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Document Details :
Title: Mgr E.J. De Smedt et le texte conciliaire sur la religion juive (Nostra Aetate, no 4)
Author(s): LAMBERIGTS, Mathijs , DECLERCK, Leo
Journal: Ephemerides Theologicae Lovanienses
Volume: 85 Issue: 4 Date: 2009
The conciliar declaration Nostra Aetate is still the 'magna charta' for inter-religious dialogue. Nr. 4 of this declaration deals with the Jewish religion. It had a very eventful history. Research in the Archivio Segreto Vaticano (with the discovery of several interesting reports and letters) and in the papers of De Smedt together with the recent publication of the Counciliar Diary of Mgr Willebrands enable us to describe the unexpected role of Mgr De Smedt, Bishop of Bruges and vice-president of the Secretariat for the Unity in the creation of this text during the third intersession. His interventions during the plenary meeting of the Secretariat in May 1965 and his travel in July 1965, together with Willebrands, to the Eastern patriarchs in Beirut, Jerusalem and Cairo resulted in a breakthrough. These documents also reveal the importance of the pope and the Secretariat of State with regard to this topic. These documents also show how the 'pragmatici' at the council (like De Smedt and Willebrands), who were willing to reach a compromise, often played a decisive role for the final approval of the conciliar texts.