Father David Neuhaus, Latin Patriarchal Vicar, responsible for the Saint James Vicariate for Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel, has published a pastoral letter on the occasion of the 60th anniversary since the founding of the Work of Saint James. The letter was published on the Feast of Edith Stein, August 9, 2015.

Read here


by Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer
"Searching Her Own Mystery"

with foreword of Card. Christoph Schonborn - Archibishop of Vienna, Austria

Read an excerpt: "On April 27, 2014 the Catholic Church officially recognized Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II as saints. Media reports focused on the appeal these two figures held for rival segments of the Church; John XXIII inspired progressives, while John Paul II earned the devotion of traditionalists. Little attention was given to the revolution in Catholic teaching and sensibility that these two Popes jointly accomplished;John XXIII as initiator, John Paul II as interpreter, emblematic personality, and implementer." Read more (entire first chapter)

This book is available at Wipf and Stock, Amazon (also Kindle edition)

INTERVIEW - JUNE 9th, 2015

The Jewish People and the Identity of the Church  


From Saint James Vicariate For Hebrew Speaking Catholics in Israel
by Fr. David Neuhaus

Rabbi Mark Kinzer, a foremost Messianic Jewish theologian has published a new book on Nostra Aetate and its implications for Christian theology and dialogue with the Jews. Father David reports:

Rabbi Mark Kinzer, Messianic leader of the Zera Avraham Congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan (b. 1952), has recently published a book on Nostra Aetate and its significance for Jews and Christians, Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate, the Jewish People and the Identity of the Church (Eugene, Cascade Books, 2015). The book is an important contribution to the interpretation of Nostra Aetate and to the ongoing dialogue between Jews and Catholics, particularly those Jews who do believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

This year is the fiftieth anniversary of Nostra Aetate, the document that redefines the Catholic Church’s teaching on the relationship with members of other religions. The document was formulated during the Second Vatican Council, a council that brought together the leaders of the Catholic Church from all over the world. They deliberated for three years, from 1962 until 1965, redefining the Church’s relationship with the modern world and formulating the Church teaching within the context of the twentieth century. Nostra Aetate, translated “in our times”, redefined the attitude of the Catholic Church towards non-Christian religions. Discussions on the formulation of the document that became Nostra Aetate began with discussions on the attitude of the Catholic Church towards Jews and Judaism and this subject, the content of paragraph 4, is the longest part of the text.

Rabbi Kinzer defines four major changes evoked by Nostra Aetate in its long paragraph on the Jews and Judaism:

- The rejection of the claim that the Jews killed Christ. This tragically wrong interpretation of the Gospel has had devastating consequences for the Jews throughout the past two thousand years of history. The Council denounced anti-Semitism and all forms of racism!

- The reminder that Jews and Christians have a shared heritage not only focused on the Old Testament as a common patrimony but also emphasized that Yeshua, his Blessed Mother, the apostles and the early Church are Jewish.

- The insistence that the Jews are a chosen people and have an irrevocable vocation. They are not rejected by God because God is always faithful despite our faithlessness. In a particularly revolutionary formulation, the document, basing itself on Romans 11:29, a text never cited before in the Magisterium of the Church, said: “God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues.”

- Finally, Kinzer claims that the document drives home the realization that the Church and the Jews are inextricably linked in the sight of God. It is from here that he derives the title of his book, quoting the beginning of paragraph 4: “As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham's stock”.

The renewal and purification of memory led to a change in thought and language that transformed a “teaching of contempt”, a phrase formulated by the Jewish French historian Jules Isaac, who encountered Pope John XXIII in 1960, into a “teaching of respect”.

Kinzer’s book goes on to deepen an understanding of the theological challenges that result from Nostra Aetate, examining ecclesiology, the sacraments of priesthood, baptism and Eucharist and challenging the Church and the Jewish people to pursue an understanding of sacramental presence that brings them ever closer together. The book includes fascinating sections on Kinzer’s own spiritual journey and the ongoing dialogue between Messianic Jews and Catholics.



