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Palestinian issue overshadows 50th anniversary of historic Vatican declaration

October 28, 2015 - VATICAN

Israel and the Vatican will mark the 50th anniversary of an historic declaration, which changed the church's relationship to Judaism, Islam and other non-Christian religions, amid tension caused by Pope Francis' recognition in May of a Palestinian state,

The so-called Nostra Aetate (In Our Time) declaration was issued by the Second Vatican Council on Oct 28, 1965. It also absolves Jews of guilt for the death of Jesus.
Officially titled the Declaration on the Relations of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate opened the door for Catholics to that which is "true and holy" in other religions, extending a hand to Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam -- as well as to Judaism.

Because of the pope's stature, the treaty of recognition lends significant weight to the Palestinian push for international support for sovereignty.For Israelis, the pope's announcement was an emotional blow, according to The New York Times, because he has a decades-long relationship with Jews.

The Vatican treaty follows a wave of European Parliamentary resolutions in 2014 that support Palestinian statehood. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long rejected the two-state solution to solve the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty (NYT 14 May 2015)

Nostra Aetate (Vatican)

Israeli Elections 2015: A Brief Guide to the Unexpected (Atlantic 16 Mar 2015)

Israel elections: Herzog concedes to Netanyahu after Likud takes most seats (Guardian 17 Mar 2015)

Date written/update: 2015-05-19