|1998 Nostra Aetate Awards and Lecture|
|"Jews and Christians, Tomorrow"
by Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger
Jean-Marie Cardinal Lustiger Archbishop of Paris "Jews and Christians, Tomorrow"
|How moving it is for me
to be made to feel welcome in this famous and venerable synagogue, already
over a century old! For this, I am deeply grateful to President Robert
Berend and Rabbi Allan Schranz. I also wish to thank for their presence my
brother Cardinal, Archbishop John O'Connor, and the French Consul in New
York, the Honourable Richard Duqué.
Needless to say, my gratitude goes especially to Rabbi Joseph Ehrenkranz, Dr. Anthony Cernera and all the officials of the Center for Christian-Jewish Understanding of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, and also to Dr. Samuel Pisar for introducing me with such thoughtfulness.
In addition, I wish to thank you all for caring to give me the Nostra Aetate Award by associating me with Rabbi Rene-Samuel Sirat, to whom I feel so close in respect and friendship. His presence here adds to the honor you are doing me. Your selection touches me more than you can imagine. May the Almighty bless your work and efforts.
If such an event can take place here in the United States, there must be a reason. You are all aware of the special conditions that the American history and culture have offered to Christian-Jewish relationships, in contrast with Europe and its tragedies. It is my intuition that, for the time being, you are more free than the Christians and Jews of the Old Continent, where the wounds of the past are still open,(1) to take advantage of all that has been accomplished in depth everywhere in the world, in Europe as well as in Israel.
Next year I will not fail to invite the Catholics of Paris to join the Jewish communities in prayers on Yom Shoah-the Day of the Shoah, April 13, 1999; 27 Nissan, 5759-in the spirit of penance and an act of faith in the Lord of the living and the dead. Perhaps what will be done in Paris can also be done elsewhere, and in particular in New York?
May I attempt to make one more step with you by wondering about the future of the relationships between Jews and Christians? Of course, I cannot erase from my heart and mind all the hardships whose persecutions have stamped the Jewish memory. But I will strive to investigate some of the confrontations and meetings, and even some of the contradictory convergences between Jewish consciousness and Christian consciousness over the last two millennia. For such a clarification is necessary to open a new dialogue that will not merely reproduce the controversies of past centuries.
New Relationships Between Jews and Christians?
Half a century has passed since the end of the Second World War and the creation of the State of Israel. As we are nearing the third millennium of the Christians era, a new age has begun in the history of humankind. The relationships between Jews and non-Jews have been deeply changed over the last 50 years.
First of all, geographically. Most of the Jews who had been living-sometimes for more than 20 centuries-in regions which became Islamic countries have returned to Israel or emigrated to lands with a Western, mostly Christian culture. Furthermore, many Jewish survivors have left Europe and the former Soviet Union, and more are still doing so. One result of all these population movements, which started as early as the end of the 19th century, is that no nation, even Israel, has a greater number of Jewish residents today than the United States. France is the only European country where a comparatively large Jewish community has maintained and reconstituted itself, thanks to Sephardi immigration from North Africa. T
hese geographical movements correspond to cultural and spiritual transfers, and also to new types of relationships between Jews and Christians. The Europeans are likely to be insufficiently aware of the important work of collation which is currently under way within your nation. Most of them still do not know about the American encounter between the Jewish culture and the Christian cultures. This symbiosis is, in part, successor to the former cultural centers that made famous places like Prague, Warsaw, Vilno, Vienna, Berlin, and so many German university towns, without forgetting Paris and London. America now welcomes yiddish voices that used to come from the shtetl of Poland, Russia and other East European nations before the Shoah and the Stalinian purges.
A study of cultural history covering the period from the end of the 18th to the end of this century should, of course, show the role played by Jews and Jewish sources in the culture of Western modernity. It should also point out the renewal of Jewish-Christian relationships since 1948, especially in the United States and more especially-this must be acknowledged-here in New York. The fact is that today Jews are respected when living among Western Christians, while the young State of Israel is immerged among the Muslim nations.
