By Pagine Ebraiche staff
The interfaith dialogue between Jews and the Catholic Church is “at a very good point”. Explaining it to Pagine Ebraiche is Father Norbert Hofmann, secretary of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews.
“Small and big initiatives remind us of that. If we discuss our specific experience, we can start with 2002. In June, we undertook the challenge of starting this interfaith group, with a first secret meeting promoted by John Paul II. After a few months of preparations, the work officially began the following February. Our group is small and select, the ideal set for promoting the circulation of ideas and thoughts, with a constant outlook on currents affairs: the sanctity of life, Jewish and Christian ethics and the challenges presented to religious leaders,” Hofmann told Pagine Ebraiche in an interview following the latest meeting of the Commission with the representatives of the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Among the most relevant passages of the final document was criticism of “the attempts to deny the historical attachment of the Jewish People to its holiest site.”
The Commission Secretary explained that their work is in the realm of religious dialogue: “we do not talk about politics, although it is evident that sometimes the two aspects are interwoven.”
Hofmann emphasized the importance of having the Chief Rabbinate of Israel as their partner. “The results of our work are extraordinary if we think that in 2002, we didn’t have access to the Jewish Orthodox world and now we work with the Rabbinate.”
Asked about the main obstacles that the dialogue faces, the priest explains that for their part, they would consider it important to discuss theological matters, something that the Chief Rabbinate is reluctant to do.
Concluding the interview, Hofmann sought to reassure the Jewish world regarding the issue of the Lefebvre society and its possible readmission in the Catholic Church: “Until they accept the Second Vatican Council, its spirit and its values, it’s not going to happen,” he said.