Rabbi David Rosen, Rabbi Arnold Saunders,Bishop David Walker , Bishop of Manchester and Bishop John Arnold Bishop of Salford shared the platform for the eventon the 12 of May in Manchester town hall. Rabbi David Rosen gave a keynote address entitled “ Nostra Aetate – A Revolution in our times” In which he charted the revolution that happened with the promulgation by the Vatican of the document “Nostra Aetate”. The group were welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Manchester who hosted us in the Great Hall in the Town Hall. About two hundred people, Jews and Christians attended and there was a response and question time.
For me, it was a timely reminder of the importance and significance of the document in initiating an important complete change in the relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Jewish people. Rabbi David Rosen is himself from Manchester and the event began with a presentation to Mrs Barbara Aubrey to congratulate her on her 100th birthday and to thank her for her faithful years of dialogue in the Council of Christians and Jews. She was a founder member of the CCJ here in Manchester seventy years ago when it began with a cup of tea in the Midland hotel. The Lord Mayor said she was so privileged to have lived long enough to see the seeds she planted then growing to fruition.
Rabbi Rosen reminded us that there has been nothing comparable to this in human history where we saw an intrinsic change happen almost overnight, where from “teaching of contempt” there was a change to being “most beloved”.
He also noted, as we know well enough, that this is the beginning of many steps which still have to be made together in the journey but it did begin the first steps of the journey of friendship which continues to grow. Christians have taken a decisive step and this was witnessed by the amazing visit of Pope Francis to Israel with his friends Rabbi Skorka and the Imam from Argentina.
A reason to hope!
Sister Teresa Brittain NDS