This radial change in the concrete conditions of Jewish existence is contemporaneous with a very different transformation: the aggiornamento intended by the Second Vatican Council for the Catholic Church, inviting her to reach beyond the exclusivism of the old European cultures. The fetters of national feelings and political determinisms had tightened up along the centuries, and they had contained for too long her spiritual dynamism within the limits of European references.
The tremendous economic and political changes that are taking place today make up the background against which the two upheavals I have evoked stand out-that is, the evolution of the Jewish condition and the renewal of the Catholic Church.(2)
A page is being turned in the history of humankind. Catholics, after all, have only been obeying the words of Jesus when he explained the commandment, thou shall not kill: "So if you are presenting your gift at the altar and suddenly remember that your brother has a grievance against you, leave your gift where it is before the altar. First go and make your peace with your brother; then come back and offer your gift" (Matthew 5:23-24). These words in the Gospel do not take into consideration what you think of yourself or the arguments by which you would like to justify yourself or protest of your innocence. They simply acknowledge the other's-your brother's-wound as he experiences it.
In Christian-Jewish relationships, Christians have opened their eyes and ears to the Jewish pain and wounds. They accept to be held responsible and agree to bear that burden without rejecting it on others. They have not tried to declare themselves innocent. If they have not asked for the victims' forgiveness, it is because they know that only God can grant forgiveness, as the Gospel according to Matthew (9:4) recalls that only God knows what is in man's heart, and He is the only Judge. Jesus also says (Matthew 7, 1), "Do not judge" (that is, do not substitute yourself for God), "and you will not be judged" (which means, God will not judge you). In the name of truth, Christians ask the Jews to take part in their examination of conscience. In the French Bishops' Declaration of Repentance at Drancy on September 30, 1997, we did not want to insist on the role played by numerous Catholics to save a number of Jews in France. Indeed, this is something that Serge Klarsfeld has brought to light: if there were a good many survivors among French Jews, it is especially-though not exclusively-thanks to Christians and more particularly the clergy. Some have reproached the Drancy Declaration for failing to emphasize this aspect of history. But how could we then have not yielded-even unconsciously-to the temptation to justify outselves?
When the authorities of Yad Vashem instituted the recognition of the "Righteous Among the Nations," they meant, in the name of the Jewish people, to manifest a concern for the truth. With a book and a film, Marek Halter also wanted to remember these works of justice. Is this not also the significance of the "French Society to Honor the Righteous Among the Nations?" It has been created recently by Jean Kahn, president of the Central Consistory of France. On November 2, 1997, this organization inaugurated at Thonon-les-Bains the "Clearing of the Righteous," in the middle of which a memorial is standing to perpetuate the action of the men and women who risked their lives to save thousands of Jews from deportation and death. On this occasion, I sent the following message to the participants:
I do remember those who warned me that I might be arrested soon. I do remember those who put me up without asking any questions. I do remember those whom I trusted and who never betrayed me. I do remember what they did for me in those times of dereliction. Yet I cannot remember their names or sometimes even their faces. Would I be able to recognize them if they are still alive?
We are moved by the list of those who have been given the title of 'Righteous Among the Nations.' And we are no less moved when we think of so many unknown people to whom we shall never be able to say thank you. To perpetuate their memory is a duty for our generation with regard to the next. For the Righteous prove that the best, as well as the worst, can spring from man's heart.
Such gestures of mutual recognition allow us to interrogate ourselves more serenely about the ceaselessly reborn violence perpetrated against Israel, first by the ancient pagan anti-Judaism, then by Christian anti-Judaism with its tragic consequences in medieval and modern Europe, until the neo-pagan anti-Semitism of the contemporary era.
It would be an illusion to think that preaching tolerance or even educating to it is enough to eradicate incomprehension and rejection. Together, we still have to identify the causes of such fierce tensions. Making the decision to understand and love each other requires acknowledging what still divides us and cannot be eliminated by human determination.
