Nostra Aetate

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Years ago, a man was crucified for saying he was God’s Son. His name was Jesus Christ. Those who followed his teachings were named Christians; and Christians soon resented Jews for their sinful act. This tension between Christians and Jews lead to increasing hatred for one another. Not too long ago, anti-Semitism was common. Anti-Semitism led to the death of an entire population during the Holocaust. Luckily, the church has taken measures to rectify this anti-semitism with the publication of Nostra Aetate. In 1965, the Vatican II Council completely transformed the church’s policies and theology with this document. Nostra Aetate signifies “In Our Time.” Indeed, in our time, the ill sentiments towards Jews have changed tremendously. Nostra Aetate is a unifying document that has not only led to peaceful coexistence of the Catholic and Judaic faith but also understanding of many other faiths. Ultimately, it has enabled the education of Catholicism in universities, as well as in organizations. From the beginning of time, men have had continuous arguments over religion. Religion has been the greatest source of disagreement between cultures. Even the foundation of America was built on religious freedom, as Puritans from Great Britain came to the United States to practice their religion freely. The biggest religious disagreement, however, has been between the Catholics and the Jews. Section four of Nostra Aetate is the most important section of the entire document. It reaffirms the religious bond shared by Jews and Catholics, talks about the eternal covenant between God and the People of Israel, and disproves the church’s desire to baptize Jews.. This document states, “Humanity forms but one community. This is so

because all stem from the one stock which God
created to people the entire earth (see Acts 17:26),
and also because all share a common destiny, namely God.”
Nostra Aetate acknowledges that the religions of Judaism and Christianity believe in a sole...
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