In a ceremony on Monday, November 23, 2015 in Paris, the leaders of French Jewry published a document on Jewish-Catholic relations and presented it to Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris.

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View the ceremony here

The document, entitled ‘A Declaration for the Jubilee of Future Brotherhood”, expresses the joy of the Jewish people as they participate in the celebration of the fifty year anniversary of the publication of Nostra aetate.

The document poses the question: “What have we, Jews, learnt from you, Christians, over the past fifty years?” The document responds that Jews have learnt that Christians sincerely seek to reconnect themselves with the Jewish sources and values that are inscribed in the identities of Jesus and his apostles. Furthermore, the Jews acknowledge that the Church no longer blames the Jews for the death of Jesus nor sees the Christian faith as replacing the covenant between God and the people of Israel. Anti-Judaism, which has often gone in hand in hand with anti-Semitism, is now understood as a sin and the State of Israel has been recognized by the Vatican.

Furthermore, the document asks: “What can we, Jews, hope to build with you, Christians, in the next fifty years?” The document responds that the joint challenge is to recognize that Jews and Christians share a joint ethical approach that must now nourish a universal fraternity. Furthermore, the document declares: “Theological differences must not obscure the fact that many Christian teachings are in perfect agreement with the teachings of the rabbinical tradition.”

In conclusion, the document hopes that this new relationship between Jews and Christians can be a first step in a dialogue that opens up to all religions and might serve as the corner stone for a humanity that is reconciled and lives in peace.

The document was composed by: Jean-François Bensahel, President of the Union Libérale Israélite de France, Rabbi Philippe Haddad, Rabbi Rivon Krygier, Raphy Marciano, Director of the Espace Culturel et Universitaire Juifs d’Europe and Franklin Rausky, Director of studies at the Institut Elie Wiesel.

Read the document in French here