Dialogika

Curricula

Resources for the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate

Nostra Aetate, the 1965 Declaration on the Church's Relationship to Non-Christian Religions was one of the most influential and celebrated documents issued by the Second Vatican Council, a gathering of the world's Catholic bishops. In particular it made possible a new and positive relationship between Jews and Catholics. This page provides primary source documents and educational materials to assist in the observance of the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate in 2015. Thanks to Victoria Barnett, John Connelly, and Murray Watson for their assistance with certain items.

 

vat konzil relief

 Preconciliar Texts

Texts from the period when the Christian cultural and religious view prevailed that Jews were destined to suffer or live on the margins of society because of their rejection of Jesus Christ.
1. Theodor Herzl: Audience with Pope Pius X Jan 16, 1904 Theodor Herzl
2. Encyclical "Mit Brenneder Sorge" Mar 14, 1937 Pope Pius XI
3. "Spiritually, we are Semites" Sept 6, 1938 Pope Pius XI
4. Draft Encyclical: "Humani Generis Unitas" 1938 Gustave Desbuquois, Gustav Gundlach, John LaFarge

 Precursors

Texts reflecting post-Shoah efforts to overcome theological anti-Judaism. Many concepts in these materials were taken up in Nostra Aetate.

1.

An Address to the Churches (The Ten Points of Seelisberg)

Aug 1947

International Council of Christians and Jews

2.

The Rectification Necessary in Christian Teaching: Eighteen Points

Apr 1948

Jules Isaac

3.

The Schwalbach Theses: Proposals for Christian Religious Teaching

May 1950

German Coordinating Council of Societies for Christian-Jewish Cooperation

4.

Theses for Evanston

Aug 1954

Karl Thieme

5. Rejecting Antisemitism Apr 24, 1960 Faculty of the Pontifical Biblical Institute
6. Recommendations from the Institute for Judaeo-Christian Studies, Seton Hall University June 8, 1960 John M. Oesterriecher, et al.

7.

Notes about a crucial meeting with John XXIII

June 13, 1960

Jules Isaac

8.

Second Apeldoorn International Study Conference on Christian-Jewish Relations

Sept 1960

Willehad Eckert, O.P.

9.

John XXIII: "I am Joseph, your brother."

Oct 19, 1960

L'Osservatore Romano

10. The Image of Jews in Catholic Teaching June 22, 1961 AJC: Judith Hershcopf Banki
11. Anti-Jewish Elements in Catholic Liturgy Nov 17, 1961 AJC: Eric Werner

12.

Resolution on Anti-Semitism

Nov 1961

Third Assembly, World Council of Churches

13. On Improving Catholic-Jewish Relations May 22, 1962 AJC: Abraham Joshua Heschel

 Composition Process

Drafts and speeches that chart the development of what began as a statement only on Jews and Judaism to a declaration on all the world's religions.

1.

Decree on the Jews (Decretum de Iudaeis)

Nov 1961

Secretariat for Christian Unity

2.

On the Attitude of Catholics Toward Non-Christians and Especially Toward Jews

Nov 1963

Secretariat for Christian Unity

3.

Address to "the People of the Covenant"

Jan 5, 1964

Pope Paul VI

4.

Appendix 'On the Jews' to the "Declaration on Ecumenism"

Mar 1964

Secretariat for Christian Unity

5.

On the Jews and Non-Christians

Sept 1964

Second Vatican Council Coordinating Commission

6.

Report on the Statement "On Jews and Non-Christians"

Sept 25, 1964

Augustin Cardinal Bea

7.

The Council's Deliberations (1)

Sept 28, 1964

Council Fathers

8.

The Council's Deliberations (2)

Sept 29, 1964

Council Fathers

9.

The Council's Deliberations (3)

Sept 29, 1964

Council Fathers

10.

Draft of the "Declaration on the Church's Relationship to Non-Christian Religions"

Nov 18, 1964

Council Fathers

11.

Amendments to Section 4

Mar 1965

Secretariat for Christian Unity


Official Conciliar and Postconciliar Texts

The final form of Nostra Aetate, a relevant excerpt from Lumen Gentium, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, and implementing documents of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews and the Vatican Secretariat of State.

1.

Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions

Oct 28, 1965

Second Vatican Council

2.

Lumen Gentium: Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (excerpt)

Nov 1964

Second Vatican Council

3.

Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, No. 4

Jan 1974

Commission for Religious Relations with Jews

4.

Notes on the Correct Way to Present Jews and Judaism in Preaching and Catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church

June 1985

Commission for Religious Relations with Jews

5.

We Remember: A Reflection on the Shoah

Mar 16, 1998

Commission for Religious Relations with Jews

6.

Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel

Dec 30, 1993

Secretariat of State of the Holy See and the State of Israel


  Papal Texts

Links to relevant writings of the post-conciliar popes.

1.

Pope Paul VI

1963-1978

 

2.

Pope John Paul II

1978-2005

 

3.

Pope Benedict XVI

2005-2013

 

4.

Pope Francis

2013-

 


  Educational Resources

 

1.

Milestones in Modern Catholic-Jewish Relations

2013

Lucy Thorson and Murray Watson


Anniversary Statements

Documents issued in honor of the golden anniversary of Nostra Aetate

 1.

Celebrating and Deepening the New Christian-Jewish Relationship

June 30, 2015

International Council of Christians and Jews

 2.

A Church in Dialogue: The Catholic Church and Interreligious Dialogue

Aug 31, 2015

Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

3. Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions 50th Anniversary Oct 26, 2015 Bishops Commission for Ecumenism and Inter-religious Relations, Australian Catholic Bishops Conference
4. "'...in our time...' A statement on relations between the Presbytery of Chicago and the Jewish community in metropolitan Chicago" Nov 21, 2015 Presbytery of Chicago, Presbyterian Church - USA
5. "Declaration for the Upcoming Jubilee of Brotherhood: A New Jewish View of Jewish-Christian Relations" Nov 23, 2015 French Jewish Leaders
6. "To Do the Will of Our Father in Heaven: Toward a Partnership between Jews and Christians" Dec 3, 2015 Orthodox Jewish Leaders
7. "'The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable' (Rom 11:29): A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic-Jewish Relations on the Occasion of the 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate, No. 4" Dec 10, 2015 Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews