Ministerial Outreach

Tag_des_JudentumsInspiring und supporting the Christian-Jewish renewal of the Churches is the core issue of our Committee. Sermons, lectures in parishes and Christian communities are a regular task since the existence of the organisation. Additional introductory and advanced seminars for teachers are scheduled every year. Especially during the last years guided walks through Jewish Vienna offer a vivid impulse to a better understanding of various topics of Christian-Jewish relations.
In the open minded atmosphere in the Roman Catholic Church after II Vatican Council represented by the late Cardinal Franz Koenig the Coordinating Committee for Christian-Jewish Cooperation could contribute much to the Christian-Jewish renewal of the Church in Austria. In 1965 even before Nostra Aetate it presented first proposals for new versions of textbooks for religious education, an activity which continues up to present.
Furthermore the Committee has intensively cooperated with the Catholic Synod of the Archdiocese of Vienna 1971 and supported declarations of other Christian Churches in Austria concerning the process of Christian-Jewish reconciliation. In 1989 the Coordinating Committee published guidelines for a sensible celebration of the Passion Week under the premises of Christian-Jewish dialogue.
Stimulated by the Coordinating Committee for Christian Jewish-Cooperation since 2000 a “Day of Judaism” is kept each January 17th by all churches in Austria upon the decision of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria. The Committee proposes each year texts for the religious service on that day reminding Christians of all denominations of the Jewish root of their faith.
The Committee submits also introductory texts for services and passion-readings during the Holy Week and points to the inappropriateness of a “Christian Seder”. In 1999 we presented a 12 part series on Christian-Jewish relations in Catholic Church-newspapers in Austria. Never before in German speaking countries has there been published such a widespread introduction to this theme addressed directly to the faithful.