In 2010, the Catholic Church published a version of the Catechism suitable for young people and titled YouCat. This volume was widely distributed during the 2011 World Youth Day. We publish here the teaching of this volume on the relation between the Church and the Jews.


135. What is the relation between the Church and the Jews?

Jews are the “older brethren” of Christians because God loved them first and spoke to them first. Jesus Christ as man is a Jew, and this fact unites us. The Church recognizes in him the Son of the living God, and this fact separates us. In awaiting the final coming of the Messiah we are one (839-840).

The Jewish faith is the root of our faith. The Sacred Scripture of the Jews, which we call the Old Testament, is the first part of our Sacred Scripture. The Judeo-Christian concept of man and morality, which is informed by the Ten Commandments, is the foundation of Western democracies. It is shameful that for hundreds of years Christians were unwilling to admit this close relation to Judaism and for pseudo-theological reasons helped foment an anti-Semitism that all too often had lethal effects. During the Holy Year 2000, Pope John Paul II expressly asked forgiveness for this. The Second Vatican Council clearly states that the Jews as a people cannot be charged with any collective guilt for the crucifixion of Christ.