The reception was timed to mark the 40th anniversary of a document produced by the Catholic Church's Second Vatican Council, titled, "Nostra Aetate" (a Declaration On The Relation Of The Church To Non-Christian Religions).
This 1965 document was described by cardinal O'Brien as "truly a ground breaking document." He added, "it recognized the truths within the other religions of the world; it condemned religious discrimination and persecution, and specifically denounced anti-Semitism and recalling the Church's common heritage with the Jews deplored all hatreds, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism levelled at any time or from any source against the Jews
Welcoming the Jewish delegation to his home, the Cardinal commented;
"Today I am delighted to be gathered with friends of the Jewish faith and also those of other faiths. Welcome! I have had the opportunity of working with many of you in the past and look forward to doing so ever more closely in the future. Today we commemorate in a special way the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people. We look to Judaism as our older brother in the faith. It was from the Jewish people that Jesus himself came. The Old Testament will unite us always to the Jewish people."
Responding on behalf of the Scottish Council of Jewish Communities, Rabbi Moshe Rubin said;
"Nostra Aetate was a brave declaration, whose words were a breath of fresh air to our ears and words of hope and reconciliation after the terrible events of the holocaust."
Rabbi Rubin added;
"The declaration has created friendship, dialogue, cooperation, mutual respect and much more all of which we have felt here in Scotland..... Society's march towards more and more permissiveness and lack of respect for values affects us all. We need to stand together with the power of Nostra Aetate and show the world a better a more uplifting way of life."
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Note to Editors:
Prior to the reception, Rabbi Rubin and Cardinal O'Brien planted a tree in the garden of the Cardinal's house as a symbol of growth and future friendship between Scotland's Catholic and Jewish communities. Photographs of the tree planting ceremony available from; Paul McSherry 07770393960