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Nostra Aetate (Latin: In our Age) is the Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions of the Second Vatican Council. Passed by a vote of 2,221 to 88 of the assembled bishops, this declaration was promulgated on October 28, 1965, by Pope Paul VI.
The first draft, entitled "Decretum de Judaeis" ("Decree on the Jews"), was completed in November 1961, approximately fourteen months after Cardinal Bea was commissioned by Pope John XXIII. This draft essentially went nowhere, never having been submitted to the Council, which opened on 11 October 1962.
Nostra Aetate was one of Vatican II's three declarations, the other documents consisting of nine decrees and four constitutions. It was the shortest of the documents and contained few, if any, references to the debates and the rationale that had gone into its making; therefore, the changes to be brought about by the declaration on the Church's Relations with non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate, carried implications not fully appreciated at the time.
The 1974 "Guidelines"
To flesh out these implications and ramifications, the Vatican's Commission on Interrelegious Relations with the Jews issued its Guidelines and Suggestions for Implementing the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate in late 1974.
The 1985 "Notes"
This was followed by that same body's Notes on the Correct Way to Present Jews and Judaism in the Teaching and Catechesis of the Roman Catholic Church in 1985. These developments were paralleled by accompanying statements from the U.S. bishops.
Nostra Aetate 40 years on
The above-referenced statements by the Vatican's Commission for Interreligious Relations with the Jews, as well as other developments, including the establishment of more than two dozen centers for Christian-Jewish understanding at Catholic institutions of higher learning in the United States along with the participation by rabbis in seminarian formation training, demonstrate how the church has embraced Nostra Aetate.
The significance of Nostra Aetate as a new starting point in the Church's relations with Judaism, in light of the foregoing, can be appreciated from the vantage point of the passage of forty years. The U.S. Congress passed a resolution acknowledging Nostra Aetate at forty, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. also noted this anniversary. This is in addition to the marking of the occasion at the Vatican's Gregorian University itself and at major centers of Christian-Jewish understanding around the United States.
Notes and references
- Pope Paul VI (1965-10-28). Declaration on the relation of the church to non-christian religions — Nostra Aetate. Holy See. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- US House Concurrent Resolution 260 Recognizing the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate, and the continuing need for mutual interreligious respect and dialogue.
- Pope Paul VI (1965-10-28). Declaration on the relation of the church to non-christian religions - Nostra Aetate. Holy See. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- Pope Paul VI (1965-10-28). Declaratio De Ecclesiae Habitudine Ad Religiones Non-Christianas - Nostra Aetate (in Latin). Holy See. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- Akasheh, Khaled (28 June 2006). "Nostra Aetate 40 Years later: 'Dialogue' Between Christians and Muslims". L'Osservatore Romano: 8.
- Banki, Judith (2005-12-07). "The Interfaith Story behind Nostra Aetate, transcript of a talk given on the occasion of the observance of the 40th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate". United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Archived from the original on January 27, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-26.
- Bea s.j., Augustin Cardinal (1967). "The Church and the non-Christian Religions". The Way to Unity After the Council. London: G. Chapman. OCLC 956846.
- Serafian, Michael, The Pilgrim: Pope Paul VI, The Council and The Church in a time of decision, Farrar, Straus, New York, 1964
- Cassidy, Edward Idris Cardinal (2005). "Section II: Interreligious Dialogue - Nostra Aetate". Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue: Unitatis Redintegratio, Nostra Aetate. New York: Paulist Press. pp. 125–225. ISBN 0-8091-4338-0.
- Cunningham, Philip A. (2006-07-14). "Uncharted Waters - The Future of Catholic-Jewish Relations". Commonweal. CXXXIII (13).[dead link]
- Willebrands, Johannes Cardinal (1974-12-01). Guidelines and suggestions for implementing the conciliar declaration "Nostra Aetate" (N. 4). Commission For Religious Relations With The Jews (Holy See). Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- "40th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate (A collection of resources)". Retrieved 2008-12-25.[dead link]
- US House Concurrent ResolutionRecognizing the 40th anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate, and the continuing need for mutual interreligious respect and dialogue.
- "In Our Time". Forward (New York). 2005-10-28. Retrieved 2008-12-25.
- Robinson, Neal (December 1991). "Massignon, Vatican II and Islam as an Abrahamic religion". Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations 2 (2): 182–205. doi:10.1080/09596419108720957.
- Rosen, Rabbi David (2005-10-27). Nostra Aetate — Forty Years after Vatican II, Present and Future Perspectives. Commission For Religious Relations With The Jews (Holy See).
- Philip A. Cunningham, Nostra Aetate: A Catholic Act of Metanoia
- (English) Nostra Ætate from the Vatican website