THE CHURCH AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE by Augustin Cardinal Bea

THE CHURCH AND THE JEWISH PEOPLE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The distinguished Roman Catholic leader and scholar offers here a commentary on the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions. The author's own significant part in the formulation of this document and in securing its adoption eminently qualifies him to perform this service -- which, as he says, may be helpful not only to Catholics but to all Christians irrespective of denominational diversities. Originally intended to deal directly with the change in the Church's official position vis-a-vis the Jewish people, the Declaration was broadened as indicated in the title to include the Church's position with respect to all non-Christian religious faiths. This came about as a means of meeting the strenuous objections raised by Arab nationals against the Church's taking a more favorable attitude toward the Jewish people. Cardinal Bea points out, however, that the name, ""The Jewish People"", has no political connotations, but designates Israel as the community created by God through his call to Abraham. He is aware that the Declaration itself may cause some difficulties among Catholics who have been taught a different view of the Church's judgment on the Jews, particularly with respect to the crucifixion of Christ. All such ""deicide"" is here firmly repudiated, and the positive and appreciative spirit that informs the commentary gives evidence of the broad and deep ecumenism for which the Cardinal has come to be known. For readers of all faiths who are concerned both with the specific problem to which the Declaration is addressed, as well as those interested in the outcome of the Vatican Councils.

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 1966
Publisher: Harper & Row