Jewish-Christian Relations

Two pieces in The Jerusalem Post reported on Cardinal Koch's recent visit to Jerusalem. In the first, Ron Kronish provided both a review of the events and gave his opinion of the state of Jewish-Christian relations: "The cardinal from the Vatican who is responsible for religious relations with the Jews - H.E. Cardinal Kurt Koch - was in Jerusalem recently for a few days of meetings with officials, during which time he gave a public lecture on 'Jewish-Catholic Dialogue' (co-sponsored by Jerusalem Institute of Israel Studies, the Inter-religious Coordinating Council in Israel [ICCI], the American Jewish Committee, and the Israel Jewish Council for Inter-religious Relations, all organizations which have been involved in Jewish-Christian Dialogue for many years).

Cardinal Koch's visit to Jerusalem was another positive step in the deepening of relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people and the State of Israel that has been going on for many years now."

Kronish, Founder and Director of the Inter-religious Coordinating Council in Israel and director of the Jerusalem Center for Jewish-Christian Relations, stated in the article that "Since Vatican II – i.e., since the beginning of the dialogue (between Christians and Jews and between the Church and all other major world religions), I would argue that we are clearly in a new era. We might call this 'the new era of dialogue.' Moreover, there is no question that the leadership of Pope John Paul II, whose passing a few years ago was a tremendous loss for all of humanity, fostered continued and consistent efforts to promoting the dialogue between Christians and Jews in ways that were unprecedented in the history of the Catholic Church, culminating with his personal pilgrimage to the Holy Land in March 2000."

Kronish continued to say, "…In the context of the history of the past 2000 years, we are clearly in an unprecedented era of dialogue. This includes the Church's groundbreaking document on the Holocaust called We Remember (1998) and the signing of the Fundamental Agreement between the Holy See and the State of Israel in 1993, which has charted a completely new course in the relations between the Vatican and the Jewish state. ... In short, the Catholic Church has made enormous strides forward on the subject of relations with Jews and Judaism since Vatican II in the mid-1960s."