"Our common adventure began with fr. Antoine Levy OP, a French Jewish Catholic priest and theologian who directs a study center in Helsinki, Finland. Over the past several years Antoine has been growing in his consciousness of the spiritual significance of his Jewish identity. This led him in the summer of 2008 to bring a Finnish tour group to Israel to inquire into contemporary expressions of Jewish faith in Yeshua. They visited both Messianic Jewish and Hebrew Catholic groups, and met with key leaders.

While in Jerusalem Antoine attended a public lecture I gave that focused on the published responses to my book, Postmissionary Messianic Judaism. The lecture piqued Antoine’s interest, and was followed by e-mail correspondence, transatlantic conversations by Skype, and our reading of one another’s work. In the process, we both became convinced that we should do something together that would enable Messianic Jews and Jews in churches to challenge and encourage one another as we were doing in our friendly and productive arguments.

We met for a day in Jerusalem in the summer of 2009, and decided at that time to initiate the Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Messiah".

If you want to know more about our two co-chairs, read their thumb-nail biographies here (Mark’s) and here (Antoine’s).


In this section you can read the papers and the final statements of all the previous -as well as this year's- consultations. 


2017 - in KRAKOW

Go to page here

READ the Press Release here

Go to the presentations here

2015 - in MOSCOW 

Go to page here 

READ the Press Release here

GO to the presentations here

2014 - in the NETHERLANDS  

Read 2014 Statement here.

Go to the relevant articles here

 2013 - in OSLO  

Read 2013 Statement here.

Go to the relevant articles here

2012 - in BERLIN

      Read 2012 Statement here

      Go to the relevant articles here 

2011 - in PARIS

      Read 2011 Statement here

      Go to the relevant articles here 

2010 - in HELSINKI

      Read 2010 Statement here.




Deborah Pardo-Kaplan's Christianity Today article here

First International/Interconfessional Congress of the Jewish Disciples of Jesus

Dallas, Texas - August 27-30, 2018

Antoine Levy, OP,  Dr. Mark Kinzer and Dr. David Rudolph

The first International and Interconfessional Congress of Jewish Disciples of Jesus met at the Kings University, Dallas for four days of discussions. More than forty congregational leaders and theologians from Messianic, Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical and Pentecostal traditions resolved to develop a new inter-confessional structure to encourage deeper association and unity between Jewish disciples of Jesus across the range and diversity of their respective confessions.

 Attendees came from Brazil, Canada, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Poland, Russia, Scotland and the USA. They held plenary sessions and group discussions to explore the formation of a new entity that will encourage Jewish expression of faith in Jesus as a “corporate expression of Am Israel within the body of Christ, a prophetic voice within that body and within the Jewish people.”

 Jewish disciples of Jesus in Anglican, Baptist, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Episcopal, Lutheran, Messianic Jewish, Pentecostal, Roman Catholic, Russian Orthodox and Wesleyan traditions worshipped together using a variety of liturgies, including the Mass in Hebrew and Messianic Jewish services.

 The Congress was convened by the Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Christ (http://helsinkiconsultation.squarespace.com/), an interconfessional group of theologians who are Jewish disciples of Jesus, and whose previous statements were a basis for discussion and further action. The participants elected a steering committee to develop the new structure over the next two years.

 The participants issued the following joint statement: 


The First International/Interconfessional Congress of Jewish Disciples of Jesus

The Dallas Resolution (August 30, 2018)


1. We are Jews who worship the God of Israel, Creator of heaven and earth, who has revealed himself in Jesus the Messiah through the Holy Spirit. As disciples of Yeshua, we belong to a broad range of churches – Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, and Pentecostal – and to Messianic Jewish communities. Inheriting almost a decade of prayer, study, and collaboration by some of our members in the Helsinki Consultation, we are discovering mutual respect, understanding, and affection. We yearn to grow in our common life, to continue to learn from one another, and to support each other’s calling in the Spirit. We believe this is a precious gift from God that should be extended to all our Jewish brothers and sisters who, like us, have come to faith in Yeshua the Messiah. This gift has enabled many of us to overcome the solitude we have felt in our condition as Jewish disciples of Jesus, and we believe our communion with one another can be an instrument of strengthening and faith for all who follow Him. 
2. Without relinquishing our ecclesial communities, we are convinced that Jewish disciples of Yeshua are called to live as a corporate expression of Am Israel within the body of Christ, a prophetic voice within that body and within the Jewish people. We believe that the loss of a Jewish expression of faith in Messiah is a wound within Am Israel and the body of Christ. The healing of this wound calls for the coming together of disciples of Jesus from among the Jews and the nations. This too can inspire disciples from among the nations to increase their efforts to come together with one another in unity. This then will contribute to the fulfillment of the prayer of Jesus that “all may be one.” Working towards this vision will require a visible structure that will reflect the breadth of Jewish disciples of Christ. That structure will be inter-confessional in nature and will incorporate the statements of the Helsinki Consultation as the basis of its theological work. 


