vatican calls catholics not try convert jews
The document out of Vatican City on Thursday outlined the relationship between Catholicism and Judaism. Gonzalo Azumendi—Getty Images

Vatican Says Catholics Shouldn't Try to Convert Jews

Updated: Dec 11, 2015 11:05 AM ET | Originally published: Dec 10, 2015

The Vatican reported its findings about the relationship between Catholicism and Judaism on Thursday, concluding that Catholics should stop trying to convert Jews.

The Vatican's Commission for Religious Relations with Jews released a document outlining developments in the church's stance towards Judaism, including that Jews do not need to be converted to Catholicism to find salvation since God did not revoke his covenant with Israel.

"The Church is therefore obliged to view evangelisation [sic] to Jews, who believe in the one God, in a different manner from that to people of other religions and world views," the document says. "In concrete terms this means that the Catholic Church neither conducts nor supports any specific institutional mission work directed towards Jews."

The document does not constitute official church doctrine, but does communicate the stance of the Holy See. The report's authors also called for Catholics to work with Jews to fight antisemitism.

"Because of the strong bond of friendship between Jews and Catholics, the Catholic Church feels particularly obliged to do all that is possible with our Jewish friends to repel anti-Semitic tendencies," the document states. "Pope Francis has repeatedly stressed that a Christian can never be an anti-Semite, especially because of the Jewish roots of Christianity."

The report marks the 50th anniversary of Vatican II, the council that first began improving relations between Judaism and Catholicism by renouncing the concept of Jewish collective responsibility for the crucifixion of Christ.

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