Sion News

Developments in Jewish/Christian Relations

Marking Fifty Years Of Nostra Aetate
The year 2015 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the promulgation of Nostra Aetate, a remarkable document produced by the Second Vatican Council in 1965, during the papacy of Pope John XXIII. In a relatively few brief words, Nostra Aetate addressed– and began to heal– the legacy of centuries of Catholic anti-Semitism, and a larger process of Catholic reconciliation with Judaism. The traditional language of the Good Friday liturgy that had explicitly blamed the Jews for the crucifixion of Jesus was removed, along with the condemnation and rejection of Judaism that went with it. Nostra Aetate proclaimed clearly and unambivalently that, while some Jews had sought the crucifixion of Jesus, he endured his death and “passion” of his own free will, and neither ancient nor modern Jews bore collective responsibility for his death. Most importantly, the Catholic Church condemned anti-Semitism in all of its forms.

This was nothing less than a revolutionary change for the Church. To this day, Pope John XXIII is widely admired and respected within the Jewish world for changing the course of Church, and Jewish, history.

 

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Developments in Jewish/Christian Relations