Vatican Official on Jewish-Catholic Dialogue: ‘It Is at a Good Point’

Vatican Official Leading Commission Overseeing Relations With Jews Grants Interview to Pagine Ebraiche After Latest Meeting of Commission With Representatives of Chief Rabbinate of Israel

Pope Francis visits synagogue


A Vatican official confirms that interfaith dialogue between Jews and the Catholic Church is “at a very good point.”

Salesian Father Norbert Hofmann, secretary of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews, under the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, explained this in an interview with Pagine Ebraiche following the latest meeting of the Commission with the representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

Through large and small initiatives, the priest stressed that we see this proven. In June of 2002, he noted, they undertook the challenge of starting this interfaith group, with a first secret meeting promoted by John Paul II. After a few months of preparations, he noted, the work officially began the following February.

Constant Outlook

“Our group,” the priest pointed out, “is small and select, the ideal set for promoting the circulation of ideas and thoughts, with a constant outlook on currents affairs: the sanctity of life, Jewish and Christian ethics and the challenges presented to religious leaders.”

“Among the most relevant passages of the final document was criticism of “the attempts to deny the historical attachment of the Jewish People to its holiest site.”

About Dialogue, Not Politics

The Commission Secretary explained that their work is in the realm of religious dialogue: “we do not talk about politics, although it is evident that sometimes the two aspects are interwoven.”

While underscoring the importance of having the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as their partner, Fr. Hofmann stressed, “The results of our work are extraordinary if we think that in 2002, we didn’t have access to the Jewish Orthodox world and now we work with the Rabbinate.”


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