Election and Jealousy
It probably was the Jamnia Assembly which, in the year 90, excluded from the synagogue the Jews who had become disciples of Christ. Long before, as early as 50 or 60 A.D., Saul of Tarsus-Paul-had tried to arouse the "jealousy" of his Pharisee brothers against the pagans who were followers of the Messiah. As he wrote to the Romans (11, 14), he "hoped to stir those of [his] own race to jealousy."
Under his pen, this suggests emulation in faithfulness to the election by the living God, not arrogant and homicidal envy. The "jealousy" that Paul expected was not the murderous envy which seizes Jacob's sons in front of their brother Joseph (Genesis 37), but the divine jealousy which is the burning face of loving predilection. For Paul the Apostle, this is even the key to history, to the election, to the Covenant, and to Salvation: the "setting aside of the elect" as a "remnant" for "the reconciliation of the world." In this "reserve" and "setting aside" the Scriptures, and especially the prophets Isaiah (11,1; 60,21) and Daniel (11:7) see God making a cutting or a shoot (natzer) spring from the holy root, so as to reconcile the world and lead it from death to life (cf. Romans 11,15).
The double significance of the term jealousy in the Bible, where it describes either human self-conceit or the divine care for man, induces a double reading of the Scriptures and a double behavior in history.
Among men jealousy is a caricature of love, which it aims to imprison and finally chases away. God's jealousy reveals the absolutism of love, the preference of the election, the intransigence of fidelity even when it is abandoned. Human jealousy leads to destroying the object of love; God's jealousy outreaches punishment and finally restores life-forever.
What has happened between Jews and Christians over the last 20 centuries is a tragedy of human jealousy usurping the appearance of divine jealousy. This jealous zeal, which was only too human, took up a different disguise depending on whether the simulators were Jewish or Christian.
1. Christian jealousy of Israel very quickly took the shape of a claim for a legacy: just get rid of the other, who is so close and yet so different! The substitution of Jacob for Esau-the younger son for the elder-has been used as a justification. But then what about Joseph, whom his brothers pretend to murder? This was conjuring the youngest away so as to retain the privilege of the father's love. So who is who among those biblical figures?
Several of the parables of Jesus deal with this issue of the legacy and its appropriation. One of these stories is especially grim. It is the case of the murder of the beloved Son, both the eldest and the only one, since the first-born is by definition unique. This parable (Mark 12:1-12) relates the slaying of this Son by those who are only asked to take care of the vineyard. The point is that they want to seize it. To anyone who hears this story today, its significance is amazingly ambivalent, as it can be interpreted as foretelling the killing of either Jesus or Israel, the beloved Son.
The pagans who had become Christians gained access to the Holy Scriptures and to the Jewish festivals. But human-only too human-envy prompted them to marginalize or throw out the Jews. In their first efforts of evangelization, the Apostles Peter and Paul had meant to share with the pagans the grace received by the Jewish people. By celebrating the fulfillment of the messianic promises, the first apostles had generously allowed the pagans to keep a distinct status (Acts 15:5-35) alongside the Jews. But the number and might of the pagans who had entered the Church of the Messiah upset the inverted order of the dispensation of salvation. This movement tended to deprive the Jewish existence of its concrete, carnal, historical contents, and to consider the life of the Church until recent history, as the final achievement of Jewish hope and life. This was how the theory of substitution was developed.
When speaking of Jews and non-Jews, Paul had stated: "There is no such thing as Jew and Greek, slave and freeman, male and female" (Galatians 3:28. Cf. also 1 Corinthians 12:13). He did not ignore the burdensome time of history and expectation. But in this dazzling insight he announced the achievement of God's design and the assumption of all peoples into the glory of the Resurrection. "The Jews" and the "the Nations," these are biblical categories. Where are the Christians then? The ancient way of speaking distinguished between Christian-Jews and Christian goyim. We can still find a trace of this on the old Roman mosaic of St. Sabine's (422-430 A.D.). Two figures can be seen on either side of the dedication-they are aging veiled women holding a book with this caption: "Ecclesia ex circumcisione-Ecclesia ex gentibus."