Practically, this organization may develop or share

  • mutual support and fellowship 
  • paths towards repentance and mutual forgiveness among Jewish disciples 
  • resources for deepening the identity of Jewish disciples of Jesus 
  • joint prayer and the sharing of liturgical traditions 
  • theological research
  • interconfessional dialogue and study programs of formation 
  • witness to Yeshua networks for building relationships among young people and singles
  • support in combatting anti-Semitism 
  • representation of Jewish disciples of Jesus to the wider Church 

The members of this transitional Steering Group will be Boris Balter, Mark Kinzer, Fr. Antoine Levy, Lisa Loden, Mark Neugebauer, Lee Spitzer, and Igor Swiderski.

Signatories to the 2018 Dallas Resolution:

Amanda Achtman (Catholic), Ottawa, Canada

Boris Balter (Orthodox), Moscow, Russia

Andrew Barron (Messianic), Toronto, Ontario

Monique Brumbach (Messianic), Los Angeles, USA

Michael Calise (Messianic/Pentecostal), New York, USA

Mikhail (Misha) Chernyak (Orthodox), Warsaw, Poland

Steve Cohen (Lutheran), Tennessee, USA

Lawrence Feingold (Catholic), St. Louis, USA

Matthew Friedman (Messianic/Wesleyan), New Brunswick, Canada

Boris Goldin (Messianic), Florida, USA

Matheus Guimarães (Messianic), Brazil

Richard Harvey (Messianic), England

Debra Herbeck (Catholic), Michigan, USA

Mark Kinzer (Messianic), Michigan, USA

Elliot Klayman (Messianic), San Diego, USA

David Klein (Presbyterian), Washington State, USA

Sr. Eliana Kurylo (Catholic), Toulouse, France

Ryan Lambert (Messianic), Georgia, USA

Rev. Warren Leibovitch (Episcopal), Ontario, Canada

Fr. Francois Lestang (Catholic), Lyon, France

Fr. Antoine Levy (Catholic), Helsinki, Finland

Lisa Loden (Messianic), Netanya, Israel

Yuriy Mark (Baptist), Germany

Leonid Mazin (Messianic), Israel

Fr. Michael Meerson (Orthodox), New York, USA

David Moss (Catholic), St. Louis, USA

Mark Neugebauer (Catholic), Toronto, Canada

Sue Neugebauer (Catholic), Toronto, Canada

Fr. David Neuhaus (Catholic), Israel

Rich Nichol (Messianic), Boston, USA

Svetlana Panich (Orthodox), Moscow, Russia

Juliet Pressel (Catholic), Michigan, USA

Ephraim Radner (Episcopal), Toronto, Canada

Jennifer Rosner (Messianic), California, USA

David Rudolph (Messianic), Dallas, USA

Rev. Lee Spitzer (Baptist), New Jersey, USA

Greg Stone (Pentecostal), Dallas, USA

Igor Swiderski (Messianic), Germany

Ari Waldman (Messianic), Dallas, USA

Marty Waldman (Messianic), Dallas, USA

Ken Wilsker (Catholic), St. Louis, USA

Judith Wolfe (Catholic), Scotland



The Consultation founders, Dr. Mark Kinzer, President Emeritus of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (USA), and Fr. Antoine Levy, OP, Professor at the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland, expressed thanks to The King’s University, Dallas, for hosting the conference.  

Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer (Messianic Jewish) said “we came together from many different backgrounds but displayed a remarkable unity of purpose considering our differing theological and cultural backgrounds. I am delighted that the future of our working together will now be developed further, and look forward with eager anticipation to our next meeting. It is important for the Body of Messiah and for the Jewish people that such a process continues.”

Father Antoine Levy, O.P., said “We have been meeting together for a number of years as a small group, but now we have a growing number of Jewish disciples of Jesus from across the confessions who wish to see more visible, corporate and communal expression of our unity and fellowship, and I am most encouraged at the opportunity we have to work on this together.”

For more information contact:




Dr. Mark Kinzer:


Congregation Zera Avraham

P.O. Box 2025

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106



Antoine Lévy O.P.:  +358 (0)50 304 2778


Studium Catholicum

Ritarikatu 3 B A 4
00170 Helsinki


 Group discussion at Dallas Congress

Dallas Congress participants

 Dallas Congress participants


Press Release, Statement and Papers now available!








The seventh “Helsinki Consultation on Jewish Continuity in the Body of Christ” met June 23th-28th, 2017, hosted by the Dominican Priory, Kraków, Poland.  Jewish disciples of Jesus from Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States, belonging to Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican and Messianic Jewish traditions, met to deepen their fellowship in faith, present papers and discuss the topic “Jewish Disciples of Jesus & the Wounds of Memory: Source of Healing or Continued Trauma?”


The consultation recognized and responded to the unique historical, cultural and theological circumstances of the Poland context. The open sessions were well attended, and members of the consultation led worship services using Catholic, Orthodox and Messianic Jewish liturgies.

Local contributors to the consultation included social anthropologist Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska, Jagiellonian University (Krakow); Prof. Dr. Hab. Stanislaw Krajewski (Warsaw), leader of the Jewish community in Poland and co-chairman of the Polish Council of Christians and Jews; Marek Nowak, OP; and Sister of Zion leader Sr. Anna Bodzinska. 

Consultation members met with Bishop Grzegorz Ryś, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Kraków, and Rabbi Avi Baumol of the Krakow Jewish Community Centre. They visited Auschwitz and attended the funeral of Father Peter Hocken, a leading ecumenist and supporter of the Consultation. Facilitation and translation were provided by Fr. Eric Ross, OP,  and Sr. Eliana Kurylo, CB.


The Consultation founders, Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer, President Emeritus of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (USA), and Fr. Antoine Levy, OP, Professor at the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland, expressed thanks to the Dominican Priory for hosting the conference. 

Fr. Antoine Levy OP, co-founder, observed:

"Being in Krakow, a short distance from Auschwitz, provided a unique opportunity to bring together Polish discussions on the devastating consequences of Christian anti-Judaism and the Consultation's work towards a distinctive Jewish presence in the Church. We came out of this meeting with a renewed awareness of the healing power that stems from our common faith in Yeshua, Israel´s Messiah".

Messianic Rabbi Mark Kinzer, PhD, the second co-founder, said: “Surrounded by testimony to the greatest horrors of the twentieth century, this conference offered hope for a better future. We all drew courage from our faith in the Messiah and his irrevocable commitment to his people.”

Participants gave papers (available ­­­at the Helsinki Consultation website http://helsinkiconsultation.squarespace.com/ and Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HelsinkiConsultation/) and issued the Conference Statement below [FRENCH, GERMAN, HEBREW, ITALIAN, RUSSIAN TRANSLATIONS TO FOLLOW]:



Jewish followers of Jesus and the wounds of memory: source of healing or further trauma? 


We have gathered in Krakow, Poland surrounded by witnesses to both a beautiful and tragic past. So too we have been reminded of King Casimir’s welcome of the Jews, the rich achievements of Jewish culture, and its engagement with Polish society over many centuries, including the presence of Jews within the Church.  


