Recommendation on Education in Catholic and Jewish Seminaries and Schools of Theology
International Catholic - Jewish Liaison Committee 17th Meeting
New York City, May 4, 2001
Relations between the Catholic Church and the Jewish People have improved significantly in the last half-century. The education of future clergy and lay leaders in both our communities is crucial if coming generations are to sustain and further this progress.
In particular, the curricula of Catholic seminaries and schools of theology should reflect the central importance of the churchs new understanding of its relationship to Jews. To that end, we recommend:
The Jewish community has yet to undertake a similar effort to promote a basic understanding of Christianity. For historic reasons, many Jews find it difficult to overcome generational memories of anti-Semitic oppression. Therefore:
Lay and Religious Jewish leaders need to advocate and promote a program of education in our Jewish schools and seminaries - about the history of Catholic - Jewish relations and knowledge of Christianity and its relationship to Judaism. Such knowledge does not mean Jewish acceptance of Christianitys theological tenets. Encouragement of dialogue between the two faiths does involve recognition, understanding and respect for each other's beliefs, without having to accept them. It is particularly important that Jewish schools teach about the Second Vatican Council and subsequent documents and attitudinal changes which opened new perspectives and possibilities for both faiths.
Educational institutions in both our communities should make every effort as appropriate to their particular contexts to expose students to living Jewish or Christian communities through guest lecturers, field trips, involvement in local, national and international dialogue groups and conferences. The resources of the Internet should be utilized, especially sites such as www.jcrelations.net and the sites of various centers for Jewish-Christian understanding.