Meeting between the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

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(CCCB - Ottawa)... Representatives from the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) met 16 November to reaffirm the Judeo-Christian dialogue and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the publication of Nostra Aetate, the declaration of the Second Vatican Council on the Church and non-Christian religions.

Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte - Victor Goldbloom
Cardinal Jean-Claude Turcotte, Archbishop of Montréal, used the occasion to renew ties with Dr. Victor Goldbloom, Chair of the National Executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress.

A reception was held at the episcopal conference’s headquarters in Ottawa with 19 bishops from the CCCB Permanent Council and the CCCB Commission for Christian Unity, Relations with the Jews, and Interfaith Dialogue, and a number of members of the Canadian Jewish Community, including rabbis. Similar celebrations have recently taken place in Montreal and Toronto.

The declaration Nostra Aetate, published in 1965, marks the official recognition by the Catholic Church of the value of non-Christian religions, which “rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions.” The document makes reference to Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as particular references to Judaism and also denounces all forms of anti-Semitism.

Nostra Aetate, one of 16 texts adopted by the Council, aimed at bringing Catholics and Jews closer. “Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.”

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Canada’s oldest diocese, the Archdiocese of Quebec, was established in 1674. Most Reverend François de Laval was its first Bishop.