WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 15, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A U.S. bishops’ committee is publishing a collection of key documents of Catholic teaching on the Church’s relationship to the Jews and its opposition to anti-Semitism.
The volume is entitled “The Bible, the Jews and the Death of Jesus: A Collection of Catholic Documents.”
Included is the Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs’ 1988 “Criteria for the Evaluation of Dramatizations of the Passion.”
Other documents included in this collection comprise statements on Catholic teaching about the interpretation of Scripture, Catholic understanding and proper presentation of the passion and death of Christ, and the Church’s ongoing condemnation of the sin of anti-Semitism.
Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire, chairman of the committee, said that “two major developments within the Church awakened and fostered a new understanding of the relationship between the Church and its roots in Judaism.”
The first of these developments was the biblical movement. This promoted a re-reading of the Gospels “through analysis of literary and historical forms, in order to identify a fuller theological understanding,” Bishop Blaire said.
The second development was that during the Second Vatican Council the Church “formulated its commitment to re-examining its relationship with the Jewish people.”
Included in the volume is Vatican II’s groundbreaking statement, in “Nostra Aetate,” No. 4, that “what happened in [Christ’s] passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today.”
“The Bible, the Jews and the Death of Jesus: A Collection of Catholic Documents,” a 128-page paperback, is available for $11.95 as of Feb. 23. To order, call toll free (800) 235-8722. In the Washington metropolitan area or from outside the United States, call (202) 722-8716.