It is precisely in this ambivalent context of blessing and woundedness that we have sought to pursue our reflections on our place as Jewish believers in Yeshua in the living body of the Messiah.  As Jews, we remember with our people the deep wounds received from the hands of Christians, sometimes with the assent of church authorities.  We also remember that many Christians have been prey to persecutions across the ages, most acutely in the last century. We remember too that we Jews can be agents of violence and cause of suffering.  Finally, we remember that we are part of the body of the Christ, who is the source and agent of all reconciliation.  It is the paradox and mystery of our faith that healing and forgiveness come forth from the wounds of the Messiah on the cross.


Remembering has led us back to the wound that is the separation between the Church and the major part of the Jewish people.  This has hindered the full realization of the body of Christ.  As Jewish disciples of Jesus, we are profoundly affected by this separation. We are aware that our dual identity has sometimes proven a stumbling block on the path to reconciliation and unity. The misguided zeal of some Jewish followers of Jesus has historically even furthered mutual rejection between members of the Church and the Jewish people.  But we have also witnessed great figures among the Jewish followers of Jesus who have fought antijudaism, antisemitism, and their legacy, and who have worked tirelessly for reconciliation.   They understood how healing the wounds of memory demands that the Church affirm   the ongoing election of the Jewish people and the richness of its tradition.  They believed also that the Church should welcome the expression of Jewish identity within her life.


Inspired by these great witnesses, we are convinced that a corporate Jewish expression is essential to the integrity of the entire body of the Messiah.  The acceptance of this Jewish presence in its midst is itself an aspect of needed repentance from antijudaism and antisemitism, and a decision to break with its destructive legacy.  This acceptance will also contribute to disclosing the authentic nature of the body of Christ, which is rooted in Israel’s election and the Jewishness of its Messiah. We Jewish followers of Yeshua seek to be instruments of Christ’s power for this healing of the wounds of memory and for reconciliation within his divided body. 


Signed: Antoine Levy, Boris Balter, David Neuhaus, Ephraim Radner, Etienne Veto, Lisa Loden, Mark Kinzer, Richard Harvey, Svetlana Panich, Vladimir Pikman


28 June 2017, Kraków, Poland




Next year’s meeting will be held in the USA

For more information contact:




Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer:


Congregation Zera Avraham

P.O. Box 2025

Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106




Antoine Lévy O.P.:  +358 (0)50 304 2778 


Studium Catholicum

Ritarikatu 3 B A 4
00170 Helsinki






Boris Balter, Orthodox (Moscow), Researcher, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Richard Harvey, PhD (University of Wale), Messianic (London), Associate Lecturer, All Nations Christian College

Mark Kinzer, PhD (University of Michigan), Messianic Rabbi, Senior Scholar and President Emeritus of Messianic Jewish Theological Institute (Ann Arbor, USA),

Fr. Antoine Levy, OP, Catholic (Helsinki), Professor at the School of Theology, University of Eastern Finland

Lisa Loden, Messianic (Israel), Head of Leadership Development at the Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary.

Fr. David Neuhaus, SJ, Catholic (Jerusalem), Patriarchal Vicar General for Hebrew speaking Catholics in Israel.

Svetlana Panich, Orthodox (Moscow), Literary critic and translator. 

Rabbi Vladimir Pikman, Messianic (Berlin), Vice-President of the International Messianic Jewish Alliance, Executive Director of “Beit Sar Shalom” ministry.

Rev. Ephraim Radner, Anglican (Toronto),  Professor of Historical Theology, Wycliffe College, PhD (Yale University)

Fr. Etienne Veto, (CCN), PhD (Centre Sèvres, Facultés Jésuites de Paris), Director, Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.





Conference presentations


Catholic Mass in Hebrew


Conference Statement Planning –Ephraim Radner


Conference presentations –



Conference participants – Dr. Richard Harvey, Fr. Etienne Veto, Fr. David Neuhaus



Preparation for worship – Catholic Mass in Hebrew


More photos available here – PERMISSIONS GIVEN







June 23-25 - Krakow

Jewish followers of Jesus and the wounds of memory: source of healing or further trauma?

Żydowscy uczniowie Jezusa i rany pamięci: czas uzdrowienia czy dalsza trauma? 


