ROME, Oct. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC (American Jewish Committee) leaders, with Jewish representatives from around the world, met today with Pope Francis, following his address at the Vatican on the 50th anniversary of Nostra Aetate. The papal audience took place during a three-day gathering, sponsored by the Vatican and the Pontifical Gregorian University, to commemorate the landmark document that transformed Catholic-Jewish relations.
"AJC is proud of the singular role it played in advisement, research and creation of an environment facilitating the Nostra Aetate achievement," said David Inlander, chair of AJC's Interreligious Affairs Commission.
The AJC delegation includes Rabbi David Rosen, AJC's International Director of Interreligious Affairs; Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC's Director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations; and Lisa Palmieri-Billig, AJC's Representative in Italy and to the Vatican.
Earlier in the Nostra Aetate anniversary conference, Rabbi Rosen spoke on the topic of "Violence and the Commitment of Religions to Peace."
AJC, a pioneer in advancing Catholic-Jewish relations over many decades, enjoys close, cooperative relations with the Vatican, and played a key role in the process leading up to the promulgation of Nostra Aetate on October 28, 1965.
Rabbi Marc Tanenbaum, who then was AJC's Director of Interreligious Affairs, worked closely with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel on memoranda regarding the Christian-Jewish relationship that were submitted to Cardinal Augustin Bea, who shepherded Nostra Aetate's creation at the Vatican. One of their papers, "On Improving Catholic-Jewish Relations," presented the basis for a way forward. Heschel and AJC continued to be deeply involved in the development of what would eventually emerge from the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council as Nostra Aetate.
Nostra Aetate affirmed the ongoing and eternal validity of the Divine Covenant with the Jewish people, and has been the inspiration for 50 years of ongoing, ever expanding interactions by Christians and Jews.
AJC leaders have met with Pope Francis multiple times. At a private audience at the Vatican in 2014, the pontiff told AJC's leadership, "I am very grateful to you for the distinguished contribution you have made to dialogue and fraternity between Jews and Catholics."
SOURCE American Jewish Committee