The Ecclesia ex circumcisione survived as it could. But when Constantine granted the Christians a tolerance that was tantamount to a recognition of Christianity in the life of the State and eventually led to make it the religion of the Empire, the Jews were brutally rejected. This was a simplistic and unrefined way of denying redemption the time and childbirth labor that it requires, with completion "a day and hour no one knows" (Matthew 24:36). The mythology of the substitution of the Christian people for the Jewish people fostered a secret, inextinguishable envy and legitimated the captation of Israel's legacy, of which countless examples could be offered. (4)
This rivalry between brothers gave a specific turn to the relationships between Jews and Christians during the Middle Ages and even the modern times. (5) The best minds knew that the Scriptures were received from the Jews, and also the Revelation, and-even more fundamentally-the source of salvation. In Antiquity many Christian theologians and spiritual figures learned Hebrew so as to read the Bible in its original language and gather from the rabbis the teachings of the most ancient tradition.
But at the same time, envy introduced an ugly bias in the encounters with Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah any more than they agreed with the disintegration of their traditions and faithfulness in the Christian society, which they considered as pagan. This envy prompted many Christians to become involved in passionate polemics, and these eventually nurtured anti-Judaism, preparing its bloody, tragic manifestations with foul calumnies of ritual murders and so many other horrible lies which have reached our century through the "Protocol of the Wise Men of Zion" and anti-Semitic literature.
2. Can it be said that many Jews reciprocated and replied with symmetrical hostility?(6) Those Christians were only goyim! Their claims were ungrounded! All that concerned them and touched them fell into the category of impurity. The only sensible behavior at the time and in the context of exile was to ignore them, to send them into the same spiritual vacuum as the other pagans. Why, the Jews thought, should Christianity-more than any other non-Jewish religion-be entitled to some special consideration?
Moreover, all that specifically represented the Christian faith could only be understood as symbols of the violence and death whose victims were the Jews. These emblems could no longer in any way signify mercy, forgiveness, or love. They were but horrible pictures, which were better not to look at, which must not be thought of or mentioned, as forebodings of death and supreme blasphemies!
However, this parallelism of Christian and Jewish spiritual attitudes could not be further developed, because the balance of power was blatantly unequal. Yet the reciprocity in lack of understanding and contempt remains eloquent. What is also significant is the affinities and contrarieties that can be detected in the relation of both Jews and Christians to world history.
Historical Time and World History
There is another aspect of the 20-century-old presence of Jewish communities among the Christian nations. The symmetry between the Jewish and Christian destinies proves to be even more contradictory than their attitudes towards the election.
1. After the last destruction of the Temple and the great dispersion, only the synagogue was left to the Jews, if we put aside the Jewish-Christian communities which disappeared little by little. The Diaspora was then organized with a cult in which the priests and the Levites were unable to perform their services, because the ritual sacrifices could no longer be offered. The Jews underwent this new trial, as they had already done during their deportation to Babylon, with a tremendous act of patient and imploring faith, so that God would manifest His glory and fulfill His promises. The whole existence of the Jewish communities was entirely absorbed, in prayer and fidelity, by the accomplishment of their divine vocation. If a Christian notion may be borrowed here, it could be said that this life became "monastic," as had perhaps already been the case with the Essenian communities.
For centuries the Jews participated only marginally in human history, limiting themselves to existing and surviving. In some way, they allowed themselves to be buried in history in order to be the witnesses of their faith and of their prophecies. They were hidden inside history and absent from history-except through misfortunes and persecutions. Without a land of their own, without being citizens, they used the languages of the nations that accepted their particularity, but they kept at the heart of prayer the language of the Revelation. They were present everywhere and absent from everything.
