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Nostra Aetate: Transforming the Catholic-Jewish Relationship RULE Introduction

Posted: October 20, 2005

A Catholic Perspective
A Jewish Perspective
Jewish-Catholic Relationship Transformed
Unresolved Issues
Teaching Nostra Aetate
Vatican Implements Nostra Aetate
Selected Church Documents on Jews & Judaism

Transforming a Relationship: On the 40th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate

Looking Back, Looking Ahead


In celebrating the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the landmark Vatican document that launched a historic new positive dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people, the Anti-Defamation League has assembled an impressive series of essays and reflections analyzing the history this groundbreaking event and its profound impact on Catholic-Jewish relations. This report features articles from some of the world's leading Catholic and Jewish interfaith experts on the meaning and future of Nostra Aetate.

The report also for the first time compiles in one place some of the most important recent Vatican documents concerning its new relationship with Jews and Judaism.


·         Dr. Eugene J. Fisher, Associate Director of the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, offers a Catholic perspective on the history and significance of Nostra Aetate.

·          Rabbi Leon Klenicki, ADL Interfaith Affairs Director Emeritus provides a Jewish  perspective.

·         Philip A. Cunningham, Executive Director of the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College, analyzes the continuing development of Nostra Aetate over the last 40 years.

·         Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs, evaluates unresolved issues in the Jewish-Catholic dialogue and offers solutions.


These articles should help to frame a healthy discussion on assessing our progress    and planning for the future. Also included are the actual texts of Nostra Aetate and several follow-up documents issues by the Vatican that further evolve Catholic-Jewish relations, and a guide on how to teach about Nostra Aetate in the schools and pews.


Anniversaries give us an opportunity to suspend time for a moment and look back at the road we have traveled and reassess the path that still lies ahead.  Celebrating 40 years since the promulgation of Nostra Aetate, we must marvel at the remarkable change in the relationship between the Jewish community and the Catholic Church. Not only that, we must realize the changes this document has wrought in the wider Christian community.



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Nostra Aetate: What is it?

Nostra Aetate: 40 Years of Catholic Jewish Ties
Op-Ed by Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, ADL Director of Interfaith Affairs
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2005 Anti-Defamation League