March 4, 2011 -- New York -- AJC has welcomed the Pope’s new book, in which he writes that the Jewish people are not responsible for the death of Jesus. The book, AJC interreligious experts explain, is a reaffirmation of Nostra Aetate, the landmark 1965 Vatican document, that should have greater impact in transmitting current Catholic teachings about Jews.
"Most Catholics don't read the church's documents," said Rabbi David Rosen, AJC international director of Interreligious Affairs, in a TIME magazine interview. "The book will certainly be far more widely read."
In the book, Jesus of Nazareth-Part II, Pope Benedict explains biblically and theologically why there is no basis in Scripture for the argument that the Jewish people as a whole were responsible for Jesus' death.
"It may be an obvious thing for Jews to present texts with commentaries, but normally with church magisterium, they present a document," Rosen told the Associated Press. "This is a pedagogical tool that he's providing, so people will be able to interpret the text in keeping with orthodox Vatican teaching."