AJC Welcomes Vatican Commitment to Nostra Aetate

April 4, 2008 – New York – The American Jewish Committee welcomes today’s Vatican Communique confirming its unwavering commitment to Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council document that affirmed the ongoing and eternal validity of the Divine Covenant with the Jewish people.

"We welcome this reaffirmation of Nostra Aetate's binding authority and its requirement of esteem for and solidarity with the Jewish people," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC’s International Director of Interreligious Affairs. "Of course, this is in keeping with the Church's past declared repudiation of all attempts to proselytize among Jews which are incompatible with true esteem and solidarity for the Jewish People."

The Vatican Communique was released in the wake of confusion arising from the new "Prayer for the Jews" issued for the use of the Latin liturgy at Easter time. The Communique states that Nostra Aetate is the basis for "the bonds of esteem, dialogue, love, solidarity and collaboration between Catholics and Jews," and adds that the Church "rejects every attitude of contempt or discrimination against Jews, firmly repudiating any kind of anti-Semitism."

Rabbi Rosen expressed the hope that further study within the Church on the full meaning of the implications of Nostra Aetate and the documents of the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with Jewry would pave the way for further advancement in Catholic-Jewish relations, which have been so remarkable and uniquely transformed in the last half century.

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