VATICAN CITY - Jews and Catholics are "strangers no more, but
friends, and brothers and sisters," thanks to the "authentic
fraternal dialogue" between the two religions since the
Second Vatican Council, said Pope Francis.
The pope held an audience at the Vatican June 30 with
participants of an international conference, organized by the
International Council of Christians and Jews.
The June 28-July 1 conference was in Rome to commemorate the
50th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate," the Vatican II
declaration that addressed the relations of the Catholic
Church with other religions. The theme of the event focused
on the 50th anniversary and looked at "The Past, Present, and
Future of the Christian-Jewish Relationship."
Reflecting on "Nostra Aetate," Pope Francis said it
"represents a definitive 'yes' to the Jewish roots of
Christianity and an irrevocable 'no' to anti-Semitism."
The declaration, he said, has brought about "rich fruits" of
"friendship and mutual understanding" in the past 50 years
and provides a "solid basis" for dialogue to be "developed
"Our fragmented humanity, mistrust and pride have been
overcome thanks to the Spirit of Almighty God, in such a way
that trust and fraternity between us have continued to grow,"
the pope said. "And he, in his infinite goodness and wisdom,
always blesses our commitment to dialogue."
The pope noted that all Christians have Jewish roots, and
that all Christians find their unity in Christ, just as all
Jews find their unity in the Torah.
He also said the Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations
with the Jews, founded in 1947, follows the activities of the
international council "with great interest," especially the
annual international conferences, which "offer a notable
contribution to Jewish-Christian dialogue."