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Mormon apostle salutes Jewish rabbi’s push for religious liberty

First Published      Last Updated May 16 2014 08:41 pm

A Mormon apostle joined the nation's highest-ranking Catholic and other faith leaders this week in honoring a pre-eminent Jewish rabbi for his contributions to the cause of religious freedom.

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks was awarded the Canterbury Medal from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty at a New York gala Thursday.

Sacks, emeritus chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, has published 25 books on Judaism, faith and philosophy, the Becket Fund reports.

Tributes came from, among other dignitaries, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, D. Todd Christofferson, an apostle for the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Russell D. Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

"Becket Fund's work has allowed all of us, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, people of all faiths, to come together in the knowledge that we are free to live our deepest convictions in harmony and a spirit of mutual respect," a deeply moved Sacks is quoted as saying. "This enriches the heritage of humankind and has made this world a little freer, allowing each of us, in our own way, to light up the public square with the candle and the flame of faith."

The Canterbury Medal lauds those who have "most resolutely refused to render to Caesar that which is God's," according to the Becket Fund's website. The group touts itself as the nation's premier religious liberty law firm.

Last year's Canterbury recipient was Christofferson's fellow LDS apostle, Dallin H. Oaks, who once served as a Utah Supreme Court justice and has emerged as a leading Mormon voice for religious freedom.