VIDEO: Author of New Catholic-Jewish Document Discusses Its Contents

Salesian Father Norbert Hofmann, secretary of the Vatican Commission for Religious Relations With the Jews, is one of the principal authors of what Jewish groups have called a "groundbreaking" document on Catholic relations with Jews.

The Gifts and Calling of God Are Irrevocable”, which was released last month to coincide with 50 years since the Second Vatican Council declaration Nostra Aetate, is a theological document but not part of the Magisterium. It states explicitly and controversially for the first time that the Church no longer has a “specific institutional mission” to the Jews. 

In this exclusive interview with the Register, Father Hofmann says that the document is meant to theologically "deepen" Catholic-Jewish relations. He also explains more about why the Church’s institutional mission to the Jews no longer exists (although prayer for their conversion does), the mystery of salvation for the Jews, and concerns over whether the document is tantamount to a break with two millennia of Tradition.

He also talks about how the document puts to bed supersessionism, otherwise known as "replacement theology", as well as the “Good Friday” prayer for the conversion of the Jews, and whether the document was born out of a sense of guilt for the involvement of Church members in the Shoah and anti-Semitism.

Pope Francis is expected to make reference to some of the contents of the document during his visit to Rome’s Great Synagogue on Sunday.