The historic reconciliation between Jews and Roman Catholics over the past 40 years should be extended to Muslims to deal with the challenges of the 21st century, a senior Jewish official has said.
The regular dialogue the two faiths have maintained since the Catholic Church renounced anti-Semitism at the Second Vatican Council, should be "a model for transformed relations with Islam," Rabbi Richard Marker told an interfaith conference.
"The focus of the world is no longer specifically on Jewish- Christian amity. We must, for so many reasons, involve the third of our Abrahamic siblings... Islam."
Christian and Jewish leaders increasingly meet their Muslim counterparts to seek common ground and better understanding, but none of these discussions have the history or depth of the Catholic-Jewish dialogue officially begun in 1971.
In those 40 years, the Catholic Church has apologized for its sins against the Jewish people and recognized Judaism as its spiritual "elder brother," a step that Jewish leaders praise as a historic change in perspective.
"Many Jews have organized Jewish-Catholic dialogue so it is totally focused on what we Jews think are Christian failures," he said. "This situation cannot continue much longer." Catholic officials were unlikely to want to continue such a one-sided dialogue, he said, and some Jews see the need to define their role in an increasingly pluralist world.