In his article last week (“Nostra Aetate’s Impact, 50 Years On”), Noam Marans wrote about the dramatic positive effects of the Vatican II document Nostra Aetate.
None can contest that since the issuing of Nostra Aetate 50 years ago, the Church has made serious progress in changing its relationship to Jews and Judaism. Even so, the Church is still wrestling with understanding how and where Jews and Judaism fit into their theology.
Rabbi Marans writes: “The declaration’s 600-word section on Judaism … validates God’s eternal covenant with the Jewish people.”
I feel that Rabbi Marans is incorrect in his interpretation of how the Church understands Nostra Aetate.
Confirming that he is incorrect, in 2009 the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops removed from the U.S. Catechism for Adults the sentence: “Thus the covenant that God made with the Jewish people through Moses remains eternally valid for them.”
Based on this we can see that the Church’s understanding is that Nostra Aetate did not validate God’s eternal covenant with the Jewish people.
The author teaches Torah studies at Yeshiva University as well as at Seton Hall University in its Institute for Judaeo-Christian Studies.