(Polski tekst poniżej)

A high-level international meeting of scholars from eight countries and three continents is happening in our cloister in Krakow this June. But this not a purely academic meeting. It’s an international gathering of theologians who were born Jewish but who have found Jesus. Some, like the Dominican Fr. Antoine Levy, are Catholic priests. Some are Orthodox, others Protestant. Still others belong to movements within Messianic Judaism. All believe in Jesus.

This group of thinkers from Europe, Russia, Israel and the United States have organized regular meetings every few years since 2010. Beginning in Helsinki, they chose to call themselves “the Helsinki Consultation.” Their aim is to ensure that a distinctly Jewish voice is heard in the context of the Christian community: a task that presents many challenges. They have gathered to debate and draft theological statements in major cities like Berlin, Paris and Moscow. Now it’s time for Krakow.

Poland is not just any place. This country has a special role in Jewish history, with more than 800 years of Jewish life and scholarship developing in the Polish lands. The members of the Helsinki Consultation are keenly aware of this. In Krakow, less than 70 kilometers from Auschwitz, the scholars have organized a meeting under the title “Jewish followers of Jesus and the wounds of memory: time for healing or further trauma?” They will pray, give short presentations on the main theme in a public forum, and work to draft a declaration on how the Jewish experience and the personal histories of Jews who have embraced Jesus can enrich the Church.

The scholars see themselves as “the blank page between the Old Testament and the New,” to use a phrase of Disraeli’s, and as living links between the People of Israel and the Church.

The work of the Helsinki Consultation is primarily theological. They are Jews belonging to different, traditionally conflicting, Christian denominations. Yet they are trying to articulate what the Jewish component of the People redeemed by Christ is, what it means, and what it should be in the context of the whole, yet not-yet-visibly-united, Body of Christ.

The conference will be open to the public free of charge for three days, from Friday June 23 through Sunday June 25. All are welcome. There will be prayer and liturgies in three traditions: a Messianic Jewish “Kabbalat Shabbat” service on Friday night, prayer in the Russian Orthodox tradition on Saturday afternoon, and a Catholic Mass in the Hebrew language on Sunday morning. All of this will take place in different rooms in the Krakow priory. 

In the Aula of Saint Thomas Aquinas of the Priory on Saturday and Sunday, Jewish-Christian members of the Helsinki Consultation will make short interventions around this year’s theme in a panel format.

Noted Polish scholars will join the panels with the speakers: Prof. Dr. hab. Stanisław Krajewski (U. of Warsaw), Fr. Dr. hab. Marek Nowak, O.P. (U. of Warsaw), Sister Dr. hab. Teresa Obolevitch (Pontifical University of John Paul II of Krakow), Dr. Annamaria Orla-Bukowska (Jagiellonian University of Krakow) and Sister Anna Bodzińska (of the congregation of Our Lady of Sion). There will be time for questions from the audience.

The entire meeting will be translated simultaneously into Polish and English by use of electronic headsets.

Members of the Helsinki Commission who will come to Krakow include some of the world’s best-known Jewish Christian theologians. Rabbi Dr. Mark Kinzer of the USA will attend. He is President-Emeritus of the Messianic Jewish Theological Institute. Fr. Antoine Levy, a Dominican priest and university lecturer based in Finland, Messianic Rabbi Vladimir Pikman of Berlin, and Richard Harvey, a long-time professor and dean at All Nations Christian College in Great Britian, will all be present. Boris Balter of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Fr. David Neuhaus, a Jesuit from Jerusalem who is the Patriarchal Vicar General for Hebrew speaking Catholics in Israel, and Svetlana Panich (Moscow), who is an Orthodox Russian literary critic and translator, will all be in Krakow. Also in attendance will be Lisa Loden, Head of Leadership Development at the Nazareth Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Fr. Etienne Vetö of France, who is professor at the Gregorian University in Rome. This year, for the first time, Efraim Radner, an Anglican theologian, will join the conference as guest speaker.

