Declaration of Jewish-Catholic dialogue for Canada

Wednesday, November 25 2015

To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication by the Second Vatican Council of the Declaration Nostra Aetate and specifically its fourth section, which profoundly changed Catholic-Jewish relations by declaring that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the living God whose great Name Israel is commanded to sanctify and whom Catholics believe to be triune, abides and has never ceased to abide in continuing, covenantal relationship with Abraham’s stock;

In gratitude for the extraordinary blessings Catholics, Jews, and people of all backgrounds enjoy as people living in Canada: a remarkable and vibrant democracy that provides countless opportunities for civic engagement in an environment of social harmony and cohesion as well as of profound respect;

In recognition of the indispensable value our respective faith communities have to offer the public square in addressing the myriad challenges facing Canadians;

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) and the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus (CRC) hereby commit to engage in a shared and sincere dialogue and intend as such to work together in order to:

• Strengthen mutual understanding and ties between our communities by undertaking sustained cross-community dialogue, and encourage similar local initiatives across Canada so as to raise greater awareness of the improved and fruitful relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people;

• Oppose antisemitism and all forms of hatred, which are inherently inimical to the tenets of our respective faiths and the well-being of Canadian society as a whole;

• Advance public policy issues of common cause, particularly those reflecting our shared values and commitment to equality, tolerance, social justice, compassion, religious freedom, and the inalienable dignity and worth of every human life; and
• Encourage civic engagement among Jewish and Catholic people in Canada, including grassroots cooperation and joint advocacy initiatives that provide our respective communities with greater opportunities to work together to contribute to the public policy discussion.

The Jewish and Catholic communities of Canada thank the Almighty for the gift of this new dialogue and pray for its continued fruitfulness.

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