Jewish, Catholic and political leaders gathered at the Great Synagogue in Sydney today to mark the 40th anniversary of Nostra Aetate, a document that emerged from the Second Vatican Council and calls for a renewed relationship between Christians and Jews and an end to anti-Semitism.
The occasion will be marked with the launch of a book by Cardinal Edward Cassidy, the president-emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews. His book, entitled “Rediscovering Vatican II - Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue”, will be presented by his successor, Cardinal Walter Kasper, in a video message from Rome.
"Forty years have passed since the Second Vatican Council, and the generation that personally experienced it is now passing away,” says Cardinal Kasper in the video. “The younger generation perceives it as a distant and historical event, perhaps even concluded. Yet the contrary is true: the insights and teachings of the Council have never been more relevant and fundamental.”
There will feature also be speeches by the Emeritus Chief Minister of the Great Synagogue, Rabbi Raymond Apple, Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee, recorded in Jerusalem. Cardinal Cassidy will also address those gathered.
The commemoration function will be presided by the governor of New South Wales, Marie Bashir AC and is jointly promoted by the St Thomas More Society and the New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies.