Interfaith Conference Seizes Opportunity to Deepen Jewish-Catholic Dialogue 

by Martin Barillas Sunday, April 04, 2010
WASHINGTON - Catholic and Jewish leaders in Washington, D.C. will reaffirm and deepen an improving Jewish-Christian dialogue by hosting a conference on Tuesday, May 7, 2002, at the Catholic University of America to discuss "The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the New Testament," a groundbreaking statement from the Catholic Church that outlines a new approach to how Catholics understand the relationship between the Hebrew Bible and the Christian scriptures.

Co-sponsored by the Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Religion, the Catholic University of America, the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, and the Rabbinical Committee for Interreligious Dialogue, the goal of the conference is for Catholics and Jews to explore how they can be true to their own faiths without being false to the beliefs of others.

"At a time when violence between races and religions is defining our lives, the new statement from the Vatican on relations with the Jews is a powerful sign of hope," said Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Director of the Center for Interreligious Understanding. "The Vatican's statement changes many of the stereotypical attitudes towards the Jewish people and their scriptures that in the past have been destructive to creating mutual respect and reconciliation."

"We are in an era of remarkable progress in the relationship between Catholics and Jews," said William Cardinal Keeler. "The Holy See's new statement on the Jewish scriptures and the New Testament is a important next step in our efforts to build bridges of understanding between our two faiths."

Since the Second Vatican Council's declaration in 1965 entitled "Nostra Aetate," or Our Age, the Catholic Church has taken dramatic steps to improve its relationship with the Jewish people. Pope John Paul II has been recognized by Jewish leaders for his efforts to better relations with the Jews through official Church statements on the Holocaust, establishing a "Full Diplomatic Accord" with Israel, and for asking forgiveness of the Jews during his historic pilgrimage to Israel in March 2000.

Building on this progress, the new text by the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Commission is the first serious attempt to recognize Jewish perspectives on the Hebrew Bible and the coming of the Messiah.

After an introduction by William Cardinal Keeler, Prof. Joseph Jensen, O.S.B., Catholic University of America, will explain the significance of the Biblical Commission's statement for Catholics. Rabbi Jack Bemporad will address how the new document elaborates the Jewish people's covenant with God and provides a chance to deepen the Christian-Jewish dialogue. Further comments will be made by Father Elias Mallon, Acting Dean of the Auburn Theological Seminary, and Rabbi Martin Cohen, Professor of History at Hebrew Union College. The program will conclude with an audience discussion.

The Center for Interreligious Understanding is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to improving relations between Catholics and Jews through educational activities that apply the lessons of history to contemporary issues and to interfaith understanding. For more information, visit or call 201-866-1411.

The National Catholic Bishops' Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs was founded by U.S. Bishops during the Second Vatican Council and works to provide guidelines for common prayer and worship, promotes formal conversation and exchange with Orthodox, Protestant and Jewish bodies, and enlists experts to assist the Catholic bishops in ecumenical endeavors. The Committee also fosters contacts and relationships with other major religious communities in the U.S. For more information, visit or call 202-541-3000.

The Columbus School of Law created the Interdisciplinary Center for Law and Religion to provide a forum for the study, research and public discussion of issues arising at the nexus of law and religion. For information, call Prof. Robert Destro at 202-319-5202.


What: An Investigation of the Pontifical Biblical Commission Statement on the Jewish People and Its Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible: Its Implications for Jewish-Christian Relations

When: Tuesday, May 7, 1:00-5:30 p.m.

Where: Catholic University School of Law, Room 220 3600 John McCormack Road, Washington, D.C.

Who: Marshall Breger, Professor of Law, Catholic University of America; His Excellency, The Most Reverend Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States; William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore; Prof. Joseph Jensen, O.S.B., Catholic University of America; Rabbi Jack Bemporad, Director, Center for Interreligious Understanding; Father Elias Mallon, Acting Dean of the Auburn Theological Seminary, and Rabbi Martin Cohen, Professor of History at Hebrew Union College

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Rabbi Jack Bemporad of the Center for Interreligious Understanding will present a Hebrew-English Bible to William Cardinal Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, at 1:00 p.m. as a gesture symbolizing the Catholic Church's new perspective on the Hebrew Bible and this historic opportunity for Jews and Catholics to find common religious ground.

NOTE: Due to space constraints, the conference is by invitation only. It is open to the press.

Jack Bemporad, Center for Interreligious Understanding, 201-233-5076 ,

Tom Haederle, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, 202-319-5438 ###

0    submitted by Martin Barillas
Read More Press Releases

SKS Ispat& Power Ltd commissions first 300-MW power unit of their 1,200-MW RaigarhPower Plant

How a Bodybuilding Diet Can Help Build Muscle Naturally

Low Carb Diet Report Casts Light On New Research Findings

Increase in the number of student visa is trending nowadays

Wiwigo Technologies: First of its kind selfie campaign takes place in moving Delhi-Chandigarh Shatabdi

An important day in real estate sector

Leonard Kim to Appear on Critical Mass Radio Show

Nishan Kohli's recent exhibition on photography

CIMR-PU Esteemed Globally—SAARC DESIMGOW Moderator at NPA Venerated for High Contour-profiles.

Lilanie Kadirgamar Geiger dedicates cookbook to late mother

Get press releases by email