Baltimore. He has been given awards by the National Jewish Chautaqua Society, the Rabbi Marc H. Tanenbaum Foundation, Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, the Edith Stein Guild, the National Workshop on Christian-Jewish Relations, Muhlenberg College, Notre Dame College, the National Jewish Book Council, the Ecumenical Institute for Jewish-Christian Studies of Detroit, and New York University.
In 1999, Dr. Fisher delivered the John Courtney Murray lecture at Fordham University, and in 2002 the Cardinal Pio Laghi lecture at the Josephinum.
From May to July of this year he will hold the position of Hugo Gryn Fellow at Cambridge University in England.