Why are these distinguished people meeting in a Dominican priory? For several good reasons: the Dominicans have a long history with the Jewish people – sometimes edifying, sometimes troubling. In the official canonization proceedings for Saint Dominic, our founder is described as “loving to all, the rich, the poor, the Jews, the gentiles.” It has been shown that early Dominicans learned Hebrew from medieval rabbis. Saint Thomas Aquinas, the great Dominican theologian, cites the great Jewish philosopher Maimonides nearly 100 times in his works, and many believe that his proofs of God in the Summa were borrowed in large part from the famous Rabbi. On the downside, Dominicans played a role, for instance, in the Disputation of Tortosa in 15th-century Spain. All of this shows that dialog between Christians and Jews has long been part of the Dominican tradition. What better place for this meeting than a Dominican priory?

Never has a meeting on this challenging subject been organized in Poland on such a high level, with the participation of serious theological authorities from many countries. For Poles, this is an unprecedented opportunity to listen and participate in a global discussion.

Of course, the issues discussed at this conference are of universal importance. As recent declarations attest, the question of a distinctive voice for the Jewish people within the Church is a high priority for Pope Francis. As Jewish Christians come into their own, now is the time for Christians to deal with the wounds of memory and come to terms with the Jews in their midst.


W dominikańskim klasztorze w Krakowie w dniach 23–25 czerwca odbędzie się spotkanie wyjątkowych intelektualistów, przedstawicieli ośmiu państw z trzech kontynentów. Nie będzie to jednak wyłącznie konferencja akademicka. Nasi goście to międzynarodowa grupa teologów, którzy urodzili się jako Żydzi i wychowali w tradycji żydowskiej, a w swoim życiu odnaleźli Jezusa. Niektórzy, tak jak współorganizator spotkania dominikanin o. Antoine Levy, są księżmi katolickimi. Ale są wśród nich także prawosławni, protestanci oraz przedstawiciele nowych ruchów, takich jak judaizm mesjanistyczny. Wszyscy wierzą w Jezusa.

Grono intelektualistów z Europy, Rosji, Izraela i Stanów Zjednoczonych organizuje regularne konferencje co kilka lat, począwszy od 2010 roku. Pierwsza odbyła się w Helsinkach, stąd nazwa „Helsinki Consultation”. Ich celem jest wyraźne zaznaczenie żydowskiej obecności wewnątrz wspólnoty chrześcijańskiej: zadanie, które stawia wiele wyzwań. Debaty owocują zwykle opracowaniem deklaracji teologicznej. Tak było w Berlinie, Paryżu i Moskwie. Teraz przyszedł czas na Kraków.

Polska to dla Żydów miejsce niezwykłe, kraj, który odegrał wyjątkową rolę w ich historii. Okres ponad 800-letniego współistnienia Żydów i Polaków zaowocował licznymi przykładami żydowskiej twórczości teologicznej i intelektualnej. Członkowie Helsinki Consultation są tego w pełni świadomi. W Krakowie, położonym zaledwie 70 km od Auschwitz, zaplanowali spotkanie zatytułowane Żydowscy uczniowie Jezusa i rany pamięci: czas uzdrowienia czy dalsza trauma? W dominikańskim klasztorze będą się modlić, głosić krótkie referaty i pracować nad tekstem najnowszej deklaracji.

Cel jest głównie teologiczny – poszukiwanie odpowiedzi na pytanie, w jaki sposób doświadczenia narodu żydowskiego i osobiste historie Żydów, którzy przyjęli Jezusa, mogą wzbogacić Kościół. Uczeni postrzegają siebie, zgodnie z myślą zaczerpniętą od premiera Benjamina Disraeliego, jako „brakującą stronę między Starym a Nowym Testamentem” – żywą więź między Izraelem a Kościołem.

Nie bez znaczenia jest fakt, że członkowie Helsinki Consultation to Żydzi należący do różnych wyznań chrześcijańskich. Ich projekt jest więc nie tylko międzyreligijny, lecz także ekumeniczny. Starają się wyrazić to, kim są Żydzi odkupieni przez Chrystusa, co oznacza ich nawrócenie i kim powinni być w kontekście całego Kościoła, który stanowi jedną owczarnię, choć dziś jeszcze nie jest zjednoczony. 