As it had been deprived of the concrete, historic foundations of its existence by the destruction of the Temple and the dispersion of the people across the Empires, Israel concentrated all its strengths on the expectation of the achievement of history. Until the Age of Enlightenment, Jewish existence deliberately concentrated itself on compliance with the Commandments and the study of the Law. This separate life aimed at creating the conditions to hasten the glorious final coming of the Messiah. This Jewish existence was entirely centered on the way up towards the end of history.
2. The Christians of the nations, as far as they were concerned, should have remained aware that they were offered gratuitously-as a grace which they had not deserved-to take part in what God had granted to Israel. But they were permanently tempted, in the course of these last two millennia, to reduce to the particularities of their own history the final accomplishment of the divine design, whereas the latter always remains to be expected.
Jesus described to his disciples the time of history as a wake in the night, as the burdensome toil of the servant waiting for his master's return. Christians have too often failed to hear the watchword "patience" (Luke 8:15; 21:19. Cf. also Romans 2:7; 5:3; 8:25). It is in this patience, "through which you will appropriate your souls," which allows in faith to hope against all odds for the day of the Lord.
The Christian kingdoms ambitioned to become in history the temporal realization of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Church herself often occupied the space of the secular power, presenting herself as the actualization here below of the Kingdom of On High. Everything was as if the hope for the day to come was absorbed into history and its incompleteness, and reduced to the temporal present. Such religiosity, which was bound to be oppressive and intolerant, was incomprehensible and, in any case, unacceptable for the Jews whose only king was God and who knew that no kingdom could claim to be God's kingdom, unless it was governed by God Himself in peace and justice. (Also note in passing that this temporal religiousness was found just as unbearable by the great spiritual figures whom the Holy Spirit has never tired of giving to the Church.)
Within the Christian existence, and repeatedly along the centuries, revival movements like monasticism have provided numerous men and women with a life of sanctity and perfection through obedience to the commandments and the divine precepts. Although the diversity of the times and cultures meant that methods were different, this path towards perfection was comparable to that of the Jewish existence. Indeed, consecrated life under its multiple forms aims at living within the course of time in a way that is entirely shaped by the messianic expectation. Yet, the existence of this spiritual orientation was no more understandable for most Jews, especially when it took up the appearance of the Spanish Inquisitors during the Reconquista.
The figure of the Suffering Innocent, especially as he is described in Chapter 53 of Isaiah, remains a point that Jews and Christians keep in common. But this is also where the contradiction reaches its greatest intensity.
First of all, the faith of any believer, be he Jewish or Christian, stumbles over God's incomprehensible injustice. The New Testament will describe this trial of faith by the Greek word, skandalon. How can its redemptive value be grasped?
In the second place, the very wording of the Scripture suggests that this is a figure of Israel, but also of a messianic character. The blinding pains of history have obscured the vision of both Christians and Jews, so that we fail to recognize Israel in its Messiah or the Messiah hidden in Israel. Has the time of history been the time of the nations only to allow the Seed of Israel to sprout in them? Jews and Christians have failed to understand each other and scorned each other in the darkness of history. They have also smothered their own hopes of the final gathering. As they are divided in their intelligence of the same election and the same expectation, they also have separate outlooks on the promised unity of humankind.
Professor Ady Steg, who is the president of the Universal Israelite Alliance, has recently initiated a biblical study of Isaiah 53,(7) in which Jews and Christians were invited to participate. This common work in mutual respect is, to my eyes, an irrefutable sign of the beginning of a new era. The
Universality of the Blessing
Universality is the third aspect of the always contradictory symmetry drawn by history between Jews and Christians. The prophets have clearly announced that one day God will gather all the nations in the knowledge of His Name, as Isaiah has the Lord say (66:21), "And some of them I shall take for priests and for Levites." This is the most unthinkable, yet most fundamental conviction. 1. Along these last two thousand years of history, the Jews were disseminated across the West European and Muslim worlds, as well as in every area where there were Christians, such as Asia, Africa, and finally, in the New World, in the wake of the great discoveries.
