FORTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DECREE “NOSTRA AETATE” OF THE SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
Speaking Notes of
Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin
Archbishop of Dublin, Primate of Ireland
14th November 2005
I would like to bring the formal part of our celebrations to a close by thanking all those who have contributed to making this event possible.
I am particularly appreciative that this has been a joint project that has emerged from the close relationship I am fortunate to enjoy with Chief Rabbi Pearlman. I thank him for having invited us to hold the event here in the Synagogue and for all his efforts over the last few months in making our project a reality.
I am especially happy to express our gratitude to Rabbi David Rosen for his coming back to Dublin to deliver the keynote address. David’s presence in Dublin – where he is still warmly remembered within the faith communities and beyond – has added enormously to our sense of celebration. You may not know it, but David had not been back in Ireland for many years and I am delighted to add to my list of achievements arranging for him to come back to Dublin twice within a six month period. David’s grand parents were born on the street where I lived for many years on South Circular Road and David’s path and mine have cross frequently over the years.
I thank Dr. Dermot Lane for his response to Rabbi Rosen; I would like to acknowledge my own appreciation of Dermot’s abiding commitment to promoting the work of the Second Vatican Council in general and Nostra Aetate in particular.
Finally, I would wish to thank An Taoiseach, Mr. Bertie Ahern, for honouring our celebration with his presence and for his opening comments.
There have been many celebrations of the Fortieth Anniversary of Nostra Aetate over the last few months, from Rome to Jerusalem and beyond. These have taken place in a variety of academic and religious contexts. I am particularly pleased that we have been able to mark the occasion here in Dublin.
We have had a Jewish presence in Dublin for many centuries and we are proud of the contribution that Jews have made to Irish society, as also of the contribution which Irish Jews have made to the State of Israel. I think that it is you David who noted that Ireland is the only country to have provided Israel with both a President and a Chief Rabbi!
Nostra Aetate, a short document, was however a significant milestone in setting out the correct basis for the religious relationship between Christian and Jews. Working together we can build our common spiritual heritage. Working together we can witness and foster those universal truths about the dignity of the human person, the unity of the human family and the integrity of creation which are at the bases of universal relationship of kinship among peoples and the basis of the common hope of all peoples.
I am pleased that here in Dublin we have been able to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the promulgation of Nostra Aetate with a gathering of such significance and I thank all who have come to share this evening with us.