Wstęp na krakowską konferencję jest wolny. Będzie to dla wszystkich niesamowita okazja uczestniczenia w modlitwach i liturgii trzech różnych tradycji: mesjanistycznej modlitwie „Kabalat Szabat” w piątek wieczorem, modlitwie w tradycji rosyjsko-prawosławnej w sobotę po południu oraz katolickiej mszy świętej w języku hebrajskim w niedzielny poranek.

W sobotę i niedzielę w Aula Magna klasztoru żydowscy członkowie Helsinki Consultation zaprezentują swoje referaty i wezmą udział w dyskusji panelowej z naukowcami z Polski oraz publicznością. Spotkanie będzie tłumaczone na język polski i angielski i przesyłane bezprzewodowo do odbiorców za pomocą słuchawek. Swój udział zapowiedzieli: prof. UW dr hab. Stanisław Krajewski, o. dr hab. Marek Nowak OP (UW), s. dr hab. Teresa Obolevitch (UPJPII), dr Annamaria Orla-Bukowska (UJ) oraz s. Anna Bodzińska (Zgromadzenie Sióstr Matki Bożej z Syjonu).

Trzeba zaznaczyć, że do tej pory nie mieliśmy w Polsce okazji uczestniczyć w międzynarodowej konferencji, która w tak poważny sposób podejmowałaby problem ran pamięci. To dla nas bezprecedensowa możliwość uczestniczenia w globalnej dyskusji. Temat jest bardzo aktualny: kwestia charakterystycznego głosu narodu żydowskiego w łonie Kościoła jest dla papieża Franciszka szczególnie ważna, o czym świadczą najnowsze deklaracje Stolicy Apostolskiej. Wydaje się, że nadszedł właściwy czas, aby chrześcijanie poradzili sobie z ranami przeszłości, zrozumieli i zaakceptowali Żydów, którzy przynależą do kościołów chrześcijańskich.

Członkowie Helsinki Consultation, których będziemy gościć w Krakowie, należą do najbardziej znanych żydowsko-chrześcijańskich teologów na świecie: dr Mark Kinzler z USA – emerytowany prezydent Mesjańsko-Żydowskiego Instytutu Teologicznego, O. Antoine Levy OP (Paryż, Helsinki), rabin Władimir Pikman (Berlin) i Richard Harvey – profesor i dziekan chrześcijańskiego uniwersytetu All Nations w Wielkiej Brytanii. Przybędą również: Boris Balter, kosmolog z Rosyjskiej Akademii Nauk, ks. David Neuhaus, jezuita z Jerozolimy, który jest wikariuszem generalnym dla katolików hebrajskojęzycznych w Izraelu, Svetlana Panich (Moskwa), prawosławna krytyk literacki i tłumaczka, Lisa Loden, kierownik duchowy i wykładowczyni w Nazaretańskim Ewangelikalnym Seminarium Teologicznym oraz ks. Etienne Vetö z Francji, profesor Uniwersytetu Gregoriańskiego w Rzymie. W tym roku po raz pierwszy jako „guest speaker” na konferencji pojawi się Efraim Radner, teolog anglikański.

Dlaczego to zacne grono spotyka się w dominikańskim klasztorze? Co mają wspólnego dominikanie z Żydami? Otóż, w dokumentach sporządzonych podczas procesu kanonizacyjnego, św. Dominik scharakteryzowany został jako „kochający wszystkich, bogatych, biednych, Żydów, nie-Żydów". Istnieją przekazy mówiące, że pierwsi dominikanie uczyli się języka hebrajskiego od rabinów. Święty Tomasz z Akwinu w swoich dziełach prawie sto razy cytuje wielkiego żydowskiego filozofa Majmonidesa, a wielu wręcz uważa, że ​dowody Akwinaty na istnienie Boga w Summie teologicznej były inspirowane jego nauczaniem.

Nie zawsze rola dominikanów była pozytywna, dość przypomnieć Dysputa w Tortosie w XV wieku w Hiszpanii.

Wszystko to pokazuje, że dialog między chrześcijanami i Żydami był zawsze głęboko zakorzeniony w dominikańskiej tradycji. Czyż więc może być lepsze miejsce na zorganizowanie takiego spotkania niż nasz dominikański klasztor?


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