Different Reading Of Nostra Aetate


In his article last week (“Nostra Aetate’s Impact, 50 Years On”), Noam Marans wrote about the dramatic
positive effects of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate.

None can contest that since the issuing of Nostra Aetate 50 years ago, the
Church has made serious progress in changing its relationship to Jews and
Judaism. Even so, the Church is still wrestling with understanding how and
where Jews and Judaism fit into their theology.

Rabbi Marans writes: “The declaration’s 600-word section on Judaism … validates God’s eternal
covenant with the Jewish people.”

I feel that Rabbi Marans is incorrect in his interpretation of how the Church
understands Nostra Aetate.

Confirming that he is incorrect, in 2009 the U.S. Conference of Catholic
Bishops removed from the U.S. Catechism for Adults the sentence: “Thus the
covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally
valid for them.”

Based on this we can see that the Church’s understanding is that Nostra
Aetate did not validate God’s eternal covenant with the Jewish people.

The author teaches Torah studies at Yeshiva University as well as at Seton Hall University in its Institute for Judaeo-Christian Studies.