Catholic church affirms need to work more closely with Jews
Cardinal Walter Kasper on Monday stressed that the Catholic Church is more committed than ever to improving relations with Jews.
In a speech marking the anniversary of a major Second Vatican Council document on the issue, Kasper told a conference of bishops and rabbis that after 2000 years of antagonism, Catholics and Jews may still disagree, but they do so as brothers.
"Maybe on some issues they will let us down or we will let them down. But fraternity is precisely this contact, where one listens to the heart of the other as if it were his own heart," said Kasper, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.
The conference commemorated the 37th anniversary of the document Nostra Aetate, ('In Our Time'), which was drafted during the Second Vatican Council.
In the document the Vatican deplored anti-Semitism in every form and repudiated the "deicide" argument that blamed Jews as a people for Christ's crucifixion. The document also affirmed that Jesus, the apostles and most of his early followers were Jews and that God has not revoked his covenant with Jews.
The anniversary was celebrated amid fresh debate over the Vatican's attitude toward Jews sparked by a recent unofficial document saying it no longer is theologically acceptable for the church to target Jews for conversion.
Vatican II was obligated to reject anti-Semitism, cardinal says (Catholic News Service)
Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue | Declaration 'Nostra Aetate' | Letter of John Paul II to Cardinal Walter Kasper
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30 Oct 2002