7 December 1965 Second Vatican Council ends – New Relationship between the Jewish People and the Roman Catholic Church begins

Robert A Krieg writes “

The Second Vatican Council endorsed a change in the Catholic Church’s self -understanding and its stance toward the world and other religions. When Pope John XXIII convoked the council on December 25, 1961, he opened the way for both the end of the hegemony of the notion of the Church as a ‘‘perfect society,’’ that is, as a self-sufficient, juridical institution, and also the end of the Church’s negative attitude
toward modernity and non-Christian beliefs. The Council then proceeded in Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, to declare that the Church is ‘‘a sacrament—a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of the unity of the entire human race.’ It also explained that the Church is the people of God and only secondarily an institution. Moreover, the council took a constructive stance toward the
world, especially as it acknowledged contemporary society’s merits as
well as its dilemmas in Gaudium et Spes, the Pastoral Constitution on the
Church in the Modern World. Further, it conveyed respect for other
religions in Nostra Aetate, the Declaration on the Relation of the Church
to Non-Christian Religions. The Council declared: ‘‘Let Christians, while
witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and
encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians,
together with their social life and culture.’’ It added that the Church ‘‘deplores all hatreds, persecutions, displays of antisemitism leveled at any time or from any source against the Jews.’’ When Pope Paul VI closed the council on December 7, 1965, he envisioned the Church witnessing to the coming God’s reign and working with other religions for German Catholic Views of Jesus and Judaism ‘‘the progress of peoples.’’ Vatican II was surely an extraordinary turning point in the life of the Catholic Church.”

Robert A Krieg, “German Catholic Views of
Jesus and Judaism” in Antisemitism, Christian Ambivalence, and the Holocaust edited by Kevin P. Spicer, C.S.C., Indiana University Press, 2007

The significance of the Council cannot be underestimated. It heralded the way for all the churches, Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox, to begin a new relationship with Jewish people, one of repentance, reconciliation, love, acceptance and recognition of God’s ongoing election of Israel. It paved the way for the modern Jewish reclamation of Jesus as one of us, and gave Christians encouragement to rediscover the Jewishness of Jesus, his early disciples, and to understand the mysterious unity of the whole Church in solidarity with the Jewish people.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord of Heaven and Earth, that you are not only Lord of Creation, but Lord of Israel and the Church. Thank you for the ongoing work and legacy of the Council. May all your disciples be united in the hope of your soon return, to accomplish your purposes for Israel and all nations, and all creation. In our Messiah Yeshua we pray, Amen

For more information on the Council and its legacy see here and here

About richardsh

Messianic Jewish teacher in UK
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1 Response to 7 December 1965 Second Vatican Council ends – New Relationship between the Jewish People and the Roman Catholic Church begins

  1. Pingback: 7 December 1965 Second Vatican Council ends – New Relationship between the Jewish People and the Roman Catholic Church begins — On This Day In Messianic Jewish History | Talmidimblogging

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