Catholic-Jewish Relations

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Throughout the centuries, Jews throughout the world have been persecuted. Often, the Roman Catholic Church played both active and passive roles in that persecution. From the earliest teachings of the Church Fathers, to the Crusades, the Inquisitions, and, ultimately, the Shoah (Holocaust), the Church often actively participated in these atrocities or stood by as the were committed, sometimes in the name of the Church.

While there are, throughout history, many examples of Catholics and other Christians risking their own lives to combat the oppression and save Jewish people, the totality of the historic record is unmistakably awful.

In the second half of the 20th century, however, in the aftermath of the Second World War and the founding of the State of Israel, in the reflected glow of freedom movements in India, Africa, and Asia, and in the midst of the American Civil Rights struggle, things began to change…

In the last fifty years, the world has witnessed the greatest improvements in Catholic-Jewish relations since the death of Jesus of Nazareth. One event, one stroke of a pen, on October 28, 1965, set all of this in motion.

On October 28, 2015, the Second Vatican Council’s proclamation entitled “Nostra Aetate,” which translates loosely from the Latin into English as “In Our Time,” was released. The subtitle of Nostra Aetate is “The Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions.” This historic document changed the relationship between Catholics and Jews forever.

On this website you will find evidence of both the bitter past and the hopeful future. The radical changes that have taken place in this generation can only be understood within the context of the 2000 years that preceded it.  It is hoped that the information presented here can help to continue the extraordinary improvements that have taken place, and shine a light of hope on our fractured world.

Books and Research

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Online Resources