Jubilee: Renewing our Common Bonds with the Jewish Community

Thursday, October 12 2000

(Cornwall – CCCB) – To mark the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, the Episcopal Commission for Ecumenism has prepared a document inviting Canadian Catholics to join in a special relationship with the Jewish community in Canada.

The document, entitled Jubilee: Renewing our Common Bonds with the Jewish Community, was released at the CCCB annual Plenary meeting in Cornwall shortly after morning prayer adapted from the Yom Kippur service where Montreal Rabbi Howard Joseph greeted the bishops and observers and led them in a reflection.

The decision to issue such a document is a recognition that the Spirit of Jubilee is rooted in the Hebrew Scriptures that Christians and Jews share, and follows other recent statements by the Vatican and some episcopal conferences released during this Jubilee year.

“As it is from Judaism”, the document asks, “that the Church has learned the practice of the Jubilee Year, should not this year mark a further step forward in our attitudes towards the Jewish People?”

“In this year, could we not take some concrete steps toward a new relationship marked by understanding, peace and mutual respect?” it continues.

The Ecumenism Commission prepared the document for approval by the CCCB Permanent Council, and conferred with members of Jewish community as well as representatives of the Canadian Christian-Jewish Consultation during the document’s preparation.

Catholics are called to reconciliation with Jews and are reminded, “Reconciliation begins with repentance, a firm commitment to turn away from the sources of division and from attitudes of rejection.”

Some practical steps are listed in how to express our Jubilee commitment to answer God’s call for profound changes in our relationship with Judaism. The steps include prayer, visits and social events, conversations, study of Church documents, preaching and teaching, printed texts and the media and cooperation on issues of justice and peace.

The document concludes with a reminder that “as children of Abraham, Jews and Christians are called to be a blessing to the world” (Genesis12:2).

The document is available from the CCCB’s Office for Ecumenism at 1-613-241-9461 ext. 249 or by sending an email to: cecc@cccb.ca.