Thursday, October 28, 2010
Happy 45th Anniversary: Nostra Aetate
The document was hotly debated, and it went through several drafts. It began life as a rather straightforward statement on the church's relationship with the Jewish people. It was later broadened to include ALL non-Christian religions, specifically remarking on Hinduism and Buddhism, with special attention paid to Islam and most especially, Judaism.
read it here.
Given the fact that World War II, and the Holocaust, had ended less than 20 years before, and the fact that most of Europe was still recovering from the effects of that devastation, the document grew of the bishops' desire that such things must not happen again, and the text ends:
"The Church reproves, as foreign to the mind of Christ, any discrimination against men and women, or harassment of them because of their race, color, condition of life, or religion. On the contrary, following in the footsteps of the holy Apostles Peter and Paul, this sacred synod ardently implores the Christian faithful to 'maintain good fellowship among the nations' (1 Peter 2:12), and, if possible, to live for their part in peace with all, so that they may truly be children of the Father who is in heaven."
Hard to believe it's been 45 years since this document made headlines. We still have a long way to go!