During these feverish developments the Jews, who did not strive to gather the nations by associating them to the prayer of the sacerdotal people, remained scattered in their exile.
In the 19th century they were charged with being stateless. They were perceived as a strange network across all the nations, with a special, mysterious and threatening solidarity, whereas they were the guardians of the promised universality, of the unification of all people in one single destiny. According to the very words of God, all men have one single origin and one single vocation. God is the only God of the whole universe. As a result, all men have to consider themselves as brothers, as Adam's sons, made in the image and resemblance of the God who is their Creator and Father.
The diasporic condition of Israel could have been for humankind the pregnant symbol of this common destiny and of the promised unity. However, either because they deliberately chose to protect themselves or because they had to, in order to take upon themselves their unbearable difference from the other nations and thus survive, the Jews lived through the dispersion by stressing their particularity and preserving their identity behind the fence of the Law.
2. At the same time the Christians, who were pagans of all languages, cultures, and races were being gathered by their faith in the messianic condition of Jesus, Son of Israel, and they reacted in a similar way. The Christians who receive the whole of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God are a living testimony that universalization is being accomplished. And yet, they have countless times duplicated the historical pattern that had instituted Israel as a nation, to the sole benefit of their particular languages, ethnic groups, cultures, kingdoms, and empires.
The new ecclesia (kahal) shrank in many places into historical specificities, even when this meant ignoring her universal vocation and mission. This was the case with the various national Churches, of which history gives so many examples, among the peoples of the Middle East, in Byzantium, in the Slavic world and across the Latin West. That is why, in these countries, for a long time the question was whether the king, patriarch, emperor, or the pope was the head of the Church. National and ethnic divides remain today the most serious threat to the unity and universal communion that Christians are called to bear witness to and to foster.
But we have entered a new age in the history of humankind and the fundamental conditions are being upset and turned upside down.
1. As far as the Jews are concerned, I would like to insist on two points. First, with the progressive assertion of civil liberties in various European countries since the 18th century, many have given up the nearly monastic existence of the Jewish communities to take part in the great changes of civilization. Along with the Christians they have worked for the secular universalism which has built up itself on reason and also on the ambition of human rights. The Jews have often joined the Christians in the miscalculations and faults which were caused by human presumption, while they were the first victims of these advances, which backfired with unprecedented selective cruelty.
Secondly, following the example of the European nations and thanks to their participation in the dramatic evolution of civilization and culture, they have managed to create the State of Israel by picking up the standards of a particular national identity. They have thus radically renewed the question of the Jewish identity, which is now torn between two poles: on the one hand, the pole of consecrated life whose only true home is given by God at the end of times; and on the other hand, the pole of the secular existence of a people asserting its identity, its language, at long last reconstituted, its ambitions, and its national strength. With Israel the Jewish people has reintegrated the common history of the nations, as a new reference and as a mystery.
2. Simultaneously, the Catholic Church-and perhaps Christianity as a whole-has begun a journey in the opposite direction. During the contemporary era, the Catholic Church has more than ever freed herself from the domination of the princes and from national identifications. While she openly values the latter as a cultural wealth, she will not accept their becoming absolute references and her different type of action clearly bears witness to this resistance.
At the heart of this moment-and this has been taught explicitly by Christian theologians such as Louis Bouyer, Yves Congar and Henri de Lubac (to mention, the French only)-lies the rediscovery of faith as a hope immerged in history, and also the rediscovery of the vocation to which are called all those who hear as God's Word what Jesus said: "You must be perfect because your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48), recalling Leviticus 19:2: "You must be holy because I, the Lord your God, am holy."
After the Shoah-but not only because of the Shoah-the determination to recognize and respect the gifts granted to the Jewish people in the history of salvation, and the rediscovery of perpetuity of the existence of the people of Israel, and of its fidelity, are for Christians the fruit of their rediscovery of their own wealth and vocation. This is not simply a more humane attitude beyond prejudice and hatred. But ever more unassuming hope is inherent to the messianic faith in God as the Savior. Expecting the Kingdom of justice and peace leaves the Christian with the humbling certainty that he or she knows neither the time nor the hour of the end of history.
