Pope Francis: Christians and Jews, brothers and friends
(Vatican Radio) This week members of the International Council of Christians and Jews have been meeting to discuss “The 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: The Past, Present, and Future of the Christian-Jewish Relationship”, and it was on this theme that Pope Francis addressed the participants on Tuesday in the Clementine Hall in the Vatican.
He told them that Nostra Aetate represented a definitive “yes” to the Jewish roots of Christianity and an irrevocable “no” to anti-Semitism adding, that both faith traditions were no longer strangers, but friends and brothers.
Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s report
The Holy Father said that in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of this document, “we are able to see the rich fruits which it has brought about and to gratefully appraise Jewish-Catholic dialogue. He then added, “ in this way, we can express our thanks to God for all the good which has been realized in terms of friendship and mutual understanding these past fifty years.”
The Pope underlined that despite different perspectives, both Christians and Jews confess one God, Creator of the Universe and Lord of history. And he, Pope Francis continued, “in his infinite goodness and wisdom, always blesses our commitment to dialogue.”
Elaborating further, the Holy Father explained that both faith traditions, “find their foundation in the One God, the God of the Covenant, who reveals himself through his Word.” “In seeking a right attitude towards God”, he Pope said, “Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah. This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra Aetate and upon this solid basis, he noted, can be developed yet further.
In conclusion, Pope Francis stressed the importance the Holy See places on relations with the Jewish community and praised the International Council of Christians and Jews’ annual meetings, which he said, offer a notable contribution to Jewish-Christian dialogue.