Catholic-Jewish relations since Vatican II

Fr. Philipp Renczes

Jesuit Father Philipp Renczes preaches the homily during Mass at The Lay Centre April 20.

by Emil Anton

The Lay Centre welcomed Jesuit Father Philipp Renczes, the director of the Cardinal Bea Centre at the Pontifical Gregorian University, April 20.

After Mass and dinner, Father Renczes told the students about Cardinal Bea, who was a very influential figure at the Second Vatican Council and the main architect of the historic declaration Nostra Aetate on the relationship of the Catholic Church with non-Christian religions. It was an exceptional document in that it could not make ample reference to earlier Magisterial teachings, for the subject matter was completely new.

Professor Renczes gave an overview of the improvement of the Church’s relations with other religions since the Council and said while relations at the top level are often excellent, much remains to be done at the parish level.

The Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies helps Catholic and Jewish students and professors get to know each other by offering a study program and organizing exchanges between the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Jesuit Father Philippe Renczes speaks with Lay Centre residents about the history and development in Catholic-Jewish relations since the Second Vatican Council.

Fr. Renczes told the students about his acquaintance with Rabbi Abraham Skorka from Argentina, Pope Francis’ personal friend, and about a cordial meeting of all the rabbis of Argentina with Pope Francis.

Illustrating the Catholic commitment to good relations with Judaism, Renczes joked: “It is easier for a rabbi to get an audience with the Pope than for an ordinary Catholic priest.”

(Photos by Emil Anton)

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