Foreword to Benedict XVI’s “Grace and Vocation without Remorse”

Kurt Koch

The Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, “Nostra aetate,” the fourth article of which is dedicated to Judaism, was approved with a near-moral unanimity by the Council Fathers and promulgated by Bl. Pope Paul VI on November 28, 1965. The Council peritus Joseph Ratzinger judged that, above all, the fourth article opened “a new page in the book of reciprocal relations” between the Church and Israel. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the promulgation of Nostra aetate, the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews published a new document entitled “The Gifts and the Calling of God Are Irrevocable” (Rom 11:29). This document was presented to the public with the aim of being “a starting point for further theological thought with a view to enriching and intensifying the theological dimension of Jewish-Catholic dialogue.”

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