Thursday 31st August – Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER), has led a delegation to Pope Francis to present a Jewish perspective on Catholic-Jewish Relations on the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate. The new document, drafted by the CER, together with The Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Rabbinical Council of America, declares mutual relations of both religions and their view on cooperation on a number of issues, such as Islamic extremism, and also reflects the commitment of the Jewish community to work to improve and develop dialogue with the Catholic Church in the future.
Following the presentation of From Jerusalem to Rome to Pope Francis, Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt said: “This is an historic moment for relations between our two faiths, Nostra Aetate set the tone for the last 50 years and we hope that From Jerusalem to Rome will set a similar precedent going forward. The time when our two faiths were at war is over! There are many issues we can work together on and I hope that we will be able to use this as a catalyst for greater collaboration going forward.”
The Pontiff noted that the “document declares that ‘despite profound theological differences, Catholics and Jews share common beliefs’ and also ‘the affirmation that religions must use moral behaviour and religious education - not war, coercion or social pressure - to influence and inspire’ what is most important for the two religions.“
At the end of the meeting, the Pontiff thanked the delegation for coming and took the opportunity to congratulate everyone on the upcoming Jewish New Year - Rosh Hashanah.