How the Catholic Church forever changed Jewish life

At the clergy convocation in my diocese last week, a rabbi got up to speak about the 50th anniversary of Nostre Aetate and noted this sobering fact: when he was growing up in New Jersey in the 1960s, he would try to time his departure from school so that he wouldn’t run into the Catholic kids who [Read More…]

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A Jewish writer asks: “Why haven’t Jews responded to Vatican II?”

An interesting, perhaps even surprising, perspective, from The Forward:  The arrival of Pope Francis in America and the 50th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council’s landmark declaration, Nostra Aetate, have allowed us, as Jews, to marvel at the revolutionary developments in our relations with the Catholic Church in the past half-century. But while the church [Read More…]

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Historic meeting between pope and patriarch could be near

View image | gettyimages.com Let us pray:  An historic meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is “getting closer every day,” a senior Orthodox prelate said in an interview published on Sunday. The unprecedented meeting would be a significant step towards healing the 1,000-year-old rift between the Western and Eastern [Read More…]

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Patriarch Bartholomew on the encyclical: “We count it a true blessing”

Some smart person at TIME magazine sought an exclusive response to the new encyclical from the man dubbed “The Green Patriarch” — and the essay he’s written helps put this vital new work in an important context: It came as no surprise to us that our beloved brother Francis of Rome opens his encyclical, which [Read More…]

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Cardinal: Christians, Muslims “still don’t know each other well enough”

From CNS:  “Despite 50 years of ‘Nostra Aetate,’” the Second Vatican Council’s document on interreligious relations, “we still don’t know each other well enough,” said French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.Speaking May 19 about Catholic-Muslim relations, Cardinal Tauran added, “Most of the problems we face are problems of ignorance.” [Read More…]

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Meet the man who launched the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Paul Wattson via OSV/CNS He’s Rev. Paul Wattson a former Episcopal priest—the son of an Episcopal priest, in fact—who converted to Catholicism and who also co-founded Catholic Near East Welfare Agency (CNEWA), the papal agency where I work. Father Paul is now being considered for sainthood. Some background, from OSV:  Born in 1863 in Millington, Maryland, [Read More…]

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Pope Francis makes unscheduled visit to Buddhist temple

From AP:  Pope Francis has become the second pontiff to visit a Buddhist temple, changing his schedule at the last minute to pay his respects at an important place of worship in Sri Lanka’s capital and to witness a key ritual for Buddhists: the opening of a casket containing relics of two important disciples of [Read More…]

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Did you hear what the descendent of Muhammed said about Christianity the other day?

The leader of Jordan gave an interview to Vatican Radio:  “To lose Christianity from the birthplace of Christianity” in the Middle East “would be to lose the richness of the tapestry of this pluralist region:”  that’s according to Jordan’s Prince El Hassan bin Talal who granted an exclusive interview to Vatican Radio’s Tracey McClure at [Read More…]

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Pope: “Our shared baptism is more important than our differences”

From Vatican Radio:  In a private meeting with leaders of the inter-denominational Ark Community, Pope Francis said Christians should not wait for theologians to reach agreement, but should walk, pray and work together now. His words came during an October 10th encounter at the Casa Santa Marta with members of the community founded by Evangelical [Read More…]

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Pennsylvania Catholics, Lutherans plan observances to mark “Reformation Sunday”

Details:  Protestants are preparing for Reformation Sunday observances this weekend, 497 years after the Rev. Martin Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Wittenberg church door. Meanwhile, Catholics and Lutherans in Southwestern Pennsylvania are looking ahead to Oct. 31, 2017, the 500th anniversary of an event that split the Christian church in the Western world. [Read More…]

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