The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation suggests positive steps to repair Catholic-Jewish relations

The Center for Jewish-Christian Understanding and Cooperation in Efrat is disappointed by recent Vatican efforts to canonize Pope Pius XII. Accelerating Pius' sainthood now would be another blow to Catholic-Jewish relations, already strained by a number of recent events. Some Jews and Catholics leaders in the Catholic-Jewish dialogue even question whether the magnificent achievements of the Second Vatican Council regarding reconciliation between the Church and the Jewish people are still operative Catholic teaching.

It is time to reassert loudly and unambiguously that the teachings of Nostra Aetate and Catholic post-conciliar documents regarding Catholic-Jewish relations remain the guiding principles for Church, and that the warm friendship extended to the Jewish people by the saintly Pope John Paul II still characterize the current policies of the Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI.

This can be achieved in word and even more in deed. Catholic and Jewish distress over the future of Catholic-Jewish relations would be alleviated significantly by positive Vatican steps demonstrating the importance of close Catholic-Jewish ties. Three possible steps are authorizing the active teaching of Nostra Aetate to all Catholic worshippers and seminarians, promoting the study of Pope John Paul II's teachings about Judaism and the Jewish people, and instituting a prayer for the Jewish people and Israel on the Feast of St. James, the patron saint of Jerusalem.

The reconciliation of the Church with the Jewish people is one of God's great blessings, one that inspires all people around the world. Recognizing that Catholics and Jews are brothers and sisters deeply bound by their fervent belief in the One Creator of Heaven and Earth Who revealed Himself to the people Israel is one of the miracles of the last century-and it is too important for Jews, for Catholics and for the world to allow to lapse.

Jews and Catholics share a common spiritual patrimony, and we pray that both the Church and the Jewish people continue to work for this historic reconciliation that is grounded in mutual understanding, respect and equality.

Rabbi Dr. Eugene Korn, North American Director
David Nekrutman, Executive Director
Rabbi Dr. Shlomo Riskin, Chancellor

Contact CJCUC's media department at 201-282-8082

Published on: 2010-01-15

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