The spiritual logic of the blessing recalls the grace of the origin and the loving care of "the promise made to our forefathers to show mercy to Abraham and his children's children forever" (Luke 1:55) and "to all the peoples on earth" (Genesis 12:3). This is the task which the Catholic Church and many Christians want to carry out today. Of course, one confession must be added immediately. This new awareness was condensed for the Catholic Church in the Second Vatican Council's Nostra Aetate Declaration. In the last 30 years it has given way to many comments, especially on the initiatives of Pope John Paul II. However, this new understanding still has to remodel in depth the ideas of many peoples who belong to the Christian sphere but whose hearts have not yet been purified by the Spirit of the Messiah. Historical experience shows us that lasting "patience" and many educational efforts are required to "appropriate one's soul" (Luke 21:19).
Notwithstanding, there is no steering away from the direction we are now following. This is part of the movement through which humankind is being united, even at the cost of confrontations. This orientation testifies to the Catholic Church's determination to carry out her mission in the service of this world, to do the will of the Creator of Israel and Redeemer of humanity.
1) You have in your hands the Declaration Nostra Aetate which was solemnly adopted by the Second Vatican Council on October 28, 1965, and also the French Bishops' Declaration that was released on September 30, 1997 at the Memorial of Drancy, from where practically all of the 75,000 Jewish victims who were French residents were sent to the extermination camps. You also know the Holy See's Declaration in its English original as it was published at the Vatican on March 12, 1998 under the title: "We remember: Reflections on the Shoah." Finally, I wish to mention Cardinal Edward Idris Cassidy's address to the American Jewish Committee in Washington, D.C. on May 15, 1998. These four documents enlighten each other, and they recall a number of facts and circumstances which I will not repeat here.
2) The authorized ecclesial Declarations mentioned in note (1) above accomplish a return to the past. They put an end to the teaching of contempt. They turn our minds towards the future, as John Paul II wished in his letter to Cardinal Cassidy approving of the Roman document on the Shoah: "May memory play its necessary role in the process of the building up of a future where the unspeakable iniquity of the Shoah will become forever impossible. May the Lord of history guide the efforts of Catholics and Jews as well as of all men and women of good will, so that they may work together for a world where the life and dignity of each human being will be genuinely respected, since all have been created in God's image and resemblance."
4) I will mention only one: the French kings' claim to descend from David. This led their advisors to have them crowned according to the ritual designed for the kings of Israel, as reported in the Bible and as had already been done in Byzantium. See, for instance, Marquis de la Franquerie. (1984). Ascendances Davidiques des Rois de France. Sainte Jeanne d'Arc edition, p. 79.
5) One cannot honestly ignore the fourth century and the beginning of anti-Jewish rationalization, particularly with St. Cyrillus of Jerusalem. The theory of substitution was elaborated by the Church Fathers.
6) Many Jews, but not all of them: Before the Christians started rethinking the role of Judaism positively, the Jews had acknowledged with Maimonides that Christianity had been given a certain mission.
7) This is how Professor Steg explained the goal of this work, under the authority of the College of Jewish Studies: Chapter 53 of the prophet Isaiah has undoubtedly been one of the most controversial texts in the history of monotheism. In the foretelling of the messianic drama, Christians saw a prefiguration of Christ's Passion, while Jews read the story of the trials of Israel in its exile. However, beyond the eschatological stakes, the idea of redemption through suffering does sound even more forceful in Isaiah's words. Does suffering play a role in history of gueula (Redemption)? Might not this interpretation distort Isaiah's words by giving them a significance that they do not have? At a time when democracies tend to be overcome by victimary morals, can the study of these verses help us to clarify the question? What do both Jewish and Christian theologians and psycho-analysts have to say on the place of suffering in the human condition?