The 18th World Congress of Jewish Studies

The Vatican and the State of Israel: An Unpublished Document from 1969

In April 1969, the Vatican Office for Catholic-Jewish Relations organized a consultation of 21 Catholic experts from 14 countries to address the implementation of the Conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate No. 4. After returning from Rome, Cardinal Lawrence Shehan of Baltimore delivered a lecture to a large audience, revealing the contents of one of the documents, which were presented to the plenary session of the Secretary for the Promotion of christian Unity and large excerpts were published in the New York Times on December 11, 1969. This unpublished text made a clear declaration on the State of Israel form a theological point of view. Only almost 20 years later, a short sentence will appear in another offical text. This lecture will show the difficulty for the Catholic Church to confront the reality of the State of Israel in a theological way.