A Conversation that Changed History: Saint John XXIII and Prof. Jules Isaac

SJU’s Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations to co-sponsor a symposium this June with the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies in Rome.

On June 13, 1960, French historian Jules Isaac met privately with Pope John XXIII to present his research into centuries of Christian “teaching of contempt” for Jews and Judaism. He requested that a subcommittee be appointed to examine Catholic teaching about Jews in preparation for the Second Vatican Council, which the pope had recently announced. This meeting between the pope and the professor led directly to the 1965 conciliar declaration, Nostra Aetate, and the new relationship between Jews and Catholics that has grown over the past six decades.

To shed light on this immensely significant moment, research centers at two Jesuit universities, the Institute for Jewish-Catholics Relations of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and the Cardinal Bea Centre for Judaic Studies of the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome will co-sponsor an invitational research symposium to occur in Rome on the date of the meeting’s 60th anniversary in June 2020. The participating scholars will consider the influence of Prof. Isaac’s research, his audience with “Good Pope John,” the developments over the ensuing six decades, and current and future aspects of what Pope Francis has called “the journey of friendship” between Catholic and Jews. The seventeen invited scholars who will participate hail from several European countries, Israel, Canada, and the United States. Click here for full details.