Pope emphasizes Jewish-Christian commonalities in audience


(JTA) — Pope Francis emphasized commonalities between Judaism and Christianity in a meeting with members of the International Council of Christians and Jews.

“Christians, all Christians, have Jewish roots,” the pope said Tuesday at the Vatican.

“Both faith traditions find their foundation in the one God, the God of the covenant, who reveals himself through his word. In seeking a right attitude towards God, Christians turn to Christ as the fount of new life, and Jews to the teaching of the Torah. This pattern of theological reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity arises precisely from Nostra Aetate, and upon this solid basis can be developed yet further,” the pope said.

Officially titled the Declaration on the Relations of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate rejected the charge of collective Jewish responsibility for killing Jesus and inaugurated a half-century of dialogue between the two faiths.

The pope said during the meeting that the Nostra Aetate is “a document which represents a definitive ‘yes’ to the Jewish roots of Christianity and an irrevocable ‘no’ to anti-Semitism.”

The group was meeting in Rome for “The 50th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate: The Past, Present, and Future of the Christian-Jewish Relationship,” a three-day conference that ended Wednesday.

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