In a paper given at the Von Hügel Institute in Cambridge the author introduces the document
recently issued by the Vatican, ‘The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable’.
He outlines the streak of anti-Semitism in the Christian Church from its beginning, and
the determined efforts made since 1960 by the Catholic Church to correct this bias,
both by teaching documents and by personal friendship and cooperation. This has
been a particular emphasis of Pope Francis, who stresses that Judaism is the elder
brother of Christianity. Most significant has been the 2001 document of the Papal
Biblical Commission, outlining the dependence of so many Christian doctrines on the
revelation of God in the Hebrew Bible. Pope Benedict insisted that the Jewish reading
of the Hebrew Bible was, though not a Christian reading, a valid reading. The present
document explains that for Christians the Jews are still the Chosen People of God, not
superseded by Christianity.