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Cardinal emphasizes: Nostra Aetate’s theological arguments are ‘irreversible’

January 16, 2013

In a brief essay that appeared in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Walter Kasper examined Jewish-Christian relations both historically and theologically.

The prelate, now 79, served from 2001 until 2010 as president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.

“The history of Jewish-Christian relations is complex and difficult,” Cardinal Kasper noted. “Alongside the positive moments, in which several bishops took the Jews under their wing to protect them from pogroms or mass extermination, there were dark periods that have remained particularly deeply impressed in the Jewish collective conscience.”

“On the Catholic side, Nostra Aetate, the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relations of the Church to Non-Christian Religions was the decisive turning-point,” he continued. “It was irrevocable, as Benedict XVI also reaffirmed clearly during his visit to the Synagogue of Rome on 17 January 2010. It was irreversible for the simple reason that the main theological arguments of Nostra Aetate were firmly established in two of the Council's most important Constitutions: the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (nn. 6, 9 and 16) and the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (nn. 3, 14).”


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  • Posted by: Niklas - Jan. 18, 2013 11:36 AM ET USA

    Not very fine logical thinking: This important teaching is irreversible since it is contained in an important document.