Rabbi Bemporad & Christianity
“It’s not enough for Christians to understand Jews and view them the way they view themselves, it’s equally necessary for Jews to understand Christians and the way they view themselves.” – Rabbi Jack Bemporad
Rabbi Bemporad has been involved in interreligious dialogue with the Christian community for the past 30+ years.
In February 1990, Bemporad was sent to Rome to help negotiate the relocation of the Carmelite Convent in Auschwitz, Poland. In September 1990, he was the primary writer of the Prague Accord, the first time in history that the Vatican asked forgiveness of the Jewish people for past acts of anti-Semitism.
In 1992, Bemporad worked with Cardinal Johannes Willebrands and Cardinal Edward I. Cassidy to help secure full diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the State of Israel. And in 1999, he delivered an address at the Vatican’s Conference on Interreligious Relations before 50,000 people at St. Peters, including Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama and religious leaders from throughout the world.
In January 2003, Bemporad was a principal writer of the statement issued on behalf of the world’s religions at a Vatican symposium on the “Spiritual Resources of the Religions for Peace.”
In June 2003, Bemporad helped lead an interfaith delegation to Iran with Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, Archbishop of Washington, D.C., to address anti-Semitism and religious tolerance with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, Speaker Mahdi Karrubi, Chief Justice Hashemi Shahroodi and many key Iranian religious, academic, cultural and political leaders.
In November 2003, Bemporad joined with the World Council of Churches to sponsor an international interfaith conference to identify the theological foundations for improved relations between Protestants, Orthodox Christians and Jews.
Bemporad has served as Chairman of the Interreligious Affairs Committee of the Synagogue Council of America, representing orthodox, conservative and reform rabbinical and lay bodies with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Council of Churches, the Vatican, the World Council of Churches, and the national and international branches of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal and Baptist church bodies.
Bemporad currently serves as Professor of Interreligious Studies at the Vatican’s Angelicum University in Rome and is the author of numerous books and articles about Jewish-Christian relations, including “Our Age: The Historic New Era of Christian-Jewish Understanding,” which was published by New City Press.