This section presents the official documents of the Catholic Church concerning Judaism and the Jewish people.
See also the homepage of the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews for more links and documents.
Fifty years ago, the declaration "Nostra aetate" of the Second Vatican Council was promulgated, presenting the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people in a new theological framework. The following reflections aim at looking back with gratitude on all that has been achieved over the last decades in the Jewish–Catholic relationship, providing at the same time a new stimulus for the future.
"Having considered the close relationship between the New Testament and the Old, we now naturally turn to the special bond which that relationship has engendered between Christians and Jews, a bond that must never be overlooked. Pope John Paul II, speaking to Jews, called them "our 'beloved brothers' in the faith of Abraham, our Patriarch."
"The Jewish reading of the Bible is a possible one, in continuity with the Jewish Sacred Scriptures from the Second Temple period... Christians can... learn much from Jewish exegesis practised for more than two thousand years, and, in fact, they have learned much in the course of history."
"The hostility or diffidence of numerous Christians toward Jews in the course of time is a sad historical fact and is the cause of profound remorse for Christians aware of the fact that “Jesus was a descendent of David; that the Virgin Mary and the Apostles belonged to the Jewish people; that the Church draws sustenance from the root of that good olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild olive branches of the Gentiles; that the Jews are our dearly beloved brothers, indeed in a certain sense they are ‘our elder brothers.’”
"At the end of this Millennium the Catholic Church desires to express her deep sorrow for the failures of her sons and daughters in every age. This is an act of repentance (teshuva), since, as members of the Church, we are linked to the sins as well as the merits of all her children."
"The permanence of Israel (while so many ancient peoples have disappeared without trace) is a historic fact and a sign to be interpreted within God's design."
"Christians must strive to acquire a better knowledge of the basic components of the religious tradition of Judaism."
"God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues-such is the witness of the Apostle."